Goodbye, Old Friend

Yesterday morning, we had to put to sleep Tigger, our 14 1/2 year old cat.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer around three weeks ago.

He wasn’t in any pain, but his appetite declined, and was finding it harder to breath.  While he was first my son’s cat, and then my wife’s, it doesn’t hurt any less.

Goodbye, old friend, you will be missed.


Common Sense Has Passed

Having no time this weekend due to work & “honey-do” lists to post anything of my own, Bad Bad Juju came to the rescue.  He had this announcement posted on his site:

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I’m A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

–Author Unknown

Goodbye, Mom.

My mother passed away this morning.  She was 81 years old.

My mom was always a fighter & strong willed.  I often thought that once she put her mind to something, no one short of God could change her mind.  There was a reason for her toughness.

In 1949, she had not one but two operations that removed the lower lobes of both lungs.  Lung operations in that day & age were often not survivable, but she beat the odds for both operations.  It’s my impression that these operations were of last resort, anything but routine, and less that 10% survivable rate.  And she was operated on twice!

Thus, she went through life with one-half of the breathing capacity of the rest of us.  But that certainly didn’t slow her down.  My father related to me that the doctors were absolutely against her becoming pregnant because of the risk to not only her, but to the baby as well.  Once again, she defied the odds (and the doctors, I suspect), and here I am.

This does not mean that she was a strict, joyless person.  Well, she was strict…but I also remember her enjoying going to garage sales looking for deals on Fenton Glass & other items for the house.  She sewed & crafted, painted & created, taking justifiable pride in her house that she kept decorated with her treasures & creations.

And I remember Mom, Dad, and I sitting around the dining room table playing games.  Sorry, Trouble, Rack-o, and Canasta were just a few of the games we played for hours on end.  And yes, she was a cheerleader for her son’s Little League games, and supporter for the high-school band in which her son played.  She loved her husband, her son, and her grandson with all her heart.

Like all families, we had our spats & disagreements, but she always stood on her principles of right and wrong, and she was more often right on just about anything.  Perhaps that was maddening for some, but she was often a source of strength for others.  I know she was for my Dad, and admittedly, for me as well.

It was hard to think of Mom as not being a strong person.  Perhaps we, as children, always think of our parents as always being there for us even after we have moved out & started families of our own.  It’s a severe mental adjustment for us to realize that our parents are mortal, people just like anyone else.

Mom had health issues most of her life, especially within the last five or six years.  Her lungs were failing, and multiple infections with hospital visits over the past three months took their toll.

I visited with her this past Monday afternoon, and got her to smile once despite the obvious discomfort that she was having breathing.  That afternoon, she was taken to the hospital where her condition steadily worsened.  She was transferred to the hospice after my father and I talked to the doctor who confirmed there was nothing more that could be done except to make her comfortable.  She reportedly passed peacefully this morning.

No matter what happens in my life, I will always remember that last little smile my Mother gave me, and the feeling of love that accompanied that smile.

Goodbye, Mom.  I will always love you.