Lisa Roberson is my oldest friend. And I mean that in the most literal sense. Not only were our parents dear friends, she and I were born in the same hospital (in Wise, Virginia) three days apart. We lay there beside each other in that nursery in 1959 and I swear, have had a bond ever since. My heart felt such gratitude when she generously offered this story as a comment on my post about time and the loss of my dear cat, Tiger. I asked her for permission to share it with you, here. I am so glad she said yes.

Cathy Dear Cathy…Not that this is about me. I did want to share my story with you after reading about Tiger.

I lost my 19 year old orange male cat named Edgar just three weeks ago. I made his choice for him after talking and talking and talking to him about his final days and how would he like to go. I talked to him about the Rainbow bridge and all the other animals he knew that would be there…about the relaxing shot he would get, about how he had been a good cat partner for 19 years and how he would do it for me!!

The morning I was preparing him to go to the vet was a beautiful Maine morning. I thought to myself “Edgar loves the sunshine and being outside so I will put him in the yard until the very last moment…he could enjoy the sunshine.” It became time to go, never thinking that he could or would walk away…he did. The next hour was spent looking all around the neighborhood for him. How could he have walked away when he was so weak he couldn’t eat or drink or even move from the rug he slept on last night? I sat quietly for awhile on my steps, reflecting on the guilt I felt for having made this decision for him, the pain I felt for him being missing and the wonder of all the “what ifs”..what if I never moved him from Virginia, what if I didn’t let him enjoy the sunshine this morning, what if I could have done all the things that seem so invasive (at 19 years old) to have him live a bit longer, what if…what if… what if…

Then I chuckled to myself at the Mantra folks in Maine say. “In Maine, wait 15 minutes and everything will be different, the weather, how you feel, the traffic, the seas.” So I waited. Then it became cloudy. Then it begin to rain. I was so upset. How could it be that this beautiful morning has turned into This?

Then, just like the sunshine that peaked between the rain, it came to me. The very first day Edgar was here, he went under the pine trees into the neighbor’s yard. I followed the path he took that very first day and found him under a car two blocks away.

At the sound of my voice he was trying to get out from under the car, but he was too weak. I rolled under the car and gathered him up, all the while thinking….just to put him to sleep.

The rain stopped, the sun came out, I was at the vet and everything had changed.

For the first time in my life, I have no pets. 15 more minutes in Maine….

Lisa’s Edgar

to love

Have you seen Black Swan? Dis-Tur-Bing. And so I was more than a little surprised last year when I woke up the morning after watching the film to see a white duck floating on the pond behind our house. That orange-billed creature was particularly conspicuous because it swam solo, unobtrusive and isolated, amidst flocks and flocks of Canada Geese. My heart ached a little as I watched. It was as if the entire Goose Kingdom were throwing a party and the little duck was not invited. Worse yet? Invited, but mocked.

This scene was repeated over and over through the winter, but eventually time passed, and the geese moved on. Not the white duck. He (she?) stayed, taking up residence here on Bickley’s pond, paddling about, hanging around, making a home.

Still I worried about it, that friendless duck.

Then the mallards arrived. And over time, the three formed a sweet little group that makes me smile every time I see them cross the lake.


To love, all kinds.

Day 29: Birthdays, boots and love

oh happy day

Today is my birthday.

I woke up giddy because I knew the day ahead held this great promise: I can wear my new cowboy boots to church.

An unusual thrill, I know, for a woman who is now fully into … ahem… middle age. But then I’m quite sure you’d feel the same if you saw these fine kicks, chosen by and given to me for my birthday by my sweet husband.

I love him for choosing a gift that is such an outrageous indulgence—an indulgence not just because they are really nice, but because there is simply no way to rationalize such a purchase. You see, I already own brown cowboy boots. In fact, I own four other pairs.

There. I said it. Five pairs of brown cowboy boots.

(My dear friend Teresa Coles will say you need only consider the CPW — Cost Per Wear. And I will certainly wear the heck out of these boots.)

He knows about the boot collection, my husband does, and still he presented these. As practical as he is, I know he did it simply because he knew it would make me ridiculously happy.

I love a love like that.

30 Days of Grace