Death. It’s everywhere I look this week. I just flew home on a plane from my father in laws memorial service. In the blink of an eye, a life is over. As I was exiting the plane I overheard a conversation between two men in the seat next to me. “Yeah, I just flew home three weeks ago to bury my dad and today I am back to say goodbye to my mom”.
Death evens the score. It reminds us that the ending is the same regardless of how life begins or how we roll through the middle. Doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor, happy or sad. Time eventually runs out and all we can do is sit and wait.
My cat is dying. She is wasting away before my eyes. An animal who was once so fearful of leaving the house just wants to sit outside. I am out here with her fighting back tears that are too strong to contain. I let them dampen my face. It’s been a humbling week. One that will stay with me for quite a while. It’s a peaceful night. Except for the sound of a bird chirping, all I can hear is the gentle flow of the wind. Let it blow through I remind myself. The pain, the regrets, the fear…so many questions. What have I done with the time I’ve been given? Have I loved enough? The cat sits at my feet and the unspoken words between us are too painful to explain. I know and she knows and we just sit here quietly side by side. Have I lived my own life like this silly cat? Have I too stared out the window too afraid to walk outside? I wonder if it’s a message, a lesson that she leaves for me so that maybe one day I can feel the same freedom she feels here tonight. I’ve had this cat for as long as I can remember. I’ve had her longer than my 15 year old son. She started out in Texas and made the move to Indiana and Oklahoma. She was my constant companion through every move. She was a quiet presence of strength and love.
Death is a creeper. I feel it in the shadows as I struggle to make peace with it. It’s been a long couple of days and I am feeling really tired. Maybe tonight I will get some sleep. For now, I will sit with sweet Jimgles a little bit longer. I want this moment to linger. Maybe, just for now, time will stand still and let me enjoy her a few minutes longer. Maybe this last night is all we have. There’s no way to ever know.