Not Quite Dead…


The cats are wondering why there’s a paper bag with half-dead flowers sitting on a chair at the dining table.  Then they discover the last drops of the milk in my cereal bowl and they’ve forgotten the flowers.


The flowers had such a righteous beginning that it didn’t seem right to toss them in the trashcan. They don’t belong in the garbage with empty milk cartons, coffee grounds and dust bunnies.  But they are long past their prime as Table Décor.  About half of them are withered.  Colors faded.  Edges browned.  The brilliant yellows have taken on a sickly greenish tinge.  The baby’s breath has shriveled up, making the flowers’ demise especially poignant.


But the pinks and purples are survivors!  Carnations and the daisy family members still have a bit life.  They’re not-quite-dead, so tossing them feels just too careless—like I’m burying something alive.  Sometimes I deal with the fresh flower issue by carefully plucking out the few ‘survivor flowers’  and put them in ever smaller vases as I continue to pick.


As I said, the flowers had a righteous beginning.  They were given in love and affection by my children for my 60th birthday. (There, I’ve admitted it in public now.) So when I couldn’t leave them out as Table Décor anymore, I took them out of their vase (Oh my, I’ve cut off their food supply!) and put them in the paper bag, which looked more dignified than the garbage can. 


Later on I see them as I pass through the dining room.  They look pretty silly on the chair at the head of the table.  Oh dear, why have I complicated my life with this?


It almost, not quite, but almost, feels like the time I had to make the decision to have my 15 year old cat put to sleep. Am I blowing this out of proportion? Geez, sort of. But wait, maybe I’ll get in touch with a deeper reality.  Sigh.


Should I adopt some cats so I wouldn’t get too maudlin here?  Oh yeah, I did that already.  I have two cats, but they are in the middle of one of their 5 hour naps. 


I will need to make a decision about the flowers before The Hubby gets home.  They are sitting on His Chair after all and I don’t think I’ll be able to explain this to him.  He’ll give me one of those ‘over the top of his glasses look’ even if he doesn’t have them on.


I don’t know which side is going to win.  My practical, logical side, which chides me (“Just toss them for crying out loud!  You’re being ridiculous!”) and is often at odds with my very right-brained, feminine and contemplative side.


This is the part that lets me spot a marvelous display of sunlight intertwined with delicate shadows dancing on the wall…or the silvery threads of a garden orb spider that I discover just in time so I don’t disturb it. These ‘moments of grace’ are gifts–like being gently brushed with Divine Mercy.




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Searching for cat care tip
    Apr 18, 2008 @ 21:28:42

    Wow, I’ m so sad with you! I haven’ t had to deal with the loss of a pet yet but I do have 3 cats. One of my cats we got 2 & 1/ 2 years ago from a friend who’ s grandmother passed away. Her name is Sasha. She is 13 years old. In just the few years we’ ve had her, we’ ve noticed her deterioating bone health. She really is so loving and can’ t imagine life without her. We do all we can to make her life easier at home (steps, laxatives,soft food,etc. etc. etc). Our 2 other cats are both 4 years old and we’ ve…


  2. rahmama
    Apr 18, 2008 @ 23:48:39

    I just noticed your comment in my spam box. I am new at this blogging thing and didn’t even know I had a spam box.
    Yes, I know how attached one gets to an animal esp. when you’ve had them for so long. You sound like a caring person.


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