Tag Archives: EmmaRose

The Roses of Our Lives

I know an animal sanctuary where love still wins, where love is always present. It lies in the heart of a family farm nestled deep in a Florida forest.

Here, the life-death continuum is celebrated moment by moment.

And in this moment, I mark the death of feline EmmaRose (ER), a tiny, gray-blue dilute whose top weight was 5.5 pounds. The last I knew, her weight dropped to just over 4 pounds.

At some point in her life she had been declawed but she was a lioness, nonetheless. Even in her waning days, she did not hesitate to attack a cat that was at least double her size.

EmmaRose decided the dimensions of her life.  I don’t think she ever found a dog too large to love but she would not abide a cat. ER grew up with a beagle named Cooper; she would remain a dog lover all her life.

EmmaRose did not begin or end her life with me–we had but six short years—we lived together until eight months ago. We were both chronically ill but my limited physical mobility meant I could no longer meet her care needs.

Maybe a day went by when I did not think of ER but that seems unlikely. We shared a two-room apartment, which was just right for us. After she left, it felt too large. Still does.

This is not a moment of regret. Sometimes, doing the right thing really is the right thing. Maybe it depends on how much it hurts. For me, there are no qualifications for knowing what is right except how my gut feels.

But this I do know: little ER spent the last eight months of her life receiving the love and care that every sentient being should know as death nears.  It was what I could no longer give her.

From the moment she arrived at the animal sanctuary, I not only knew how she was doing but two very thoughtful little girls sent me drawings to show how the rest of her life would be. And that’s how it was.

I received videos and pictures of her interacting with the girls and their toddler brother. It wasn’t all Disney, of course, but ER did enjoy some movie evenings snuggled up with a comforter.

And when it came time for ER to die, the children were with her. EmmaRose went to sleep in the arms of a little girl who loved her. These children, perhaps better than most, understand how precious life is and that it does not last but love does.

We are all star dust. The same energy flows through everything and everyone. No exceptions. We come into the world on it and that’s how we leave. Headed for home.

Until then, there are the roses in our lives, the many colors and kinds of love.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

 

“Poem” Pause: Being By a Cat

Nothing grounds me like a poem. Nothing. It brings me to life right where I am. Crossing the gulf of today’s #DailyDose is not a task too tall. It is paw by paw focus.

as the cat
climbed over
the top of

the jamcloset
first the right
forefoot 

carefully
then the hind
stepped down 

into the pit of
the empty
flowerpot.

(William Carlos Williams, “Poem”)

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

A Possum in the Moonlight

It was the waning hour of the moon, not yet dawn, as feline EmmaRose (ER) and I watched a possum forage in the moonlight, meticulous in its food selection.

It is not the first time we have watched but such viewings are increasingly rare.

The time of in-between, as night becomes morning, can be restless hours but not so this day. Perhaps it is the possum’s focus that stills us.

ER sits a window sill and I abed. Contentment reigns on either side of the window.emma-meditating-0313

When the possum leaves our viewing area, ER yawns and exits her window in favor of her cat food bowl. Within seconds, I hear the familiar crunch, crunch.

Influenced by the possum or simply hungry? I will never know.

Both ER and the possum move into what comes next without hesitation. They just know.

I am content in my moonlight viewing yet without ER or the possum, thoughts distract. Sentient we are yet our sentience is not the same.

Neither ER nor the possum struggle with being present. I move into the next moment stuck in the last. What do I miss by not being present? I will never know.

Every moment is the new now, opening into an experience yet to be explored. It is the only way of being that ER and the possum know.

The new now is the hour between moonlight and dawn, drawing one into the other. There is no catching up, there is only being.

As Rumi says, “The moon won’t use the door, only the window.” And as I watch its light fade into the lifting darkness, I meet the new dawn. There seems a bit more joy in it.

But then, there really is something about watching a possum stroll by the light of the moon.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

Finding the Familiar

As aging beings, feline EmmaRose and I are forgoing the way we once lived. More and more, our bodies surprise. Less and less is there any choice involved.in-her-sun-0413

It feels as if we are living a routine of no routine, easier for me to accept than for EmmaRose (ER).

Always, she lives in the moment— I can only aspire—that I appreciate if not readily accept impermanence may be an advantage.

Regardless, it is our breath, that “fundamental unit of risk” taking us into one experience and out of another. For ER, breath is a no-brainer.

I, on the other hand, either open myself to what is occurring or attach to a related thought often involving finance, relationship, security, or all three.

It is ER’s mindfulness that brings me back to the moment, taking myself out of me and into a broader experience. The “what ifs” dissipate in favor of focus.

Increasingly, ER is uncertain of her surroundings or what it was that brought her into the next room. I know the feeling. Most of the time, I shrug and give up without concern, as ER once did.

Now, she continues to wander unless I help her to return to the familiar. Some days, I find it for both of us.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

Looking Through Relationship

Ours is to co-exist with everything else, even with the insect in the room.

watching 0314There are times I escort bugs and insects to the world outside our windowpane. Perhaps, some return or it is a look-alike bug or insect. Nonetheless, I return them to the other side of the pane.

Theirs is a fragile world, terrifyingly transient, but still, life at full throttle. They meet the moment whether coming or going, going or coming….

EmmaRose puts her paw on my arm—my cue to look through the windowpane— at an armadillo, a rabbit, a possum.

We meet today.
We will meet again tomorrow.
We will meet at the source every moment.
We meet each other in all forms of life.

Thich Nhat Hanh

We value the richness of relationship, are protective of its boundaries. We like the windowpane between us and them. We are not comfortable with all forms of life, having not yet mastered the ease of coming and going.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is.  You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.