“Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?””
(John 5:1–6 NLT-SE)
The day Smokey died was a very bad day.
My back issues made it hard to get around much at all and loading him into his carrier and into the clinic was a slow and painful process for both of us.
Leaving the house is stressful… my mother has dementia and I’m the only one looking out for her. I have a Ring camera set up to watch her on my phone when I’m out , but it is still stressful if I’m gone for very long.
I was hoping against hope that it would be a quick visit…just give the old boy some fluids and a shot of antibiotics and we’ll be good to go.
My hope for a quick visit and a renewed cat dissipated as the hours went on without any word. When the doctor finally came out she told me he was a very sick boy…I could spend thousands to try to save him, but the treatment would cause him more suffering and had little chance of working. The kind thing to do would be to let him go.
I was totally unprepared to let him go…the thought that I wouldn’t bring him home never crossed my mind.
I had to make the decision and chose to end his suffering.
She told me to take as much time with him as I needed…I told her we would be here until I passed first if I did.
I thanked the Big Smoke and told him what a blessing he’d been and how much I loved him…prayed over him and held him tight as the drugs sent him to our Master to hold a place for me.
He went in peace, pressed hard against me as if he were trying to share his peace with me.
He always wanted to make me feel better..he died as he had lived.
I had made all the financial arrangements and instructions on his cremation beforehand so I could leave quickly…they allowed me to leave through the back so as not to embarass myself or worry those waiting for news on their loved ones.
The pain in my leg overwhelmed me as I drove home in a cloud of grief and shock.. I had to get a grip…the news would upset mom, but I knew that she would be asking repetitively where he was if I didn’t tell her. A couple of months later, her brain has lost the memory that there ever was a Smokey…mine hasn’t.
After he passed, there was no time to grieve and even if there had been,it was grief I was unable to face.
About a week after he died, the clinic called me to pick up his cremains. They handed me a sack with paw prints printed on it that contained an urn, a paw print, and some of his fur. At least that’s what they said is in it…I haven’t looked in that sack since I brought it home.
The severity of the pain has increased until at times I’m utterly immobile.
I’ve seen chiropractors, acupuncturists, physical therapists and tried therapeutic massage.
I take a lot of painkillers.
They don’t help much.
The other night I was on Facebook and shared an article from a veterinarian telling folks that their animals need and deserve to have their owners with them when they pass.
I started to get really emotional posting it, but stuffed it down to get about my other duties.
That’s when I heard Jesus ask “would you like to get well?”
I’ve always found that question to be obnoxious…who wants to stay sick?
I pretended not to hear the question and stood up to feed Liam.
I was frustrated with Liam…he and I had always been buddies, but since he moved in we haven’t bonded…it was good to have a cat around, but this wasn’t working for either one of us.
Smokey seemed to know me instinctively and we cared for each other well. This big floof seemed only interested in himself.
The voice came back…”Liam isn’t the one with an issue”…
“No one can bond with you if you choose to withhold your heart.”
“The pain in your body won’t leave until the pain in your heart does”…
“Would you like to get well?”
“I’m not sure” I answered … as I hugged Liam and reached for the hand of Jesus…
Make your own application…