Posts tagged ‘death’

January 10th, 2012

Saying Good-Bye to Punxsutawney Phil

Good-bye, Punxsutawney Phil

By Heather Von St. James, Guest Blogger

Throughout my life, I have been called an eternal optimist. I have always believed that the glass is half full, not half empty. I am blessed with the ability to see the best in any situation. But my optimism was sorely tested on November 21, 2005, when I heard the three words that no one ever wants to hear: You have cancer. I was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a life-threatening form of cancer, just three-and-a-half months after the birth of my precious baby girl. I was only 36 years old.

When you are diagnosed with cancer, you have two choices. You can curse God, ask “Why me?”, and spend your time immersed in bitterness and self-pity, or, you can choose to accept the diagnosis and get ready for the fight for your life. I chose the second option, and I have never looked back. I was determined to make the best of this situation, to fight as hard as I could, both for myself and for my child, and to use my positivity to help others along the way.

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May 21st, 2010


Sammy and Mikey

Families are about more than people. My immediate family consists of my husband, our Little Miss, myself and our two pets: Felines, both, named Sammy and Mikey.

Yesterday we learned that Sammy is ill. I have suspected something was awry for a little while now, but after procrastinating for as long as my conscience would allow I finally acquiesced, accepted the inevitable, and took her to the vet. My fears were confirmed.

It’s hard to deal with the loss of a pet, but even harder to be the one to explain it to your child. Having to look Little Miss straight in the eyes and tell her that this is the last weekend that Sammy will be with us, that early next week her Dad and I will take Sammy to the vet for the very last time, was, well…soul sapping. At her age, Little Miss understands death, she gets the finality of it all. She knows that “being put to sleep” is a pleasant euphemism used to camouflage the true nature of the act it describes, which really has nothing at all to do with sleep. And so, with tears pooling in the corners of her dark, almond eyes, I wrapped my arms tightly around her and mustered up the strength to issue the following pearl of wisdom and comfort: “I know, Honey. It just sucks.”

I am not a crazy cat lady, really. I just like my cats. Sammy was mine for 15 years, my longest relationship as an adult. Through my first marriage, my step-child, the birth of my own child, my divorce, my current marriage, and all that has followed, there was always Sammy, purring her loud, diesel-engine purr; pawing at my shoulder to remind me to keep stroking her calico fur; and following me from room-to-room, day-after-day, year-after-year, a subtle reminder of her constancy. I will miss her.