Thursday, April 17, 2008


And now, for something totally different, this is Merlin. Merlin is 15 (almost)and, despite arthritis and being a bit pudgy (25 pounds at last weigh in), is still getting around pretty well.

Merlin was my father in law's cat. I will never forget going to visit my father in law and seeing this little bitty black cat in a hamster cage with a can of Fancy Feast... My father in law was not well versed in the care and feeding of a new born kitten, but, somehow, Merlin survived it. We had Merlin's brother, a gray Tabby named Sweetie (because we thought he was a she). They were alley cats and my father in law said the daddy cat was the biggest domestic cat he had ever seen. By the time Merlin was 8 months old he was huge. We were stunned, the next time we saw him after the kitten in the cage incident. A panther like creature (with the little bittiest paws) strolled out of the bedroom. Merlin ate whatever my father in law ate. He is the only cat I have seen growl and chase off a dog 4 times his size over a piece of meat.

My father in law gave Merlin to us the year before he died...when alcohol replaced a cat as his best friend. Merlin came to us demanding people food (no sirree kitty boy) and was not, shall we say "cuddly". I think he missed his daddy. Most days I would find him laying on his back, cooling his tummy like in the picture above. It is almost indecent if you stare at it for too long. In time, Merlin became Leonard's best friend. Wherever Leonard was, Merlin was. When Leonard came home from work, Merlin would stroll up and talk to him until he responded. I swear to God, this cat would talk until Leonard paid attention to him. Krandall (the chair) was purchased in part to make room for Merlin to lay alongside Daddy during afternoon snoozes. They were buddies... and now it seems, again, as if this (not so) little guy is lost. It hurts me to see him wander through the house, crying for his daddy. I know people will think I am crazy but he is not the same cat. He has, in a sense, lost his nuclear person twice. I see him, now, trying to imprint on James. James is annoyed by this and does not appreciate Merlin waking him up in the morning as much as Leonard did. Try as I might, Merlin is just not happy cuddling with me and kneads and head butts and rolls around... finally giving up with what I swear is a sigh. I look at this cat, who is one of my connections to my husband and my father in law, and I dread the day I don't hear that cry anymore. Leonard always promised he would take care of the animals "when the time came". That is the reason why we brought them into the house. I guess it's just another thing affected by his not being here. How different and hurtful this life now is... for us all.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring Cleaning

At least, I hope. There were those 2 (or was it 3 after all) drawers, and I got rid of the dust bunnies (more like ponies) behind the television. So, as I often say, there is that. I am attempting to pitch and sort and decide...because I don't know what to do or where to go right now. I just know that this was our house,and yet I cannot think of it as my house. I don't think I can go on here without him. But, the sifting through of our life (too short) together is too much to contemplate at some points, and not so bad at others. Tears are threatening so I'm going to cut this short. I miss running around, visitng blogs. Perhaps I will do that tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I am not a 9 year old

Tonight was our Parent Meeting for the upcoming trip to Mackinac Island. I find myself wondering what I have signed on for (little sleep, much headaches, and hopefully a few memories of time spent with my little boy to cherish). This will be a tough thing to do because Up North is "Leonard Country" and we once took Nik to the island as a 4 year old and I know that there will be bittersweet memories around each bend our bikes take.

I cannot stand the way the principal acts and speaks toward the parents of the school. One, they had many questions. For many of them, it will be the first time their little ones are away from home over night...let alone hundreds of miles away. And he doesn't appear to take this into consideration and each question asked was a visible irritant to him. I am quite grateful that this is his last year before he moves on to Superintendant... although I do find myself thinking there are other, more qualified people for the job. Ah well. I am sure you will hear lots about this trip afterward. I imagine there will be lots of fun fodder for the blog.

I want to take a minute to thank Linda. Linda, you have no idea how much the candle meant to me. What amazes me is how little gifts and notes and emails come at times when I feel like I am at my lowest (it's amazing how low one can get without truly hitting the bottom). Linda sent me a beautiful votive holder inscribed "This light is me saying a prayer for you"... It is lit and sitting right next to me-making the night seem a little bit less lonely. You are so wonderful to do that. The friends I have made and the outpouring of generosity and caring blow not only me away...but also my dad. He does not come here because he says it is hard enough to read my face... without reading the words that go with it. I do tell him of the cards and the remembrances and gifts that are sent and it has given him a whole different view on this open diary of mine. I know there are times when he thought I should close it down; that sharing this pain was going to end up hurting me more than it would help. I think he sees how cathartic it is for me. Words are all I have. Sharing my love with you all keeps him alive in some small way and I need for him to be alive. Because that can't happen, this is all I have.

Someone mentioned one small word today. "Titatnium"... and I was in tears. Leonard worked with titanium and was an artist in crafting it to the specs he had put forth. I don't think that the word will ever just be a metal for me anymore. It represents a life to me now. A life taken far too soon. The part of my soul that rips wider each day as realization smacks me-hard-each morning.

Good night all.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Two Drawers...or is it three?

Oh boy, what a waste of a day. I did manage to go through a couple (or maybe three) drawers today. I have a donate and a pitch bag just about full. I am at such a wall these days. I don't really know what to do with the future. I'm hanging in there for the suggested first year of not doing something that one might regret, but it's difficult.

To be honest, most of the day I spent sleeping. Not good, not good at all, Laura. I think this weather, and the dreariness of it all, has taken it's toll. I think the situation at home is almost too much. Seriously though, I am okay. I am not suicidal, I am just tired of it all. Don't worry. I'll deal. I still just don't want to.