Monday, September 19, 2011

Scribbles, R.I.P.

Today is a sad day. Our pet cat, Scribbles died early this morning. His illness came on suddenly and we took him to the vet on Friday. They could not identify what exactly was the cause of his illness. We decided against expensive and intensive treatment that didn’t have any guarantees, and brought him home.

Suddenly I missed all the things about Scribbles that I used to complain about. Like when he would jump on the table. His uncanny ability to appear when I took out the can opener from the drawer or some Deli meat from the fridge. How he’d stand up, paws on the kitchen counter, head looking up expectantly. I’d have to keep a pile of turkey to feed him to get a little space to make my sandwich. I missed him chasing Shady around the house, galloping up and down the stairs, waiting at the door when he heard Angel’s car, sitting on top of the rocker while I did my crosswords. I feel so guilty for yelling at him. I didn’t realize how much I loved that little ball of orange fur. How much a part of our family he’d become.

When Scribbles was a kitten, the pattern on his side looked like the letters J-O-Y. Tina named him Scribbles; it was a good name for him. But he did live his life filled with “Joy”. And he brought lots of joy into Angel’s life. And mine.

Angel was so good to Scribbles. He cared for him when he was well and during the two week mysterious illness that claimed his life. Angel said that Scribbles was a good friend to him. Well, Angel was a good friend to Scribbles. He sat with him and comforted him to the end. That’s what friends do. And it’s hard.

What did Scribbles teach me in his brief life? That when you are free to be totally yourself - and he was! - no matter what old lady is yelling at you, then you live a full life, a life of joy. And you bring joy into the lives of others, even though you are a lowly furry creature.

I learned that what annoys me about others may very well be what I miss most when they are gone. So maybe I need to reassess all my relationships. They may not be what I think they are. They may mean a lot more to me than I realize. Thank you, Scribbles. Thank you for being you. For bringing joy into our lives. Thank you for annoying me - I needed that. I will miss you mucho.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ecclesiastes and 9/11

September 11th is a day of joy and sorrow for me. A time for dancing and a time for mourning. A time for celebration and a time for grieving. (Ecclesiastes 3)

I give thanks for my beautiful daughter Lisa, who was born on September 11th, 45 years ago. One of the greatest blessings of my life.

What happened on this day 10 years ago can never erase the beauty of September 11th for me. For it is Lisa’s birthday. So how can I stop from singing?

At the same time I mourn the loss of so many lives that day I remember so well. And I mourn the loss of so many more lives that followed because of the attack. I mourn the loss of freedom, trust and innocence that has permeated our world because of the attack.

I am sorry we could not have held together in unity for longer. I remember singing “God Bless America” with hundreds of strangers of every race and color and creed along First Avenue days after the attack. It was such a feeling of solidarity. But it did not last. Instead we sent troops to kill and die. And get even.

A time to be born and a time to die.

Today I choose LOVE, not fear.

Here is a reprint of a poem I wrote years ago that speaks to what I feel today.

for Lisa & Me

There are shadows in the rainbow
Did you notice?
You can hear the heavy silence.
It whispers to you of what was.

Come rain, wash away
the guilty tears of summer
with drenching drippling.

September has returned
Fair daughter of Virgo
Who dares to rip out her radiance
from your grieving heart

Her softest breath caresses
wounded memories
that wrinkle
the still surface
of your soul.

Her bountiful blue
and sultry perfume
shout to you
of what is.

Copyright E. Ramos 9/7/2002