Thursday, June 25, 2009

Our sweet ratty boy Malcolm

I am often speculative on why certain things happen in our lives. I do have a great faith in God and I've had such a blessed life on so many levels. But I know that sometimes God says 'no' to our requests.
Since losing our ratty Nigel a couple months ago, as we saw Malcolm's health also decline, (I'm sure this was compounded by his mourning his brother's passing) I prayed that God would take him so we didn't have to make 'the decision'. But I also had a great faith that we would 'know' when/if it was time for us to step in.
That came last night at bedtime. Stephen & I always checked on him and told him goodnight before we headed to bed. Since the afternoon he'd taken a gigantic turn for the worst. It was so bad that neither of us thought he'd live through the hour...We kept checking hour after hour though, making sure he was as comfortable as we could make it for him and he was still hanging in there at shortly after 4 when we could no longer stay in bed. As a matter of fact Stephen said Mal was trying to eat a blueberry but he kept dropping it.
I then had to wait til 9 am until the vet office opened. Wouldn't you know our trusted Dr. Honse was off this day when I needed her! But I could not let Malcolm struggle to breath any longer than necessary. As it turned out Dr. Morrow whom I'd never met was super, super nice. We hit it off right away and she was a rodent lover to boot which
helped (said she tried to save her hamster with surgery even) Then after she did her thing I was sitting there petting him and I saw our friend Leia (the tech who'd been with us with Piper and mom & dad's realtor)
She came in and stayed with me. It was so nice having a friend there, ya know? Helped alot...
My daughter and I talked about this just yesterday which hadn't been a good day in other ways but we could see God's hand in working certain things out that only He could. I don't care to go into more details so you'll have to trust me on this. Ü God is definately good.
I know Stephen felt horrible that I was going to have to take Malcolm by myself. But you see, Leia only fills in for people on vacation at the clinic nowadays and isn't normally working there anymore. I have no doubt HE put her there so I wouldn't have to go through it all alone.
And to find all the comfort I can in these times I have to remind myself that sometimes our hands have to be empty so that we can receive & grab hold of the new good things God has in store for us.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In the mood for reminiscing?

While we were still living in Missouri sometime in the late 1990's, I told my parents that I was going to make a family history album from all the old pictures I had accumulated. I explained to them in great detail what I wanted to accomplish with them. For an entire year I asked them questions about people, dates, events as I was hoping to put it all in chronological order or at the least have some semblance of organization. I also asked for pictures.
Once they assured me that I had all there was to be had, I began working on the album. The planning alone took a great deal of time because I wanted it to be ‘just right’. Before I'd even put one picture down I'd already spent many days in planning the journaling alone! I finished the album with great pride that it had come together so nicely.
Then my grandma Striker (or Nana as she was called by some) passed away and my dad inherited many, many pictures!! Ok I thought at least the McLaughlin side (mom's family) is complete and I’ll just make additional pages with the new Striker stuff.
Fast forward to 2006, when we finally move back to PA. Not only did I find that in 1987 my mother inherited my Papa & Gramma McLaughlin’s SEVEN photo albums, of which I had no idea existed, but then while moving my parents to their new place in 2008, my dad hands me another bunch of unknown things from the McLaughlin AND Striker side!!! "Did this fall from the sky?", I asked. Where was this all that time I was asking about stuff?
I have decided rather than try to incorporate all these treasures into the album I so painsakingly made before, I’m just going to put them into separate ones to spare what sanity I have left. They won’t be organized nearly as well but then again it’s difficult to combine numerous lifetimes set in pictures that have been stored precariously in boxes for 50+ years.
In some ways I am glad that it all transpired this way. After sorting through the seven albums of my Gramma & Papa Mc I have a better appreciation of what kind of people they were. As a little kid, I only knew them as ‘old’, but these pictures reveal the things that were important to them in younger years, at a time when taking pictures was still a luxury. They traveled cross country in their little travel trailer that my grandpa had built, they gardened, had pets and enjoyed their family. There is a large stack of postcards they picked up as souvenoirs, the original receipt for the ’hand money’ they put down on their house ($5.00!), newspaper clippings of their daughter’s marriages, even a newspaper clipping of the work accident that took my Papa’s thumb when he was 55 yr old! There are car/trailer registrations from the early 1920’s, a letter written by the dr. that delivered my Papa, postcards & greeting cards from family and numerous obituaries. And of course there are pictures of me with them. A cherished thing!
When I was 12 years old I told my gramma that someday I’d have a little girl that I’d name after her, Hallie. And I did, even though my gramma wasn’t around to meet her...But my Papa did and loved her dearly!
So as I get ready to start these new albums I really do consider it a labor of love. These are THEIR pictures of THEIR story from THEIR perspective. And honestly, I think it’ll turn out much better than anything I’d have done by my own accord.