This week is going to be a bit tough on me. Yesterday, I had my dentist appointment (which is never fun). I have had terrible luck with dentists in the past, so it has been a dream to finally find one who isn't a drill-wielding psychopath. I have very healthy teeth, good brushing/flossing habits, and a low sugar diet - in short, I really don't need to worry too much about cavities. That doesn't mean I don't still get stressed out going in to an exam...But I think the worst part of the whole ordeal for me is that sadistic hygienist with the pick of doom. I still wake up at night screaming, "NO! Not the pick!!!" So while I now have freshly cleaned teeth, I was definitely a ball of nerves yesterday. I came home and imbibed in quite a few beers while hugging my squirmy little kitten.
Speaking of kittens, the main reason that this week will be so difficult for me is that tomorrow marks the 1-year anniversary of my beloved Jugi's death. A year has gone by so quickly - I admit to being shocked that this date snuck up on me like this. A year ago, my beloved kitty was dying of cancer, an aggressive tumor that was squeezing his larynx and making him struggle for each breath. He went from healthy and happy to emaciated and barely able to draw in oxygen in less than 2 months. On this day, one year ago, I was reading to Jugi next to the indoor grow light (the tree had crashed through my greenhouse, and all of my plants and grow lights were in the living room until the greenhouse could be repaired - Jugi loved to be next to the lights because they were so bright and warm). I had picked up a Winnie the Pooh book, and was reading out loud to him little stories from it, because I could tell that when I read to him he didn't focus on how hard it was for him to breathe. I remember that I reached a part in the book about being friends forever, even when you are not with each other, and I completely lost my composure. A year ago, at this very time, I was waiting for the next morning when I had to make the terrible choice to end his life. Who are we to play God? How can we not?
I think what proves to be the most difficult for me is not the memories of what happened (though I still tear up any time I let myself remember it), but the dilemma of how to mark this day. Obviously, it's a terribly sad day - and an important one to me - but I don't want to be depressed tomorrow and celebrate it as such. Still, how can you be HAPPY about a day like that? So there is my dilemma...I feel as though I need to do something to show how important this date is/was, but not something sad. I suppose, that being said, the thing that I could be thankful for is finding and adopting Jugi 2.0 last May. I remember seeing his picture on the adoption website, and there was just something about him that reminded me SO much of my old Jugi. It was the way he was sleeping, but not in any definite way that I can identify. I suppose you could say he just radiated innate "Jugi-ness." He reminds me a lot of the old Jugi as well - they share a similar-looking face, and have a lot of the same mannerisms. I had to laugh: original Jugi was weird about his water dish (if there was even the SMALLEST speck of something in it, he would dig all of the water out of his bowl - and onto the floor - in order to get the speck removed), while Jugi 2.0 is obsessive about his food dish (he has to pick each kibble up with his paw and drop it on the ground before eating it. If, heaven forbid, he drops TWO kibbles on the floor at the same time, he flips out). Jugi 2.0 has really gone a long way toward healing the wound in my heart. Original Jugi was my furry best friend for years - long before I moved to Oregon; before I even met my husband! When he died, I lost a part of myself. I am slowly finding that part again with the help of Jugi 2.0.
Maybe I can celebrate tomorrow as a day of friendship: remembering the old friends, and celebrating the new ones.
Devote yourself wholeheartedly to the moment, recognize that it is good, and enjoy it with all you have.