Monday, November 29, 2010

Quietly Thinking

  • I believe I've finally found my heart's desire.
  • I am a farmer.
  • That's what I want to do with my life....and now I just have to figure out how to make that happen.

The last week has been so eventful that I thought I would change things a bit today. Besides, I'm in a rather quiet mood, and this seems a bit more appropriate.

  • I had thought to avoid saying anything more about my cat, but am finding that the grief is such that I can't avoid it. It's bound to color my life for the next few days or weeks, and it would be dishonest to try to cover it up.
  • My beautiful Tynan was approximately 18 years old, but up until the end he showed almost no signs of either his age or his illness. Diagnosed with diabetes seven years ago, he defied the odds and rebounded quickly from the few setbacks he had. However, I was fully prepared for his decline, and thought I knew the form it would take.
  • Life throws us surprises, though, and yesterday afternoon he threw a blood clot which caused a massive stroke. The only thing unaffected was his heart and lung function, and it was clear he was never coming back. The blessing is that my father had on hand the euthanasia drugs he needed - just exactly enough to ease Tynan's passing.
  • Much as it hurts - and I do feel like I've been hit by a truck - I recognize that in many ways we were lucky...that this happened at my parents' home where my father could be there and help, that the children didn't see anything, that he was spared a long diabetic decline, that he never suffered.

I'll fess up now. I'm writing this late Sunday night because I can't sleep. With the exception of the one year I lived in the college dorms as a freshman, I've had a pet snuggled up in bed with me every night since I was in the sixth grade....and for the last 18 years that's been Tynan. I tried coaxing my husband's papillon next to me, but her wee doggy body and twitchy doggy dreams didn't help matters at all.

So enough of the sad stuff, let's talk about the good.

  • Technically, I hate cats.
  • I am a dog person.
  • I had a cat because my parents refused to let me take my dog to live with me when I moved into a condo my sophomore year in college. Rotten parents. Stole my dog.
  • I got even by conspiring with Dad's receptionist to find a cat. Take that!
  • Of course, Tynan was really more doglike than catlike. We are very sure he was at least part Maine Coon. He was always in charge, never ruffled by anything, persistent to a fault and supremely confident. He could scare large dogs without ever lifting a paw (and frequently did to rather hilarious results), had a purr so loud that it could be heard over the phone even if he happened to be 10 feet from the receiver (in his younger years he also trilled) (I'm pretty sure he's caused earthquakes.), never hid from anyone (except if he thought he would have to go in the car), was very hard to ignore, and would sleep on top of me no matter how I tossed and turned, oozing over me without ever once being disturbed.
  • Tynan was very much attuned to how I felt, and whenever I would have a migraine he would curl up next to me and purr softly to help keep me calm. Often I would hold him close and bury my face in his fur. As many of you know, I gave birth to both of my children here in my own home, and with both Tynan stayed with me all afternoon through my labors, curled up in my arms on the bed, purring softly to let me know that everything would be ok.
  • And that was Tynan.

Returning to the farm thing.

  • Anyone who knows me at all will know that the question of what I am to do with myself when I grow up has plagued me for years.
  • It's an old, and very complex problem....and I don't think I really need to go into it again. Suffice it to say that I believe I've spent a lifetime denying what I want because it just didn't match up either with what I think others have expected of me or with the pressures I put upon myself to live up to my intellectual gifts.
  • Denying one's heart is a very bad thing to do.
  • When we were home this last weekend, though, I felt great contentment fill my soul as I would bundle up and head out to the pasture to watch the sheep. There is a clarity that comes to me when I am working on the farm, and a peace that I find nowhere else.
  • Realistically, I know we can't go out and buy a farm and just go at it. This is a long-term goal that is going to require much thought and planning, possibly with some other work along the way to make it possible.
  • The important thing is that I've finally recognized it fully for what it is.
  • I am a farmer, and that's what I want to be.

I imagine you are going to be rather tired of sheep pictures in the coming week, so let me reassure you that I do have crafty goodness to talk about as well. That will include, but will not be limited to:

  • The completion of the knitting portion of the girls' Christmas sweaters.
  • A new design first!
  • My plans for spinning, with an eye towards four fleeces in the spring.
  • The finished felt clogs.
  • A sock project that a friend of mine and I are contemplating.
  • Christmas plans!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!


Kelley said...

Dear Kristin,

Today's blog entry, and the other's since you acquired your delightful flock of Jacob's, have been treasures.

Losing a pet has a particular pain attached because there is no real way to say goodbye. And, their presence is such a constant part of our lives that they leave a large hole after their passing. So, don't question the depth of your grief.

I hope that sharing the stories of Tynan's last hours and his incredible personality has helped a bit. I'm getting a migraine as I write and Xena is right next to me. I will have a quiet day waiting for the "storm" to pass with my little white bundle keeping me constant company.

I too struggled with the pull of my heart and the expectations of family when I was younger. I am so pleased that the Jacob's are giving you a bit of agrarian peace.

I have a dear friend who accompanied me to a horse show to watch my niece compete. When we got out of the car, we each took a deep breath, smiled, looked at each other and said, "Manure!".

Farming is definitely not going to be in my life as I see it. But, I appreciate the vicarious life I can lead through your blog entries. Thank you


margene said...

Loosing a long loved pet can be very difficult. You have so many good memories of him I hope they sustain you and bring you peace.

Shelda said...

Been there, too many times, with kitties. The pain of losing an animal companion is mighty, and I think you're on track to just feel it, and write about it when you need to.

Fun photos of the sheep and llamas. What was the impetus to start the flock?

A Day That is Dessert said...

Kristin, thank you for sharing about Tynan's life. I've had two cats die, last year and the year before, as you may remember, and I still miss them. You and your family are in my thoughts.

It's exciting that you're open enough to your 'inner voice' to recognize your draw to farming. Who knows where it will lead?

Wishing you as peaceful a week as it can be. Perhaps holiday music will help :)

Denise said...

Losing a pet is never easy. It will take time to mend.