Monday, April 26, 2010

Zeb the Cat

There was once a righteous man named Job.  He followed the Law and in God's eyes had done nothing wrong.  But the accuser challenged God, saying Job only obeyed the Law because God had been so generous with his blessings.  So God took away everything--Job's children, livestock, land, home, health and wealth--and left Job sitting in the dust, dressed only in burlap and covered in sores.

Most of Job's friends shunned him, some mocked him, and those who would speak to him insisted that he repent of whatever sin he had committed, so that God would bless him once again.  Job cursed the day he was born and pleaded with God to help him.  As time went on, Job asked God why this happened to him, but he never cursed or turned away from God.  Job also didn't listen to his friends, who were absolutely certain in their idea of God's justice: only the wicked will suffer, the righteous will prosper.  But Job knows he is not wicked; he has always helped the poor, always sheltered the strangers and aided the widows.  To confess wrongly would be deceit. 

Eventually, he questions God: what did I do? If I have sinned against you, let me see the indictment! Job wonders about justice--why did this happen to him, when he has lived a righteous life?

So our dear aunt, 92 years young, never able to have children herself, volunteer superintendent of Sunday School in her church for decades, loved by diagnosed with brain cancer. She accepts this and makes the difficult decision to forgo treatment in favor of spending her last month to two months at home with her dear cat Zeb, her companion of 12 years.  She leaves the ICU and is home for one week.

Then Zeb stops eating, and on the third day the visiting vet comes to her home and finds a large tumor....and then Zeb is gone.  Dear aunt cries more for Zeb than she did for herself.  We cry for our dear aunt.

Finally God answers.  Are you all-powerful?  Do you know everything?  I created the earth and all things in it.  I gave life and strength to all of the creatures you can name.  I know the time for everything and the places for birth and death.   How dare you question my justice!  (And by the way, your friends gave bad counsel, you did nothing whatsoever wrong.)  And Job humbly answers:  You are truly all powerful.  I spoke of things I did not understand; I am so ashamed.  I will repent in dust and ashes and respect the Lord.

Another explanation?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Too Busy to Blog

So sorry I have not posted in such a long time! And, this will only be a very brief update to let you know I haven't forgotten all about blogging!

Right after Easter, as described in my previous post, our 92 year old aunt was hospitalized...and within days she was diagnosed with a brain tumor--almost definitely cancer.  We got her home to her cat, where she most wanted to be, and have done medical visits, hospice and the like.  Faced with a very poor prognosis and the stress and difficulty of treatment, she has opted to forgo aggressive treatment and even biopsy. (Doctors guessed she has maybe 2 months to live.)  We support her choice, which seemed difficult to make, and we understand her reasons also.  Her attitude, which is an outward demonstration of her faith, has been the most amazing thing in all of this.  I've done some thinking about how I would feel, what I would think, want, and need if I were in her shoes.  It's hard.

The cat trapping worked, but I have no new kitty at home.  More on that another time.

Also, due to our aunt's illness, we will be having houseguests, and instead of leaving the extra bedroom all dark and ugly, we've decided to finally get it spruced up!  The painting is almost done, so look for some pictures of the redecorating here on some future date (assuming we're happy with the results, of course.)

There's always a whole lot going on at work but last week was especially busy, as my senior was in trial and I covered everything here....which leaves this week for getting my own tasks caught up. 

But most importantly, my only son's birthday is almost here!!  He will be 16 tomorrow, and when his turn comes around in driving class at school, he will be empowered to drive an automobile.  A true milestone in the life of a semi-rural teen, where cars mean freedom!  Since he doesn't read this blog, I will also reveal that for his birthday, we got him tickets to see one of his favorite bands up in the city.  Hope he's thrilled!

With that, my free time is up (nice visiting with you) and I must go back to one or all of the big matters in life!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Always a Shard of Good

I've puzzled over this post a bit.  Write about the sad or the little bit of happy?  In effect, they're so intertwined that the larger story is necessary in order to tell about my little ray of hope in the midst of it.
We had a nice Easter, which to me means being in church and singing those familiar, much-loved hymns and all that.  It was glorious as always, and we were greeted by dozens of friends there, all sharing in the joy.  Hubby's elderly aunt was visiting with us, and although she's nearly deaf she enjoyed the service too.

After a breakfast of bagels and coffee, they napped while I made our Easter dinner--I glazed and cloved the ham, made the potato salad out of fresh red-skinned potatoes and dill, prepared the pseudo-cheesecake (Jello-brand) and the asparagus.  We sat down just after 5:00, and after a prayer and about 2 bites of dinner, everything went south.

I was concerned right away when hubby's dear aunt couldn't seem to use her fork.  Then she couldn't speak--although trying, she stuttered some first letters but could form no words.  I moved to help her, and within minutes she had a seizure.  We eased her to the carpet....she awoke but still couldn't speak.  Eventually the ambulance came and off to the hospital.  It wasn't the way we expected to be spending Easter evening!

But the strangest thing happened in the several minutes between when the paramedics arrived (around here, medics work with the local volunteer ambulances, driving their own truck that does not transport patients) and when the ambulance arrived.  The competent young medics came in with their kits, our aunt was awake and stable, and in that lull, my husband called to me to look out the door.  I was charmed and amazed!

One of the white Manx cats...the one I called "brother" in the pictures here...was standing on the porch, his front paws on the door threshhold, staring right through the windowpane into the dining room!  As we looked at him, he peered in through the glass, moving his head back and forth, apparently to see better what was going on!  And he did this was with the paramedic truck sitting right outside and the two medics just having walked by him into the house.  He must not be that afraid of people after all!

I looked back after a few seconds to check on hubby's aunt, the ambulance people arrived, and "brother" took off at some point.  But how about that!!  I've had such a special feeling about those cats...just a sense that they are remarkable creatures.  Now I have a renewed feeling that these two Manxes are more than just a couple of strays.  They're something special, and Brother's interest--and (what I probably exaggerate into) concern for what happened inside the house just makes me think even more that they're meant to join our family!   

P.S.:  Hubby's aunt was admitted to the hospital and has not had another major event since Easter, and the Manx has been around for dinner as usual every night since then.