and yet another irony and an interesting occurance…

On Saturday, the vet wanted to see Winnie again for more fluids and some pills to increase her appetite.  I stopped by, met a woman with a Bernese Mountain Dog who apparently didn’t realize that neutering meant testicles were removed.  The conversation went something like, “Is he neutered?”

The owner said, “I don’t know?”

The receptionist came and looked at the dogs rear.  The owner looked in disbelief as if she was amazed that you could tell that a dog was neutered just by looking at it.

It was one of those moments where I just wanted to say… seriously????  In her defense this was a new dog to her maybe she’d never seen testicles hanging down before….she had just rescued the dog from a bad situation.  His previous owner had cancer and a home had been found for the dog.  Unfortunately, the home consisted of bully dogs who didn’t allow the BMD to eat and it had lost a significant amount of weight.  I was glad that John had me to take care of our critters.  One of the thoughts that concerns me is what would happen with the care of my critters when I die.  I’ve made it quite clear that if anybody mistreats them I’ll haunt them!

As we were leaving a woman with a chocolate Lab and several children walked by us.  She looked at me with the cat carrier and said.  “Is it a cat?”


“Is it sick?”

Ummm… seemed like a bit of an odd question… to ask a stranger.  Whatever happened to… “What is his/her name?”  “How old is she?”  “My she’s pretty.”

I said that she was.

She asked, “What’s wrong with it?”

Instead of blurting out that my late husband’s favorite cat was gravely ill… I spit out something about her being old and not eating and loaded kiddo and cat into the car.

Later, I was talking to my friend and found out that we must have missed her by minutes…  she saw the BMD & the woman had said it was a rescue.  And she was also assaulted with stupid questions by the strange lady.  My friend got a large bag of cat food and the strange lady said something like, “You must have a lot of cats.”

She was shocked when my friend said she had two and commented that the food must last her FOREVER!!!  My friend replied that it makes a lot more economical sense to get the bigger bag.  “Oh!” replied the strange lady.

It just seemed odd that my friend and I were separated by just minutes but encountered the same people and somewhat similar experiences… small world…

The third irony for the weekend….

Listening to the audio CD “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion and hearing how another widow misses her husband, John.  Her experience of loss and grief… sometimes so parallel and sometimes not… and hearing from a writer’s and researcher’s perspective was intriguing as well.   She could put into words eloquently the feelings that made sense in my head, but weren’t easily written or verbalized.  Hearing the talk of memories… and recounting the last year you were together and what you did on different days… and how hard it is to cross the year mark… when you don’t have ‘last year together anymore.’  We both shared the how much we’d want John to see this… get his opinion… answer the question… and the lonliness and emptiness of not having our love to share that with.  I encountered a paradox- nice to not feel so alone and that you weren’t the only one with the emotions and feelings– somebody who understood and got it… coupled with the sadness that you had somebody else who understood… somebody who too, had lost their love… their John…


About Mary K. Smith

I was widowed in July 2009, when I lost my beloved husband, John, to melanoma. Cancer SUCKS. We have a young son who was just a year old when his father died. I live on a small farm in Maryland which is home to horses, cats, and a dog. I started this blog as a way for me to heal, a way to remember my husband, and eventually I'd like to share it with our son so he can see the love that his father had for him, the love that we had for each other, what a great person his father was, and how hard his father fought to live.
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