In December we had taken a sweet doggy named Cassie into our home. She had been found at a shelter by my sister in law, Shonna, when she was just a pup. When she moved to a place that couldn't take dogs, my brother in law took her. Then she hung out at my parents in laws. (is that even a real phrase? Who knows, but I'm using it any way) Chris' dad just loved taking her with him all over town. She was his constant companion. Then he passed away two and a half years ago, leaving my sweet mother in law to take care of Cassie.
Cassie had arthritis and had a condition that made her pee every hour or so. Cassie was in a lot of pain and they tried every thing to help her. She came to our house in December so that she could have a warm place to sleep and a doggy door to the backyard to allow her to pee when she needed to. We knew that we were bringing her to our home to give her a place to die. We knew it was coming. And we were hoping it would be a long way off.
Little by little she has been deteriorating. A few weeks ago she had a seizure and we found out she was severely anemic and probably had cancer. We held onto hope and tried to make her feel better. Yesterday after seeing that she was ready to go, we made the decision.
Shonna met Hannah and I this morning to head to the vet with Cassie. We were all sobbing. Cassie just sat there staring at us with her beautiful brown doggy eyes. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. We left her with the vet and headed home. There was tears down every cheek. Then between sobs Hannah pipes up with, "Can we go out to ice cream today?" We started smiling and laughing. I love how children make us look at the bright side. She knew just what was needed to make us feel better.
The rest of the day was good. I spent the day with Hannah and we just celebrated life. After a few things I had to get done, we spent some precious moments painting toes and fingers. I loved seeing her carefully try to paint her own toe nails, finger nails and my fingers. She was just delighted picking out the colors and the fun stickers to decorate our nails with.
We had a wonderful lunch together and then headed out to Screamin' Mimi's. We both got double scoops of hand made ice cream and I even got a bowl for Bekah. We sat out side in the sun. Each of us kicked off our flip flops and enjoyed our ice cream with the warmth of the sun on our feet. Hannah sat on a bench across from me and we made silly faces at each other and giggled. It was what our hearts needed at that moment. There were beautiful pink flowers growing on either side of the door with a purple chair next to each. God was giving us grace and beauty when we needed it the most. At the car there were more beautiful flowers that made me smile. I took pictures to remember that moment.
After Bekah got home from school, she had her ice cream and then we painted her nails too. I loved each moment with the girls next to me and sitting on my lap. The sun was lighting up their hair and the breeze was blowing it in wisps around their sweet faces. I am so thankful for this time with my children.
After bath time, Bekah had a melt down. . . crying just because. Most likely she is grieving our sweet Cassie. She cried for days and weeks for Bailey and we had to put her down only eight months ago. I held her as she cried and sang to her the song, Baby Mine. That always makes her feel better. Then the girls lay down and I read to them from, The Star of Light. This was one of my favorite books as a child. Then I tucked them in and kissed them good night. I love the sweet smell of freshly washed little girls. They make me smile and laugh.
God allows things that are hard and difficult into our lives. He also gives us beauty and good things. We need to be thankful for the good and the hard. Today, I experienced both.