Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Broken Heart

It was Sunday night and we were just saying goodbye to a friend that was visiting us from our church back in California. I dropped Erin off at her hotel and I start heading home. During the drive home I get a call from Acacia that her cat Tiger Lilly is having a hard time breathing and her tongue is dark purple. All this is happening at about 11pm. I get home and Shelly and Acacia grab Tiger and wisk her off to the animal hospital. They seem to be gone forever. I start to worry and call them to get an update. Shelly tells me that they took an X-ray and it shows that Tiger is only able to use 10% of her lungs. She apparently has some sort of infection and because of her previous injury it is making it worse. For those of you that follow our blog you may remember when Tiger had her ribs broken and her heart was bruised. Evidently somebody had kicked her really hard. Shelly calls me back to tell me that the Vets will keep her and do whatever it takes to keep her alive. Shelly and Acacia finally arrive home around midnight and Acacia is off to bed. We get a call about an hour later that Tiger had died. My heart sank. This is the 3rd cat that has died in the short time that we've been here. In the morning I took the girls to school without telling them that Tiger has gone to heaven. Just as a side note, Shelly left that morning to go to Nepal for a week. She was very hesitant to leave due to the circumstances. I assured her that it would be ok and that I would handle it. When I picked the girls up from school I had a very heavy heart. I sat at a bench in the school playground and told my little girl that her cat went up to heaven. She immediately started crying and I held her in my arms and started crying too. I wasn't crying so much for the cat, rather I was crying that my little girl's heart was breaking once again. The girls have a tendency to gravitate to their Mom when something like this happens. I think maybe Shelly leaving and myself having to deal with this alone was not a coincidence. I think God has some hand in this to create a deeper bond between my daughter and myself.

Acacia asked if we could bury Tiger next to Love Bug in the front yard. She held Tiger one last time and we dug the hole together.

As a way of saying goodbye I had the girls write a note saying what they felt about Tiger Lilly. Acacia's drawing of a broken heart just about broke my heart.

We covered the box that held Tiger and had a little funeral ceremony.

Anna and I both wrote a note to Tiger to send up to heaven.

Acacia standing on Tiger's grave site to pack down the earth.

We attached all of our notes to Tiger on the hot air lantern to be sent to heaven.

As the hot air lantern floats up we say our last goodbyes.

I am so sorry honey that Tiger had to leave this world. I know she meant a lot to you and that you will miss her deeply.

I love you more than all the stars in the sky sweetie!

Love Dad


Carmen Goetschius said...

O these pictures...

Hoping for brighter days ahead.

Love you guys.

Peter Varvel said...

I have tears in my eyes. I am so very sorry to read this.
It breaks my heart to see such a sad and serious expression on Acacia's face in these photos.