Sunday, October 31, 2010

The End Of October

The Beginning of October started out with high hopes. The beauty of the autumnal leaves, deep azure blue skies, cool invigorating weather lifted our spirits in joyful fall activities. Nothing could stop such paradisaic delights, except when the cruel reality of living in this wicked system raises it's ugly head. Yes, no matter how beautiful the earth looks, no matter how serene and peaceful such fall scenes bring serenity to our souls, it is quickly and deeply marred by the stark reality, that as long as we live in this wicked system there is no paradise. This month of joyful hopes and anticipations ended in the painful, sudden death of a dear sister and friend. We are all deeply saddened at the tragic loss of our loving sister, Chris. She was a good example of faithfulness under difficult trials. Her insightful comments at meetings, and excellent use of illustrations reflected her love and faith in the truth, and her relationship with Jehovah.

Being raised Catholic, once she recognized the truth, she quickly got out of Babylon the Great, helping her four children come to an accurate knowledge of the truth, despite ridicule and opposition from her family. She put Jehovah first in her life, even at the threatened risk of losing her marriage which she tried hard to preserve. Because of the many difficulties and trials in her life she could not see how beautiful a person she really was in the eyes of others and especially Jehovah.

Our lives have been blessed knowing her and her family. Our hearts are deeply broken. We will miss you terribly dear one. We look to the only one that can save all of us, even those sleeping in death, Jehovah, " the God of all comfort." (2 Corinthians 1:3,4)
Jesus said to Martha: "I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life." (John 11:25). "There is going to be a resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous." (Acts 24:15).

These wonderful truths from Jehovah lift us above the painful experience of death, and brightens our hope. May we be zealous in sharing that hope with all those who mourn. "Happy are those who mourn since they will be comforted." (Matthew 5:4).

In the mean time, may we pray for, stay close to, and do our best to comfort those who are mourning this great loss.

This is Raven-as the crow flies.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Sad October Morning

This blog takes precedence to the one I was planning on a much happier note, "Joyful Simplicities for October," but because of a tragic turn of events that I wished had never happened, the death of my beloved cat Kenya, October 23, 2010, this blog takes priority.

Just saying her name makes tears well up in my eyes, and a lump in my throat. Those of you who have lost their dear pets know the feelings I am describing.

Kenya, the love of my life, after 16 1/2 years of mutual love, loyalty and affection was dying from kidney failure. How could that be? She was always strong, active, playful, didn't look her age. Naively, I thought she could go on for at least another 5 years or more, and then die peacefuly, at home, in her sleep. Instead, in the last few weeks she quickly took a rapid turn for the worse. The last few days before she died, her unchanging beautiful face began to look weak and drawn. Despite her frail weakness she still would respond to my call, looking up with her big beautiful green almond shaped eyes, she managed to respond with her sweet trying to please cry, even getting up on wobbly weak legs to show her unfailing loyalty in wanting to please me. What should I do? Maybe it's an infection, or a bad tooth that can be easily fixed, I must take her to the Vet. But what if it is something worse? They may suggest to put her to sleep. What should I do? I felt so helpless, I couldn't save her. I had to decide. Should I let her die at home? Or must I make the dreaded decision to have her put to death? Those of you who have been through this, you remember that feeling, don't you? "It is the right thing to do, merciful, otherwise she will die a painful death", the Dr. said. "She will feel no pain. We will give her a sedative that puts her in a peaceful sleep, and then inject her with a drug that will stop her heart". "No hope Dr?" I asked. "No, I am sorry", he said, his eyes welling up with tears. "I know how you feel, I had to put my dog, my best friend to sleep just a few months ago and he was ony 10 years old. I would have done anything to extend his life another 3 years, but I was only thinking of myself not him. I did the right thing for him by relieving his suffering."

So, with a pain so deep in my heart, and stomach we conceded. I hugged Kenya, kissed her, and told her I loved her. She was then sedated. I could not be present for the final blow of stopping her heart. I left the room. A few minutes later the Dr. came out with my Kenya in a box. We took her home, and my dear husband buried her in the back yard, her final resting place.

In our lesson at the Kingdom Hall Sunday during the Watchtower study, one of the paragraphs spoke about a sister who was experiencing deep sadness due to past experiences in her life before she came into the truth. She said what helps her to get the strength to endure, is the genuine friends and spiritual family that now brings her happiness, and also she tries to focus on what Jehovah promises for the future. Replacing cries of sadness, with cries of joy.

Her comments are so true. In my distress Jehovah helped me by sending my dear family, friends and spiritual family to my aid. They felt my pain and gave me loving support. Thank you so much my dear friend Sandy (Sparrow). You truly are a loving, loyal friend, and I love you for that. Tom (Old Crow), and Mickey (Old Crow's wife), thank you too for being a good friend, showing love, understanding, and kindness. I love you for that. Also, Beth. What a sweet loving sister for wanting to come and give me loving moral support. I love you for that. That's what familly and friends are for. Infact, I was pleasantly surprised to receive from many of the brothers and sisters at the kingdom hall, sincere heartfelt sadness for what may seem to some a small loss. Thank you all. Your love and support was a great comfort and help. I love you all for that.

And most of all we love and thank Jehovah, our greatest friend and suppport, because really, as the scripture in Psalms 72:17-19 says "Blessed be Jehovah God, Israel's God who alone is doing wonderful works."

It is so strange coming home to my house now. Kenya would many times greet me when coming into the house. Her joyful, purring cry, as if to say "I'm happy you are home." No longer do I see her sitting on the window sill looking out the picture window in our living room, or sleeping in her favorite chair in the living room or on the bed in the computer room. No more does she come to sit next to us on the piano bench when we would play the piano. She seemed to appreciate music. No other cat we had has ever done that.

Ophilia too feels the loss of her big sister Kenya. After all she and Kenya have been together for at least 11 years. Whenever Kenya would be outside, Ophilia would cry at the side door to tell us, "let Kenya in," and as soon as we did Ophilia would rub up against her with a joyful cry. There were times they would be huddled together on the bed or couch, and at times they would have a spat, like most family members, but never held a grudge.

It was so sad to see Ophilia at the side door Saturday night, sitting, looking at the door crying, as if to say, "where is Kenya, let her in." Sorry Ophilia, Kenya is not coming in anymore.

Kenya's beautiful face and unique personality is etched in my mind, and heart. I won't forget her. I know as we get back into the busy routine of life, my thoughts of her will become less and less - but I willl never forget her. Something will happen that will jolt my memory of her and I will have tears well up, and pain for a moment again. But my love for her will never be for a moment but always.

Thank you for patiently letting me pour out my heart in this blog. It's not meant to depress, but helps me express my love for my Kenya and try to cope with this painful, unavoidable, part of life we all have in common. Everyone handles stress and grief differently. For me, talking and writing about it helps me cope getting the pain out of my heart, and mind. Also it can draw the love and friendship of my family and friends even closer. One dear brother kindly reminded me of the beautiful promise from God found at Isaiah 65:17-19....."the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart." What a wonderful hope Jehovah has provided.

I am hoping to get my original blog planned for October in before this month ends. If not, it will have to wait until November. Until then.....

This is Raven-as the crow flies

Friday, October 1, 2010

October First!

October, a time of beauty, a time when the earth is starting to slowly settle down, inspiring in us a desire to seek it's colorful, comforting, peacful charm. Let October seduce you with its abundant charm. Robert Frost put it so well when he said of October, "Beguile us in the way you know." "Release one leaf at the break of day; At noon release another leaf; one from our trees, one far away." So as this complex spinning world grows more bewildering, drink in deep this "beguiling month" and enjoy its boundless beauty in joyful simplicities of life.

Above all, may we take the time to thank and reflect appreciatively, meditate deeply, on the one who provided this all, our Father and life giver Jehovah God.

As the custom is, Raven's delight is to learn how each month received its name, October will be no different.

October is the tenth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with a length of 31 days. The eighth month in the old Roman calendar, October retained its name (from the Latin "octo" meaning "eight") after July and August, after Julius and Augustus Caesar respectively, when the calendar was originally created by the Romans.

The first frost usually happens in October in the North Temperate Zone. Leaves change to their brilliant colors, and begin to fall, making the ground a beautiful haven of color. The farmers have to finish harvesting of the crops, but winter isn't here yet. The cold won't stay. In fact, we will still have warm days ahead.

Most birds have left for the south by the first frost, but the sparrows love the weather. They are seed eaters, and eat many weed seeds that would otherwise damage the next field crops.

Farmers bring in the last of the fall crops and either store or ship them to other parts of the world. In some parts, apples and grapes are still on the trees and vines. Many apples are harvested at the end of October.

Football usually dominates the scene in October. Hockey also begins it's season in October. And, the World Series will steal some of the spotlight from other sports.

I will include with this blog some cute October poems, that help us visualize this glorious month.


October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came;
The ashes, oaks, and maples,
And those of every name.

"October's the month
When the smallest breeze
Gives us a shower
Of autumn leaves.
Bonfires and pumpkins,
Leaves sailing down -
October is red
And golden and brown."

Oh suns and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour October's bright blue weather."

Because it is such a beautiful poem, I will print Robert Frosts poem in it's entirety.

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
one from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake,
if the were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the all.

I must end this blog for now! I will return with some delightful fall activities. Your comments are welcomed. Until then....

This is Raven-as the crow flies!