Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I walked through the living room, heading toward my kitchen.  As I passed the stairs that lead down to the front door and to the basement in our split level home, I noticed her sitting on the third step.

"Millie... Millie... what are you doing?"

Yes, I talk to my 16 year old cat.  Most of the time she probably can't hear me nor understand, but I talk to her anyway.    Yesterday, she finally turned her little grey head up toward me and gave me her kitty version of the smile, blinking her eyes at me.

I noticed she was sitting in a little rectangle of sunshine beaming in from the sidelights of the front door.

"You're crazy, Millie... can't you find another warm spot?"  I sat down at the top of the stairs, and she slowly moved up toward me, purring wildly.  She plopped down in front of me, and I srtoked her long back.  And then something dawned on me...

Animals are created quite differently than humans.  Their minds work without reason, relying purely on instinct to get them through.  In the 16 year old kitty's mind, where the sun is beaming in doesn't matter on a cold winter's day.  I can find her in a little patch on my bedroom floor as the sun beams through the half moon window in the late afternoon.  She will find a little line of warmth that streams in from the crack in between the blinds.  She will sit upright with her eyes closed on the stairs in the middle of the day to bask in the warmth.  Wherever she finds the sunshine, she stops to enjoy it and soak it in.

What a lesson to learn from my senile old lady cat.

On January 24, 2012, I lost my maternal grandmother, Mattie Olivia Norris, at the age of 92.  There was nor ever will be a more humble, pure, and gentle spirit.

On April 22, 2012, I lost my mother, Patricia Norris Tew, at the age of 65 to cancer.  She was my soft place, my voice of reason, my confidant, my friend, my Mama.

Yesterday, I lost my maternal grandfather, Clifton Norris, at the age of 94.  He was a stearn man, a hard worker, from a generation of difficult times, softening slowly but surely in the last decade of his long life.

In one year, so much has changed, so much has been lost.  Perhaps one never knows how raw their grief can feel until another is poured on top.

In the meantime, I find myself wandering through my life, searching for the little rays of warmth, lovely shapes of sunshine peaking their way through the thickness of grief.  They are there, but they are small and in odd places, unexpected and often awkward.  They are small reprieves from sadness.  Very small indeed, but there none the less.

The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.  {Isaiah 30:26}

Shine, Lord.  Shine.

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