Monday, October 10, 2011


Today I dug a hole. I don't use a shovel very often. Not to say that I don't work hard. I do. Or, at least, I feel like I do. But I don't often build, move earth or otherwise have reason to wield large tools regularly. That fact became clear the moment I lifted the handle. The old, sun-bleached wood mocked me like an old horse mocks a new rider. "You don't really know how to use me do you?" it seemed to say. I thought instantly of the last time I had used a shovel. Early in the spring I got a wild hare and decided to dig up a portion of my front lawn (the only part of my lawn not drenched in plant-killing shade) and the shovel mocked me then, too. All day long it laughed at my tender palms as I painstakingly ripped out sod to replace with herbs, tomatoes and few flowers. Somehow, though, today's hole seemed harder to dig. I could blame it on the ivy or the tree roots I chose to dig around, but I know that isn't it. The fact is, the hole I dug today although only about 3 feet deep and 1 foot wide had to hold a portion of my daughter's heart, one of immeasurable depth.
Today Willow, Lily's new kitten, her birthday kitten, the kitten we got 3 days ago, died. She just laid down and didn't get up. I tried feeding her with a dropper. We tried cuddling her. She would not get up. And then, a couple hours later, she was gone.
So, I dug a hole. We picked flowers. She drew pictures. We both cried. And I filled the hole.
Lily is still empty. Two years is a long time to wait for only two days with a kitty. I have a feeling she will be walking to the back of the yard and sitting near that filled hole several times in the next week. Slowly the hole in her heart will heal. Kids are strong, and she is strong. I know that as a mother, this is only the beginning of watching my daughter's heart break. She will be hurt many times and every time I will dig a hole. Every time I will try to something to help her heal. Something tells me that the kind of digging mothers do don't build up calluses. I bet it hurts just as bad each time. The holes, I expect, get bigger with age.
Poor Lily.


Beth said...

How sad....I am so sad for Lily.

Claudia said...

I am so sorry. That is the saddest thing I've heard in a while. I hope Lily will be okay.

Brooke said...

Love your heart felt words Meg, they always touch my heart! Loves to little Lily, tell her how lucky little Willow was to come to earth and spend those few days so loved. Lily did a great job!

Erin said...

Leave it to you to make a kitten's death enough to make a grown woman cry. But beautiful really. Poetry. May the holes be few, shallow, and far between.

Nikki S said...

I am so sorry. Even though the heartbreak will always be there you hope one that big won't happen when they are still so little. I am not sure that made sense but know we will keep lily in our prayers. I'm still not over Kitty's death and I was 18 and he was old. So sorry.

Malia said...

So sorry to hear this Meg. You are such a sweet, tender and compassionate mother. It is amazing how much more we feel the pain of heart break when watching it through the experiences of our children. Pain we didn't know existed. Lily is blessed to have you. You are blessed to have Lily. Love you guys