January 28, 2005

Tender Heart

Yesterday the gray sky dominated the morning and afternoon. An early morning rain had already quenched this desert's thirst and a light sprinkling continued throughout the day. After school, I loaded the two younger girls into the van to do a few errands.

On our way home, I took Main. I sometimes prefer the color and comfort of the buildings and people rather than the destination speeders of the highway. As we drove along, Performance Today going in the background, C pointed out something in the middle of the road. She thought it to be trash. I recognized the crumpled form of a yellow tabby. Before I even considered the consequences, I uttered a low and sad ooohhhhhhh.

C questioned my response. I told her that it wasn't refuse, but a small cat. Her brow wrinkled. I continued driving. About five minutes passed when a quiet sob slipped out of her. I looked over and then touched her arm. She broke down, weeping. I asked her what was so upsetting. She said she felt so sorry for the cat. I held her hand and continued driving while she cried. I asked her what about the cat's death made affected her so strongly. She told me that she didn't understand why people just dumped animals. It was wrong. I explained that perhaps the cat did have a home and was out. She said it was "just so sad" and that she would like to have given it a home and loved it, taken care of it. So, with that information, I rephrased her statement into a question: "Being with people who love you is important to you, isn't it?" Her tear-stained face nodded. "So, the thought of the cat being alone is upsetting to you?" "Yes," she choke out. I reaffirmed how much we loved her and how much I appreciated her compassionate nature and her desire to help all God's creatures who are in need.

She continued to cry quietly. After I pulled into the drive way, I leaned over and hugged her and told her that I loved her so very much. C held onto me for awhile. I heard her breathing begin to slow, and when a final cleansing sigh expelled the grief she had felt, she let go and said, "Thanks, mom. I love you, too."

Posted by Rae at January 28, 2005 11:06 AM

Hmmm... wonder where -or from whom- C acquired her tender heart? ;)

Posted by: pam at January 28, 2005 12:08 PM

Boy, do I empathize with her.

(cried more than a few times myself over dead pets on the freeway)

Posted by: Ith at January 28, 2005 12:09 PM

I was just like C too. I wanted to be a veterinarian, but then I found out that they sometimes have to kill animals at the owners request, and I just didn't think I could do that. Every time I have to drive over road kill I cringe, and sometimes get sick to my stomach--death is always sad--it is a result of the fall, not how God intended things to be....just thinking out loud here. I like the way you handled that with her, it was very tender.

Posted by: Joyella at January 28, 2005 09:16 PM

Interesting, Joyella. Our second oldest wants to be a vet, but we have already begun to try to strengthen her for the ethunasia of animals (explaining it is better to put an animal out of its misery than to let it suffer). She a very strong J and I think it bothers her a bit, but she can justify the need. C is a P and an extreme F, so her little heart is typically full of empathy for every creature.

Ith- me, too. I find it so hard to see a dog wandering down the street and obviously looking around for a certain something or someone.

Pam- Awww, thanks. That was a great compliment and so kind of you.

Posted by: Rae at January 29, 2005 12:47 PM
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