Friday, August 19, 2005

First Words

Thanks everyone for your kind words about Walker. No official cause of death yet; we're still waiting for the lab results to come back. Anne, I'm so sorry you lost your cat too. They really do become a part of the family. I still miss him every day.


On Tuesday, Sawyer said his first words. He looked me right in the eye and said, "Ga ba, ga bee, ggggg [spit bubble, gurgle]." OK, so those aren't technically real words, but still, I was so proud of him! This morning he woke up and immediately started babbling and cooing at the ceiling, kicking his legs and grinning from ear to ear. It was so cute that I didn't even mind that it was 5:45. He's also recently discovered his hands, so he combines these two interests by holding his hands close to his face and talking to them, then shoving them into his mouth.

I had a discussion with my sister Megan the other day about first words. She said that her mother-in-law insists that her son's first word was "basketball." Apparently he watched his dad play so much that he picked up on that before anything else. Suddenly I feel like I have to be careful what I expose Sawyer to. How embarrassing would it be if his first words were "Ryan Seacrest" or "Extreme Makeover"? Or what if it's something vulgar I say to Eric, trying to be funny? (Has anyone seen Meet the Fockers?) When my baby sister (now 11, but still very much the baby of the family) was three she went through a phase where she would watch The Princess Bride every day. She probably had the whole thing memorized, but the one line she would repeat was from the scene where Inigo Montoya finally gets his revenge on the Six-Fingered Man: "I want my father back, you son of a bitch!" complete with a Spanish accent and a menacing grimace. It was pretty entertaining to see her say that in front of guests, especially if they were coming to see my dad for a temple recommend interview. Hmm...maybe I should enjoy the pre-verbal stage while it lasts. But I can't wait to hear what Sawyer is going to say.

Monday, August 08, 2005

For Walker

It's been a rough couple of days. Yesterday morning my cat Walker suddenly and unexpectedly died. He was only a year old and apparently in excellent health. I'd had a long night with Sawyer so I stayed home from church by myself to try and get some rest. Walker had been playful and frisky all morning, attacking my feet as usual and playing with his favorite toy. He followed me upstairs when I went to go lie down. As soon as I had crawled into bed I heard Walker in my closet, meowing very low and quiet. I called him and he didn't answer me or come so I knew something was wrong. I jumped up and ran to the closet where I found him collapsed on the floor, not breathing and with no pulse. For several minutes I tried to resuscitate him, but he was already gone.

Today I drove out to the state lab to have a necropsy performed. The vet who did the examination couldn't find anything wrong, apart from him being a little on the heavy side (I'm sure all that butter was to blame for that). We'll get the lab results back in a couple of weeks but for the moment his sudden passing is a complete mystery.

I miss him so much. We got him right before starting IVF and I totally believe that I owe my ability to deal emotionally with that whole process in large part to him. The day after transfer when I was on bedrest he spent the whole time cuddled up next to me in bed. He had such a fun, quirky personality. I didn't realize before how involved he was in my daily routine, but now that he's gone I notice a huge absence. He would be underfoot while I cooked, he curled up on the side of the tub when I read in the bath, every time I went up or downstairs he would run next to me (several times I nearly fell down the stairs because of him), and he was always there by the door to greet me when I would come home after being out. At night when my foot dangled over the edge of the bed he would sneak up on it and attack. I would yell and he'd scramble off, highly pleased with himself. Funny how now I miss that.

I had a conversation with a friend a while back who had called me shortly after her dog had died. I tried to console her by saying that she would see her dog again in the next life. She immediately disagreed with me and said that her pastor had told her that there are no animals in heaven. I feel intuitively that this can't be right. Why would God create such a variety of life just to have it all cease to exist? Isn't everything God does eternal? When I later went to the scriptures I was comforted to find that Doctrine and Covenants 77 backs me up on this.

2: in...heaven, the paradise of God, the happiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of the fowls of the air; that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created.

Following verses go on to describe resurrected creatures living "in the enjoyment of their eternal felicity" and "full of knowledge" with "power to move, to act." I doubt it's part of our official doctrine, but I believe in my heart that the relationships we form in this life with our pets will continue in the next. And I believe that includes my Walker. I hope when I pass over to the other side that he's one of the first waiting to greet me, just like he used to wait by the door for me to get home every day.

I'll be seeing you, my friend.

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