Tag Archives: love

Love, light & peace for all—Happy, Merry Everything!

holidaylightscover
Dear Readers,

My deepest thanks to you for reading The Way It Is blog.

THANK YOU! 

Also sending out a warm welcome to the most recent followers/subscribers.

I hope that for any of you who celebrated Chanukah –
that it was bright and fun!

chanuka2014
Chanukah lights 2014 by EH.

 

And for all celebrating on this Christmas Eve,
I wish you a Merry and brilliant Christmas
and a Happy, healthy New Year!

Love, light, and peace for all.

Elana

Holiday card copyright Elana Halberstadt /Planet Elana Art Studio, 2014.
“All cats on the bed” (holiday card) copyright Elana Halberstadt /Planet Elana Art Studio, 2014.

 

 

Ringo Good Cat Angel with Fur

Dear Readers,

Ringo has been gone now a little over 26 hours. I just cleaned out her litter box and completely broke down crying. The house is empty without her.

One of the first pics of Ringo, May 1999.
One of the first pics of Ringo, May 1999 at 5 weeks old.

Our announcement about Ringo to friends and family,
written yesterday 10/1/2014:

January 2006 at age 7, photo by Ari Halberstadt
January 2006 at age 7, photo by Ari Halberstadt

Ringo Halberstadt Turits Good Cat

Born, exact date unknown, March 1999
Joined Andy & Elana on May 2, 1999
Died Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Our Dear Sweet Angel Cat, Ringo left this planet at around 10:30 am this morning. 
She was 15 years and 7 months old.

Ringo was born in Hoboken, NJ and rescued by Eileen “Honey” O’Leary. We were truly blessed to have luck put us right there to pass by a friend, who called us over and said, “Guys, you’ve got to come see these kittens!” Andy and I found her there when she was approximately five weeks old. We brought her home and she became an essential part of our family. We have loved Ringo every day since and she has loved us.

Ringo died peacefully and with us holding her paws and touching her beautiful fur. 
The last things she saw were our faces and hands. The last words she heard were 
“We love you. You are a good cat. Thank you, Ringo.”

We talked about arriving at the Rainbow Bridge. We envisioned for her an open field with wildflowers, bugs and butterflies to catch, and a sunny spot of sun for her to be in always.

Grace and Peace to Our Beloved, Ringo, our Love Angel Cat of Destiny and Healing Paws. We miss you dearly, terribly, and we are heartbroken. But we’re also immensely relieved that you are free of pain. Your infinite, kind spirit and soul are already working in mysterious ways to help us through.

Yesterday Max said: “Ringo’s work here is done. She has achieved all her life goals. So now, she can rest.”

This afternoon, after we told him the news, he looked up to the sky and waved, “Hi Ringo.” And then he said, “She will meet up with all the other cats. There’s a cloud where all the cats and animals you knew are playing together. No more pain and running free like when she was a kitten.”

All Goodness and Love.

The last pic I took of Ringo at 12:27am on Oct. 1, 2014, her last night's sleep at home on the purple couch.
The last pic I took of Ringo at 12:27am on Oct. 1, 2014, age 15 years and 7months  for her last night’s sleep at home on the purple couch. (The black spot on her left hind leg is where the extra sweetness went in when she was made.) 

On having to start saying goodbye

Dear Readers,

Yesterday we took our cat, Ringo to the vet as I had suspected something was very wrong. She had started hiding in the closet, lost weight, had a strange smell in her mouth. As soon as I realized, I made an appointment to see the vet.
We learned she is very sick and will die soon.

We’re going to keep her comfortable (pain med and antibiotics from vet have been given) while we have to decide the inevitable — when.
It’s hard to accept. And already I have the dropsies and the bumping into things from the grief which has started. That time- is- sped- up- and- slowed- down simultaneously feeling where you notice everything, but then you want to please, lay down and sleep in cotton, and the sun is too bright, although warm and good with fall leaves turning and falling. Such a beautiful time of year this is.

Ringo is getting delicious brisket and long spells sitting in the window catching sun.
Heavy hearts but M already talking about our next kitty and that he’s quite sure Ringo will be going to the rainbow bridge and the rainbow is the entry point to cat heaven.

detail from a painting by Elana Halberstadt, 2014
detail from a painting by Elana Halberstadt, 2014

M said, “Maybe she will meet up with her brothers and sisters.” I said, “Maybe she’ll meet Pounce who left us in 2003. Or Banana in 1977.”  I know Andy would also think of Schnapsie, his childhood family dog. All of the animals who we love(d) who love(d) us every day and then leave us, always too soon. We’re with Ringo more than 15 years.

Such goodness and all the love as we’re being extra kind to Ringo as much as we can and to ourselves because this will be Ms first death experience. We always joked that she’s his  big sister.
And we have to help him say goodbye. Or maybe he will help us.

Transitions are hard for M. But, I don’t know anyone for whom death is an easy thing. If death is the ultimate transition, I think what an incredible opportunity to show him how we love our furry family member at the very end of her life. How we can say goodbye in a way that is only for love. Ms ability to see past this to a new, future kitten is hopeful.

It’s hard. I’m numb sometimes.  It’s the news you never want to get. Most likely cancer. Denial pops up. It could just be an infection in her mouth and then the antibiotics will clear it up, and she’ll be fine. No, that’s not what the vet said. But we say that because it feels better to hold on to that shred of hope for another day. I’ll be calling the vet tomorrow and we’ll go over everything again. I’ll ask him which types of cancer he thinks it is. I’ll ask him to tell me again what he suggests will be best for her to not suffer.  Tell me the options again.

I started documenting the end and writing in my head and I realize that’s just my coping mechanism. How to turn these feelings into pictures or find a place outside my head to put the feelings to contain them and make sense of things. Tears just roll and roll.

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Then I see something funny  and start looking for more funny  and I find it, and then there’s folding and  sorting piles of laundry. Then sorting and more piles of old papers and magazines and junk mail. Recycle, shred, keep. Contain. Put away. Do something that has immediate results, something I can control. Laundry, piles, or to go outside and smell the freshly cut grass by Andy. Watch M run in the circles of the grass. Try to save the orange mums  that were decimated by a critter overnight. Whoever did the damage left the purple ones alone, but now I want to bring them off the stoop, too. Those flowers make me happy.

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If I can make something that will last after Ringo is gone, even if I never look at it again,
maybe that’s just my way through.

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Of course we’ll be ok. With so many disasters and true hardships in the world, this is a personal story, nothing more or less. Just about our cat, Ringo, and things related to that, which feels like everything. She’s one I turn to for a hug and snuggle when the world feels too much to bear.  When the news is too grim and gory, Ringo is the balm of comfort.  Always perfect love. Makes everything better, makes it all tolerable somehow. Life’s moments of difficulty, eased by her presence. All the celebrations made sweeter with her here. Every day for over 15 years and counting.

This is what we’re going through now, and so I think about that; how one goes through this — losing a beloved animal friend. It doesn’t matter how many times you may have experienced this, it is never easy. Each time you go through it, it is new. Each animal has a unique soul.

So, you just go through it, however way you do. Knowing there’s no way to stop how much it hurts. No way to measure the love. No means by which to show gratitude sufficiently to the creature that is our Ringo, such a good cat. She has lived a life better than many humans. Most certainly better than so many animals. She has only known love. She has only given love. Every day since May 2, 1999 when we found her at 5 weeks old, so tiny she fit into the palms of our hands and measured 5″tall.

Pizza saves the day. Sweet treats, ice cream cones with chocolate sprinkles (or Jimmies as we said in Boston, MA when I was little). Andy made us a fabulous dessert and is cooking again, and I’m peeling tiny clementines by the handful in between cake and coffee with cream. Because sometimes I have no appetite at all, and other times, I can’t stop eating every morsel of comfort food put in front of me and with plenty of water to drink.

Sitting on a chair next to the window holding Ringo and listening to birds and kids playing outside. Then I watch her enjoy sitting in the window, sniffing at the air.

watching birds 9/27/14
watching birds 9/27/14
nice air in the window 9/27/14
nice air in the window 9/27/14

I took pictures of her on the sunny spot on the floor in the dining room and her whiskers are lit up shiny in the sun, on the floor with crumbs and bits of fur and all the imperfections. You can see she is thin and that the floor is worn and needs to be swept.

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shiny whiskers

The kind doctor who hugged me and gave a wad of tissues while I absorbed hearing the news and the options and accepting but not being able to say yet, yes, we will do this or that, because we just found out, she most likely has cancer, an aggressive kind, and it is untreatable. To find out for certain would require surgery and a biopsy, and then  she would not be able to be helped anyway. Doing this procedure  would confirm the  vet’s most likely opinion which he formed from a thorough visual exam, tests, the symptoms. The procedure would accurately name and type it.   We will not put her through that. She’s over 15 and she’s been living a wonderful life. It’s been a good run. Her time is coming, even though we’ve told her repeatedly that she must live forever.

With the vet’s help, we’ll keep her comfortable, giving her days with treats, open windows, and love. Not unlike any of her regular, pre-sick  days.

The vet said, “We’ll take it day by day.” He has promised me that we can hold her or her paws when it’s time for the rainbow bridge which will be soon.
Too soon.

All love,

Elana

 

Dadderday

Dear Readers,

Wishing a Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there!

Here’s to Ms dad, Andy. You’re the best.

fathersday

From M to Andy via a multi page card/booklet made at school:

allaboutdad

I’m also the proud daughter of Jerry Halberstadt who recently won the 2014 Gil Adrien Award for Outstanding Advocacy for his tireless efforts in Peabody, MA.

Sometimes rabble rousers win, which is really great. But winning is not the goal–making a difference in people’s lives is. So, as far as I’m concerned, he was a champion long before receiving this award. I congratulate him for his work, for making a difference, and for this well deserved honor.

CONGRATULATIONS & HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

An excerpt from the article below:

ILCNSCA presented the 2014 Gil Adrien Award for Outstanding Advocacy to Jerome Halberstadt of Peabody. The Adrien Award for Outstanding Advocacy, named in honor of ILCNSCA Founder Gil Adrien, is given to an individual with a disability on the North Shore or Cape Ann who, by his/her actions and accomplishments, has done the most to promote the ideals of the Independent Living Philosophy.

Jerome was recognized for his leadership and advocacy with the Stop Bullying Coalition, working on legislation to stop the bullying of elders and people with disabilities living in subsidized housing. He has worked collaboratively over the past two years with Senator Joan Lovely, Representative Leah Cole, Massachusetts Alliance of HUD Tenants and has been given full support by the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann Inc. Currently the anti-bullying bill, Senate bill 604 is on extended deadline by the Joint Committee on Housing.

http://peabody.patch.com/groups/goodnews/p/peabodys-halberstadt-recognized-for-his-outstanding-advocacy

Here’s to dads that make a difference in  so many big and small ways!

It’s impossible to fit all this on a card or a quick post…so whatever this day means to you, I hope it’s beautiful and full of love, good memories, or both.

Love and peace,

Elana