Rescued

Today I am sore, I cannot lift my arms above my shoulders, my hands are cramped and wrists painful to move. I have taken dozens of slivers out of my fingers and finally washed the dirt, moss and leaves from my hair.

I feel as triumphant and proud as I did defeated and broken only 24 hours ago.

I felt all the feels and emotions yesterday, last night as I finally dozed from exhaustion of mind and body.

My 13 year old son was given a beautiful tort kitten for his 12th birthday, something he longed for and babied upon receiving.

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kitten  This was her as a kitten, smaller than our 7lbs chihuahua. He named her fireball because she has streaks of lightning along her face and a white tip at the end of her tail that looks like a flashlight.

After she was spayed, got all her shots and after she turned 1 we started letting her out for short periods of time, never going to far from our front or back yards and always coming back.  Until yesterday, well the night before now.  I had not seen her all day and had a funny feeling about it but hoped she’d return by nightfall. my son went out looking for her 3x before going to bed that night and I knew something was wrong. I prayed we didn’t find her hit by a car the next day or worse eaten by coyotes.

best biddys  George, our chihuahua her best friend also knew something was wrong, she was restless and paced the house seemingly barking at the wind.

The next morning (yesterday)  still no fireball, my son opened the door to call her name all night long, I even walked out back at 2am hoping she would be there. I drove them to school and promised I would go look for her, I wanted to go to the gym, Christmas break just ended but I followed my gut which said to go look. I walked less than 5 minutes calling her name when she heard me and started to meow the loudest cry I had ever heard, in fact that cry would draw many neighbors and spectators through out my ordeal to rescue her, it was that loud. I followed the cry to a revine by our house, I looked down and new to go in there I needed supplies. I ran home, put jeans on top of my yoga pants, pulled on my hunter boots grabbed the biggest jacket, some gloves and a hat because it was raining pretty hard. This is where I had to navigate through to find her following her cry. I got to the tree, it was surrounded by prickly bushes, out I went to run back home to get clippers and a blanket.

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I went through so many emotions in that first hour of finding her. As I hacked away at the prickle bushes making an entrance to the base of the tree, getting caught up in my haste and needing to constantly untangle myself, my jacket. I felt relief at finding her, joy, she was okay, then dread when I saw how high up she was, determination to rescue my babies baby, defeat when I couldn’t climb the tree. Hopelessness after 3 hours of cutting brush away and listening to her sad long meow. Worry, was she hurt, fear, will she die up there, what will I tell my son. I called the fire department, they dont help for this I was told. I called the city because it was a protected ravine habitat that you were not suppose to enter, they also were not going to help but recommended a tree service to  help. I called animal protection, posted on facebook, someone please help! no one could. I was told to put white blankets at the base for her to see, I was told wave treats to coax her down, she was at least 40 to 50 feet in the air from under the tree you could not see her but needed to stand at a distance to see her. Way up in this evergreen!

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I felt hopeless, no one was going to help me, I couldn’t climb the tree, I didn’t know what to do. I felt lost. Not to mention cold and wet, I had gone through 3 pairs of pants and 5 pairs of gloves by now. My hat and hair soaked through.

I just kept talking to her, asking her to please come down, I cursed the bushes that were stabbing me with their tiny knives, I begged her to come down, I cried as I hacked away, here is my clearing job, I am pretty proud of it though I am painfully paying for it today.

the clearing

 

I was giving up hope, I was waiting for the tree services people to call me back, I had learned from one of the people passing by that the night before she saw a couple of young coyotes on the path, they most likely chased her up the tree. Now I was worried she was injured too. I left my ladder, my clippers and blankets and went back home feeling defeated, willing to pay someone to get her down, though I had no idea how they would. The last time I went back to check on her to plead with her to try to come down, another person stopped and said she heard the cat and came to see and saw me, she asked if it was my cat, I said yes, I said no one will help me and that I was waiting for tree people to call. I turned and she was gone.

I went back home and waited, I stared at the wall worrying, what to do and finally they (the tree services people) called, the man nonchalantly saying -get your cat yet? I felt so dismissed, it’s not just a cat, she’s not even 2! she is my first born sons precious kitty. She was chased by coyotes 40 feet up a tree in a ravine and was up there all night in the wind and rain. Why did no one care! He said he could send someone in a few hours, I begged sooner, he said it was going to cost, I said fine whatever. I was about to leave for the bank when a knock at my door. Standing there was the last women I saw looking at me from when I was in the ravine that asked if I was ok, she said I have your cat. I was in shock, for real, I hugged her and said you do!? how? she said she loves cats, she climbed the tree and got her, she’s in her truck. I walked to her truck down the street and there was fireball, wet and scraggly. She said she was working in the area and heard the cat and saw me struggling. She finished her job and came to help, I wasn’t there so she tried and successfully climbed the tree. I still don’t know how, I couldn’t make it half way, I am a very fit person. I work out 6 days a week, I’ve done tough mudder, rugged maniac, many adventure races, 10ks you name it. If I couldn’t climb it how did she?

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I felt so grateful!! Someone helped me rescue our cat, a part of our family that we would have been devastated to lose.

I had felt so many things in the span of 5 hours, exhaustion, pain, physical struggles and mentally drained. And today I am very sore but filled with relief and gratitude.

As I relive the moments of joy, defeat, stress, fear, worry, determination and helplessness, I feel so grateful to this women that helped me. I feel proud for having experienced all those emotions and kept going. I was scared but I wasn’t going to quit.

What a day! One I will never ever forget. And another reason my goal in life is to help others the way this angel/stranger helped me.

the tree

This is her, cold, wet, obviously shaken up by her adventure, she hasn’t meowed in the 24hrs since she’s been home, I think she did enough for 5 hours straight when I tried to rescue her.

My husband said I can’t believe you found her, like a mother, he joked. I said I felt like I was rescuing a baby and I kinda was, it was my sons baby and I knew he would have been devastated to lose her. He knows grief, he lost his sister when he was 6, his hamster when he was 9, not to mention he was just starting with the unmanageable teenage emotions coming up to his 14th birthday. I wanted to protect him from feeling that pain again and I was going to get his cat back. Miraculously an angel helped me after I felt so defeated, there she was with his cat.

A parent will do anything for her kids.

A good person will always help.

 

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Thanks for reading,

Sheri

 

What should be…

It should be your 8th birthday today.

We should have cake and balloons.

You should be smiling as you open gifts.

We should be celebrating.

But.

It will be the 8th anniversary of the traumatic start to your short life.

It will be the 8th night I relive giving birth to a  blue baby.

It will be the 8th day I remember the silence as they resucitated you.

It will be the 1rst day of your 51 days of life for the 8th time.

 

 

2 months

2 months or 58-61 days (make up most 2 months stretches) or 1430 hours in 2 months of the 8544  hours in a year, its about 6% of the time in a year, seems so little to be so heavy. I carry it each year. I carry it with the grief of other losses but hers has affected me the most.

Just let it go… I’m sure they wonder and I have, the whole  first year I carried a heavy grief and it was the hardest, the following years it was around 6 months of each year, around year 5 it was heavy for 3 months. I’m ok with accepting how her memory these 2 months are like a weighted bag tied around my shoulders, the weight will lift as I’ve learned it does by the spring. Not to say I dont think of her as often it just doesn’t hurt as much the rest of the year.

I dont ever want a day or time when I don’t feel the weight of my grief for her.

You get used to carrying it.

I  think of her at the very least every 2 minutes each day of the year since her death in 2012.

I always wonder if I had just 2 more minutes what would I do. Hold her of course. Smell her hair, touch her cheeks.

These 2 months (Dec.18 – Feb.18) belong to you, not that I obsess but I find I cant escape. The pain is stronger as are the memories and reminders.

I dont like to wrap presents anymore, what a waste of paper. I used to love Christmas music, I collected all my favorites and played them on rotation for weeks, now I change the station.  Walk around and look at lights? I cant remember why that was fun. I do still love looking at my tree with all the special ornaments and the memories they hold. I love my 3 kids excitement at the school break and wonder of gifts or will it snow. I smile for them though I spend most days fighting back tears.

Her birthday is in 2 weeks,  she lived almost 2 months

She’s going to die all over again in my heart and mind in 2 months time.

I think of you, sometimes in awe, sometimes in pain. But your always just a thought away.

A date, a memory, a month. A commercial, a song, a regret. Your forever at the back of my mind but front of my heart.

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Lily Emma Olive Hall

December 30 2011 – February 18 2012

Thanks for reading

Sheri

7 Years of Grief

‘Angel Number 7  … Number seven is one of those figures. It symbolizes every positive and valuable matter in existence like prosper life, happiness, renewal, and perfection. Some numerologist even believes that number seven is so perfect and powerful that it represents a connection to the universe.’

 

7 days in a week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

If you were born on a Thursday Oct 2nd it will return every 7 years for that exact date to come back around, every 7 years Halloween is a Friday, or New years a Saturday or Christmas a Sunday, what I am getting at is 7 years seems like a cycle, a full circle back to the beginning.

Your 0 when you are born, 7 on the exact same day 7 years later. Age 7, grade 2; been in the school system for around  3 years already not a little kid anymore but still a child. Perhaps you have experienced loss of a pet, divorce or death of a family member but you are still innocent enough to believe in the good of the world you still laugh more than older kids and adults, finding the silliness in things everywhere.

The next cycle brings you to 14; only 7 short years later and you jump from a carefree kid to an anxious, nervous, pubescent teenager! There was warnings and hopefully parental help and guidance from good role models. 14 is scary a scary time, your no longer a ‘child’ but still not an adult…

Another 7, 21! Oh the places you can go and the things your allowed to see, not all equally good things.

I will stop here with hopes that we all, at least those that can read know their 7 time tables…

I have very accurate memories of being 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 but not so much other years,  I find that interesting. Maybe I have tried harder to remember and retain them or maybe it is a coincidence or maybe its a part of the greater purpose in life… ‘A greater connection to the universe’

Every 7 years is a major milestone in life if and when you reach them you look back, you reflect on the knowledge you have acquired through your growth which in turn helps you to keep growing, keep learning; moving forward. It is said that when someone experiences trauma of any kind they may become ‘stuck’ at a certain age, mindset or maturity level, this makes sense to me with people I know and have observed.

When I was 7, I was attending a french school in a neighbourhood we had just moved, I was shy and didn’t fit in with the affluent kids that occupied this school, I watched my brother get bullied and often played alone in the forest beside the school, something that would be forbidden and for good reason in today’s world. That same brother grew up to become a drug addict that has lived on and off the streets his whole life.

At 14 my parents were in the middle of starting the divorce process, we had just moved again, I had just started high school. I won’t go into the unnecessary behaviour that came about at 14 but looking back I wish I had a role model, an adult who cared enough to help me navigate through being a teen. I was smart but wanted friends more and being pretty it is easy to fall into the wrong crowd they showed attention, I sought it. 

21, 14-21 were the hardest in terms of growth  and growth setbacks but by 21 I returned to school to graduate, I bought a condo, I regularly went to the gym. I also met my now husband and father to my 4 children at 21.  But the 7 years between 14 and 21 a friend had been murdered, 2 others overdosed and 1 died of a freak accident. I watched my dad fall deeply into his alcoholism after my parents divorce which was followed by the death of his dad. Eventually losing our house, we were all on our own well before 18. I was in a car accident that had me in the hospital for weeks and unable to walk for months… But by 21 I had come out the other side, I had been working full time since 16, having to drop out of school in grade 11 to pay rent, I did many things I was finally proud of by 21, I felt like I was maturing, growing, taking care of myself.

By 28, I had gotten married had my first child was about to give birth to my 2nd boy, I had lived in 4 different cities, worked 3 different places.

35! That’s a big one I think, when you reach 35 you are officially, no excuses, 100% an adult. Now, I have lost all 4 of my grandparents, a dozen friends to car accidents, suicide, drugs overdoses. I have also watched many of my friends divorce or watch their parents die of cancer. But the biggest thing that happened to me was the birth and death and my 3rd child, followed by the birth of my miraculous rainbow, my 4th child and living through the process of deep, raw grief with my husband. How we survived the roller coaster of child loss is beyond me. But we did.

I am now 39 and in 2 years will be 42 and another cycle will have passed. But the reason 7 years was stuck in my thoughts is because it will be 7 years since the incredibly traumatic birth of my daughter who lived only 52 days.

This Monday December 30th 2019 it will be 7 years since Monday December 30th 2011 that the thing that has scarred me, changed me, hurt me and forced me to grieve undeniably lines up. The year ahead, 2020 all the days will line up with that time 7 years ago…. Me attending a PAC meeting on a Tuesday in February only to be called home to give her medicine and eventually CPR with her returning to the hospital, 3 days later its Friday, its valentines day, I buy her a purple elephant with the hopes of giving it to her when she comes home again. 7 days later  on Tuesday February 18 2012 she dies. This Tuesday February 18 2020 will be the 7th anniversary of that death. The feels flood back as do the tears, the headache the pain, but it is less painful 7 years later. the grief is not raw, it is not every minute in agony, but it exists inside me and when I need to know, to feel the pain I just sit in my mind with memories.

We look for patterns in grief because we are constantly trying to understand it.

What I am wondering, is: Does it take a full cycle, a full 7 years to go through the grieving process? I would say I feel most like me again though I will never be the same, I am definitely not the ghost I turned into the immediate following years. I learned through my grief , I grown with it and I think finally accepted it. 7 years of Grief later.

Thanks for reading,

Namaste

Sheri

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Some interesting reads on Seven 7 in links below:

 

Every Seven Years (7) You Change

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201506/seven-reasons-we-are-captivated-the-number-seven

 

https://www.betemunah.org/seven.html

 

Capture your Grief 2018 : SUNSET

Day 31; Sunset

I took and wrote this back in 2012 during the epitimal raw first year of my grief for the death of my third born child, my first daughter. Lily Hall. Dec 30 2011- Feb 18 2012

I have edited the poem below to how I feel I prefer the end.

Sunset is the last of the days in the Capture your Grief Writing challenge, it makes sense, a sunset, the day is saying goodnight to world through the reflection of the sky.

Good night.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

Sheri

 

 

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SUNSET

In awe of the sunset that reflects off the water

In sadness of the heart that reflects of you

In love with the beauty of you

Sheri Hall

Capture your Grief 2018

Day 28; Shadow and Light

Thoughts dance behind the trees, the flowers sway in the breeze, dewdrops and sunlight alight the minds eye causing wonder to pass by. The shadow and light hold many secrets and stories, some to bold to be seen while others never unseen. We need the light to see the shadows and to feel the shadow to embrace the light. One without the other like night without day.

Day 29; Release

Let go of the hurt the pain feel its release into the universe, let go of the anger and hardship see it float away. Let go of the unknown, the regret, the guilt, to see it for what it is; unnecessary. Let go and live again.

Day 30; Gift of Life

We are given one life, that we know of, we know not our purpose or its meaning but we must do what we can to help, to heal, to grow, to teach and learn. The gift of life is not given to all some a minute, a few hours or weeks, maybe years but not a guarantee of a full one to all. The gift of life should not be taken for granted though it often is. The frugality of our presence overtaken by greed or want, by looks and feels over needs and deeds. The gift of life can feel like a burden to some, not a gift. Life is what you make it. I hope you chose a gift, if not to yourself than to others.

 

 

Thank you for reading,

Sheri

 

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Capture Your Grief 2018

Day 23; Mortality

NOUN

  1. the state of being subject to death.
    “the work is increasingly haunted by thoughts of mortality”
    antonyms:
  2. death, especially on a large scale.
    “the causes of mortality among infants and young children”
    synonyms:
    death · loss of life · dying

 

Day 24; Courage

What forms our courage? Is it our mothers encouraging hand, fathers stern insistence. Is it our ability to bear witness to tragedy and overcome the trauma. Do we learn courage through our mistakes or maybe because of our successes. Being courageous can mean standing up for someone when no one else is but it can also mean getting out of bed to face the day when you want to hide. We are all courageous at many times throughout the day we simply need to notice our own bravery at perhaps not always doing the easy thing but the right thing.

 

Day 25; Who

WHO

Who decides what lives and what dies

How does he or she who decides live with the consequences of their decisions

Who is rightful to grieve and who determines whose loss it really is

When do we know what to say, how to say, who to say it to

Who is the owner of your grief?

Is it the departed or the remaining

Who should we fear; is it who decides who lives or dies

 

Day 26; Beauty

The beauty held in your dark eyes, the long vast endless corridor of dark; the unknown The beauty of the unknown. The beauty revealed in the tiny smirk that you rarely showed and preciously received. The beauty behind your legacy. The lives you left behind forever changed because of the few beautiful moments with you.

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Day 27; Memory

A sound, a scent, a photograph. A movie, novel or painting. A memory held in a frame at the back of our brains waiting to be remembered at the drop of hat. A memory tucked away inside our heart only to be revealed at long last of searching the soul  in hopes for it be re lived. Wanting desperately to be remembered, it comes at long last in a dream or a flicker of a deja-vu rekindling a past thought, triggering that memory to the fore front. The brain holds our memories in a staggering way, we tend to remember the really bad or the extremely exciting, the unforgettable moments that are happy and sad, that have shaped our being. We tend to forget the every day even though we do that more often, we forget the repetitiveness and remember the tragic and the magic, making our memories all that much more unique to how our brain perceived a moment in time for us.

 

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

 

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Capture your Grief 2018

Day 20; Death

Death

Gasping for air; Breathless in the end

Unable to move; paralyzed from the neck down

Shock to the system;  thoughts fade

Eyes flutter; head drops

You can still hear the sounds and voices around

  Knowing you cannot respond

Eyelids are heavy, chest stops moving

The bright light; you enter holds you in a hug

Unable to fight anymore

Death; is the release of your struggles

And the beginning of their pain

 

Day 21; Myths

What do you believe or is it all just a myth, passed down through centuries of stories. Heaven and hell, myth or fact, most would say fable or hope. In death some see God or a light, how do we know this? or do we wish it to be so. We reunite with those already gone, after death the pain and struggle is over, but is it? Who discovered the myths of the world. Do we really know others truths enough to judge them as untrue. Who are we to decide what does or does not happen, in life or death. I have gone swimming after eating and not suffered a single cramp, gone outside with wet hair and not gotten a cold. Simple myths can be easily debunked but what about the bigger myths of God and enlightenment. I you believe you will achieve yes. I suppose no one will ever truly know what the real myths of life and death is/are/will be.

 

Day 22; Empathy

Empathy is the ability to share someone else’s feelings and/or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s shoes. To feel for someone, to empathize with their pain or hardships, not to feel sorry for but understand it is a struggle. To listen without judgment, to truly hear and feel with someone and not simple half listen and be immediate to offer solution, or want to ‘fix’ the issue, sometimes there is no fix. To be empathetic is an incredible part of being a compassionate and understanding human. It is my wish for the world to be more empathetic to one another. Perhaps it could be a more gentle world.

 

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

 

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