We got together with Will’s brother and his awesome girlfriend, “V,” last night. She was helping me make a “Louisiana wildlife” mask for a contest at Stella’s school this week. Let me tell you something, it’s damned impressive. If we don’t win, I’m going to demand a recount. In any case, she and I were shooting the merde on the way to the craft store to get supplies and shared a similar sentiment: there is a pretty pervasive heaviness of the heart right now.
2016 has been a pretty trying year, a year heavy with loss. We lost Bowie, Rickman, Prince. The whole country has – and will – lose in this upcoming election. People here and elsewhere have lost homes, cars, businesses from historic weather events. At work, we have lost 2 colleagues just in the past 6 months – one just recently and very unexpectedly; he died 2 weeks before he was set to retire. And down here, we just lost a tiger.
Let me explain. I live in a huuuuuuuuuge football town. I, myself, don’t do football, and could kinda care less about our local university. But they had a beautiful mascot, Mike. He was a handsome dude, Mike. His face adorned all kinds of stuff all over town. He lived in a swanky enclosure, one that would be the envy of pretty much any zoo. He “played” with people that came to visit him. Hell, we visited him more than once. He was a beautiful, personable animal.
In the spring, it was discovered he had cancer – a form common and treatable in humans, but extremely rare and deadly in big cats. The vets working in conjunction with oncologists managed to give him targeted radiation in hopes of buying him a couple of years, but it didn’t work. They had to euthanize him last week. It actually hit me stupid-hard. I still get totally upset thinking about the mascot of a university and football team I could care less about. V had a similar reaction. Mike was sort of a last straw on the back of just a whole lot of loss.
It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. It’s hard not to let the sadness and negative run away on me.
This is one of those times when I just have to pull up my big girl panties, grab myself by the face, and make myself focus on the good and the positive. Halloween season is underway. We just had a wonderful experience traveling to VA Beach, hurricane be damned. We have our health, our home. And my kids are amaze-balls. My daughter is kicking the shit out of first grade and my son is just the silliest and sweetest little boy that’s ever walked the earth.
It’s going to be OK. And soon it will be a new year – a better year. (Dammit.)