Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mag 65 - Blessing for Bleecker



Blessing for Bleecker

When I see the old brick church
I always think of you, Dear Heart,
You ginger-and white love of my life.
You wore an art deco heart on your sleeve,
And a lucky diamond on one of your toes --
The love never goes.

When my job was no longer
To save you, My Boy, but to free
You, gentlest of beings, bravest of souls --
Who else was gentle? Who would help me brave
The cruelest of partings? Whose example shows
The love always flows?

When the priest gave the blessing
You were in my arms, dear Dear Heart,
Ginger and white fur wet from my tears,
(Your strong loving heart to beat ten weeks more.)
Feeling for certain that the love never goes,
I stroked your soft toes.

                                                         MLydiaM ~ May 2011





 









 
Bleecker, aka Dear Heart (1990-2006)




There is much online information on the Blessing of the Animals in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi's love for all animals. I liked this piece at americancatholic.org.

Photo at top is a writing prompt by Tess Kincaid of Magpie Tales.

A Postscript after original publication:
In response to a comment from Stickup Artist, I wrote to her about the medical problems that Bleecker had during his 16 years of life. I am adding it here because it explains why I used the phrase bravest of souls to describe him in this poem:

I so appreciate you mentioning the mutual love and caring that Bleecker and I shared. I adopted him from the Humane Society when he was four months old and we were inseparable. It was good he had my commitment because he did have more than his share of medical problems:
  • Radioactive Iodine Therapy for hyperthyroidism which required a three-day stay at the treatment center, after which we had to isolate him from us except for one hour/day for a month because he was radioactive - although he was in a closed room in the house he did not understand the separation,
  • Ultimately, kidney failure. Prognosis: with home-administered subcutaneous fluid injections every three days he might live for 6 mos-one year. My husband and I, and our dear patient, maintained that schedule for over two years, amazing the vets! But after two years he went downhill fast and he and I made that final trip to the vet one week before Christmas after a big snow.

.

21 comments:

Fireblossom said...

*sigh, sniff*

I know you have a loving heart for all your pets and other animals, but I also know that certain ones are extra-special. It's obvious that Dear Heart is one of those, for you.

I never thought I could love anything nor anyone the way I loved the dog I had in my 20s, but Bosco, the dog I have now, is another very special one. He has been having health issues, though he is only just turned eight, and it's been hard, but he is on the upswing.

PS--I can't recall if it was you or LBR who recommended "Moonstruck" to me, but I think it was you. I finally watched it last night, and really enjoyed it. Before that, I watched an old favorite, "Days Of Heaven."

Rob-bear said...

The picture of St. Frances looks familiar. We had a statue like that in our back yard, surrounded by bird feeders, water, and all.

Helen said...

This is so many things for me ~ sad, heartwarming, sweet and back to sad.

susan said...

My first major break with the dogma of religion was when I was told that animals have no souls and don't go to Heaven. Even at the age of seven that seemed an incredibly arrogant pronouncement so I decided that when I died I'd go to whatever afterlife was saved for them.

Kathe W. said...

you brought tears to my eyes- I have had so many dear cats in my lucky life. Thanks for reminding me! Have a wonderful day.

Indigo said...

Beautifully touching sweet friend. They stay with us always, residents of our hearts. (Hugs)Indigo

Bee's Blog said...

A trully a touching piece.

Lena said...

OMG! That is a fabulous tribute to your ginger and white one. He is BEAUTIFUL.

On Friday my youngest son surprised me with a painting of my own ginger-and-white one, that a local artist made. He died in my arms last November at 17. It broke my heart as I've never loved a pet so much. His picture is on my sidebar.

Hugs,
Lena
X

Margaret Pangert said...

Dear Lydia~ Thank you for making this connection between St. Francis and the Blessing of the Animals on his Saint's Day. Every time I look into a pet's eyes, I can see his/her soul. It is impossible not to understand they are spiritual beings. A memory I have of you was a video you posted of your sons feeding a goat. Sweet! love, Margaret

Lydia said...

Fireblossom~ It was I who recommended Moonstruck, and I have also in the past posted about Days of Heaven, another one of my favorites! Bleecker enjoyed Moonstruck many times on my lap. Now there is Willow, like your Bosco, a new love of my life. How blessed we are to have had, and to have, them. ^.^

Rob-bear~ It seems like a statue I would have wanted to move with me, but some pieces just need to stay in place where they seem most suited. ^.^

Helen~ Sad for me still. I loved Bleecker so much and miss him every day. ^.^

susan~ What a horrid thing to tell a seven-year-old, but then what do we expect? I cannot remember the first time I was told of that belief...old enough for my response to be "bull--it!" ^.^

Kathe~ Tears of remembrance are sweet, and I shed some writing about Bleecker. ^.^

Indigo~ It does seem they stay with us. Think they are biding their time until we can be together again... ^.^

Bee's Blog~ Thank you. ^.^

Lena~ You are a ginger one, too! And you understand exactly how special a ginger cat is...they are the most loving feline, I think. Your son's gift was so dear. You have the painting to treasure, as well as your son's tenderness and understanding. I will definitely be by your blog to see your cat's picture. I know how you are missing him, I absolutely do. Much sympathy and xo. ^.^

Margaret~ Isn't the Blessing of the Animals one of the most loving ceremonies that exists? I think it is a treasure, and perfect to remember St. Francis.
I see the souls of animals, too, and hearts full of love.
Oh, I remember the video you are speaking of...but the kids were not my sons. It was a video of someone's dearest boys and their goat. Thank you for reminding me of it! ^.^

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Beautiful pome and beautiful cat

On a side note - Simon & Garfunkel t-shirt eh?

Bridge Over Troubled Waters - one of those songs that the original recording is so utterly perfect that no one else should ever, ever be allowed to sing it.

Lydia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lydia said...

Pixies~ Ah, thank you. I miss Bleecker so much and love sharing him with my blogging friends.

Yes, that is a Simon&Garfunkel t-shirt that I got at their reunion concert in Portland. I agree with you about Bridge Over Troubled Waters and I feel that way about much of their music.

Bleecker was named for one of my most favorite Simon&Garfunkel songs, Bleecker Street. Oh, how I love it.

Hattie said...

Lovely. We took our cat, Fred, and dog, Buddy to the kennel, since we're going to be gone for a couple of weeks. This poem reminds me not to take them for granted.

Stickup Artist said...

At first, I thought your poem was sooooo sad. But instantly found myself uplifted by the fact that in Bleecker's lifetime, there was so much mutual love and caring, and that he had a good life and didn't have to go it alone... A wonderful tribute.

Olga said...

I love my cat. He is my first pet. His life wasn't an easy one when we adopted him. Thank you for this post.

Lydia said...

Hattie~ It is sweet that you will be thinking of them while you are away. Off to where this time, I wonder..... :) ^.^

Stickup Artist~ I so appreciate you mentioning the mutual love and caring that Bleecker and I shared. I adopted him from the Humane Society when he was four months old and we were inseparable. It was good he had my commitment because he did have more than his share of medical problems:

*Two separate perineal urethrostomy surgeries for urinary tract blockage (the first one was not successful in relieving his condition),

*Radioactive Iodine Therapy for hyperthyroidism which required a three-day stay at the treatment center, after which we had to isolate him from us except for one hour/day for a month because he was radioactive - although he was in a closed room in the house he did not understand the separation,

*Ultimately, kidney failure. Prognosis: with home-administered subcutaneous fluid injections every three days he might live for 6 mos-one year. My husband and I, and our dear patient, maintained that schedule for over two years, amazing the vets! But after two years he went downhill fast and he and I made that final trip to the vet one week before Christmas after a big snow. ^.^ (I am going to add this medical info at the end of my post.)

Olga~ That is marvelous that you adopted him and have given him a loving home! May you have many many many happy and healthy years together. ^.^

Steve Isaak said...

Relatable, good-flow work.

Lydia said...

Steve Isaak~ Thank you for your visit and comment. ^.^

Frosty Duncan said...

I had no idea it was about a cat when I started reading, you had my heart, hugs for you and Bleecker.

Lydia said...

Frosty Duncan~ After all this time without him it still feels good to be consoled. Thank you. ^.^

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