God’s Hands or Mine

Your ashes are ready. Received the call yesterday. Thought once you were ready to take home I would jump at the opportunity. You’ve been waiting for me one day already. I guess I’m not jumping as high as I thought I would.

I’ve earned the task of purging you from our home. Upon returning home without you all of your medicine was angrily thrown into the trash. I thought those two little pills I gave you every day guaranteed much more life with you. Guess not.

Your ¾ empty bag of food went into the trash can Monday night. Tuesday was garbage day after all. The litter in your boxes was emptied as well. Dumped into grocery sack bags. I had only filled those boxes with brand new litter on Thursday. Seemed strange to dump out completely clean, never used, litter. Your boxes remain where they have always been. Only difference is they are free of litter. Free of you. Tuesday of this week I picked up your bowl of food and the entire container went into the garbage. Not just the food. The bowl was yours. Didn’t want anyone else using it.

Yesterday it was the water from your water bowl that made it’s disappearance. Just like the litter boxes, the bowl went back where it was, however, the water ceases to exist. Much like you. Today I thought I could tackle the blankets you laid on your last few days of life. I was determined I would wash them. I sat down in front of them and simply couldn’t bring myself to do it. I saw your white fur all over those sheets and instead of balling them up and throwing them in the basket and down to the washer in the laundry room, I sat there and cried. Thinking of the night I thought you were going to pass and lay next to you to sleep as I couldn’t bear the idea of you dying by yourself.

Your death is difficult. More so than I think I anticipated it would be. 17 years old. You had filled up and been a part of so very much of my adult life. Your dying has brought about much reflection.

I used to believe in euthanasia. Not only for animals; I also argued it should be made legal for adults. Ever since I was in middle school, all the way through college, every single persuasion paper I wrote was about euthanasia. I think I titled many of them, “Humanity in Dying”. Now that I am an adult, and my world and knowledge has expanded, I am not certain that I agree with euthanasia the same as I once did. Now, in my mind, it really comes down to should I be leaving this in God’s hands, or should I be placing it in my own.

We placed your life in our own. I’m not certain that I would have had it not been for compassionate 12-year-old Coco, who loved you ever so dearly. The vet said that you were suffering. That she could provide you with stronger pain medicine to allow us to bring you home, spend a couple more days with you. That you wouldn’t starve to death over the next couple of days. That, right there, was my main concern. You wouldn’t eat. Hadn’t since Thursday, and I was afraid you would die of starvation. Also, honestly, afraid that you would die and I would be home by myself. I didn’t wish to experience, nor see, your stiff body with no one home to comfort me.

Despite the vet’s insistence that you would not die of starvation the fact that she said you were suffering was all Coco needed to hear. It was his breaking point. His answer, “As much as I want to bring Maggie home, spend more time with her, I do not want her to suffer so I can be selfish. I want instead for her to go be with God. Allow all of her pain to end and allow her to be with Him.”

Coco is right. I know he is right. Suffering ends with God. Heaven is not a place of pain. So the decision seemed easy, put you down. Euthanize you. “Provide you Humanity in Dying”. Yet my thoughts, since you have been gone, have been so very different.

I asked God for a miracle. I asked Him to heal, fix, and save you. I asked for you to get better. And then I took your life. I didn’t give Him an opportunity to heal you. I didn’t wait for God’s choice. I took your life in my hands. I didn’t leave you in His.

As I walk around the house I see you everywhere. I even think I hear you at times. I regret my decision. I regret not allowing God to have His time and His way with your life. You see, when I wrote all those papers, as a young girl, and on to a young woman, I didn’t realize, or believe, that God’s way is better than my own. That everything happens in His time. That He can, and does, perform miracles. However, I believe and know that now.

I keep wondering, had the decision been different, would God have healed you? Would you be back home, lying above my pillow while I sleep, crawling under the blanket while I lie on the couch? Would you still know the moment we turn on the fireplace and take residence right in front of it for the warmth? Twice a day, when I go to give you your pills, would you still be fighting me? Sometimes running away, as you knew what was coming. And late at night, after we’ve crawled into bed, would we hear you yowl? As if you didn’t know exactly where we were and where to find us.

The answer is not an easy one. Being a woman of faith I know that everything happens in God’s timing. He is all-knowing and I am not to question His sovereignty. My struggle is was this His doing, or, was it mine? As ultimately, all things, death included, are better off in God’s Hands.

Loving and missing you Miss Maggie Mae..

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