Monday, October 26, 2015


This weekend was all about distractions. We tried to find things to do to take our minds off the fact that Orville is no longer with us.

I picked up a pizza for dinner on Friday and when I got home, Tom already had the oven preheated because Alyssa had asked to go to the high school football game with her friends. We had maybe an hour before I needed to drive her into town (a whole four miles) to meet up with her friends.

It was good for her to get out and hang with good friends who care about her.

I picked her up at around 10 and she asked if she could sleep in my bed again that night. I told her I would love that and we headed up to go to sleep, holding hands and not saying much. No tears were shed but I know we were both aware of why she needed to be extra close to me.

Saturday was our usual library, lunch, grocery shopping but we also threw in a stop at Rural King (a local farm supply store) where Alyssa spend the cash her Pawp gave her for getting all As on her report card (two of those A s were A+, we’re very proud of this girl.) She got two new Schleich horses. Honestly, I was surprised there were any that she didn’t have, considering how expansive her collection is. But she did manage to find the male and foal to one of the female horses she already has. She likes to complete families. She’s sweet like that.

Then we headed to Hobby Lobby where we found a few frames for the pictures of Orville I’d printed off the day before. Just a little something to help us remember him thought right now, it feels like we will never forget.

When we got to the grocery store, my mom called me to let me know that a few of my cousins and aunts were coming to her house for the evening. One of my cousins was in town from New Mexico and was hoping to see as much of the family as possible. My grandma’s 90th birthday just happened to be that day too so it was one big celebration.

The girls and I went over that for several hours that evening, again thankful for the distraction.

On Sunday, we realized that it was the last day for our local Corn Maize (seriously, that’s how they spelled it) and Alyssa really wanted to go. I decided to indulge her. It gave us a reason to be outside, away from the house and the chance for some physical exercise. We all needed it.

We put up the cross that Tom made and I held Alyssa. She didn’t cry but she did need me to hug her for a long time. And that was okay. I will hold that girl from now until the end of time if she needs me to.

We’re facing her grief head on even as we find distractions to help her get to a point where it just doesn’t hurt quite as much. I ask her how she is, she hugs me tight and we move on.

My cousin Aaron said once, “Pets are just a future tragedy.”

He was right and yet…we’d pick Orville all over again if we could go back.

And right now, Bomber, the betta fish seems to be loving being the favorite (only) pet in the family. He pretends not to see the food Alyssa drops into his bowl so she’ll stand there and point it out to him until he deigns to eat it. Bomber is over five years old and so gross and yet I really hope he hangs in there for at least another five years. I should probably google the lifespan of betta fish just so I have that knowledge.

Well, that was depressing. Trusty old Google just told me that the average betta fish lives in captivity for three years, five if it has received good care while at the store and up to seven if very well cared for. Huh. I guess our well water is doing old Bomber some good. I hope so because I kind of need this disgusting fish to hang out with us a little longer.

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