Simplemama

The Day My Husband became My Hero

This is a story about how my husband won my heart by rescuing my beloved Kitty.

I love my Kitty.

You might think she is ugly.

But I won’t hear it.

Kitty is beautiful.

Even if she is missing one eye.

There’s a reason for it, and I’ll tell you all about it. But first, you have to know a little bit about our history together so you can fully appreciate the story in depth.

Poor Kitty wasn’t always this way.

Her fur used to be smooth and not all frayed and ratty. She was whiter than white, not a stain or spot on her.

I knew it was love when I first saw her, there in the bottom of the cage under all the other stuffed animals of the department store toy basket. Like those big baskets with all those bouncy balls you used to see in the grocery store.

I saw her there, with my innocent three-year-old eyes, and knew: She was meant for me.

My parents weren’t so sure. But grandmothers are smarter. My “Abue” knew. So she became my own, my first “pet” bought from the mall in Mexico, and traveled with me all those miles, across the border, and with me to our new home in a new land.

She was my constant companion. Kept me safe at night, guarded my bed and all the other stuffed animals that crowded my bed during the day. Every day I brushed her hair, stroke after stroke until all the tangles were gone and I could run my fingers through her soft synthetic fur.

She was my pillow, let me snuggle up with her and cry on her when the days were rough. She even followed me when our family packed up and moved again, though I was almost an adult, I still needed her. And she me.

She was my faithful friend, my little mother, a silent listener. No matter what others said about her, she remained by my side.

When it was time to begin a new life with my husband, she happily joined us, even let him and his groomsmen use her as our first – and only – decoration in our first Christmas tree in our first apartment.

She didn’t complain, not a meow, not a scratch.

Then, when it was time for us to say goodbye to our first home, that little space we began our marriage and family together, she waited patiently till all the bags were packed.

Then, after the last load was piled up in the back of my husband’s pick-up truck, we set her on top, right were I could see her when I turned and looked through the back window.

We headed from our apartment to the house we’d be living in until the owners, who’d so graciously invited us to house-sit for them, returned.

We were driving down Central avenue, thinking of the future. I rubbed my five-month pregnant belly and wondered what awaited us in this new home, with this new life.

I turned to check on our stuff in the truck, turned back to remember what we were leaving behind. And then it happened.

The unthinkable.

The GREAT ACCIDENT.

I was looking back there, when suddenly, a gust of wind blew through the back of the truck, I saw Kitty sitting there nicely enjoying the ride from the top of all our luggage, and then suddenly – quick as lightning,

she was flying!

Flying out of the truck, carried hastily by the wind and she was gone!

GONE!!!

My beloved Kitty was GONE! 

Just like that. All those years together, and just one gust of wind and she was…gone.

I cried out in anguish.

NooooooOOOOOooooo!!!

KIIIIITTTTTYYYYYY!!!!

My husband, hearing his deeply distraught wife and filled with the deepest compassion, pulled the truck around and drove back to the spot were Kitty flew away.

At this point, I was sobbing…big buckets of anguished pregnancy-hormone-filled tears.

She was gone, gone forever. Most likely run over and unidentifiable.

But then…”Look!” He said.

There, on the other side of the road, where the road was pulled apart for construction, we saw her!

Looking both ways, my husband swiftly crossed over, swooped Kitty up, crossed back over, and valiantly laid Kitty into my trembling arms.

KIIITTTYY!! Oh Kitty!

I looked at my husband and, in that moment, I knew. I knew I’d made the best decision of my life when I married him. I don’t know if I had ever loved my husband more than I did in that moment.

We took poor, traumatized Kitty home with us. She’d had a pretty bad fall. Her beautiful fur was full of dirt and, one of her beautiful blue button eyes was missing.

But I didn’t care. I had my Kitty and I’d love her, one eye and all.

Once we got the washer and dryer set up, we let Kitty go in for a swim. I remember watching her tossing around in the washer through the door window. When she came out of the dryer, she looked like a puffed-up fur ball.

My husband and I had a good laugh over it all. I said I’d go out and find a new eyeball for her. But I never did and probably never will either.

When others see her now, they might only see an ugly dirty one-eyed creepy cat.

But when I look at Kitty, I remember the day she flew away and out of my life for what I thought would be forever. And I remember how my husband turned that truck around and rescued her for me.

And I’ll love him forever for it.

I’m so glad Kitty is still around for my kids to know and love.

 

Suffering Proves God Exists

I believe in God because suffering exists. 

Not to say that suffering causes God’s existence, but rather that the existent reality of suffering provides a “proof”, an indication, that God IS.

That may sound strange and completely contradictory to many.

How could both God and suffering exist?

In fact, in all the personal research I’ve been doing about atheism and why people don’t believe in God – the presence of suffering is one of the most common reasons cited for His non-existence.

I can see why many come to this conclusion.

If God exists, why does He allow suffering? 

After all, if God existed, surely He wouldn’t let us suffer, right?

To me, this indicates they (unbelievers) want to believe in God. But, in their thinking, because they cannot reconcile that both God and suffering can exist simultaneously, and since it is painfully clear that suffering does indeed exist, the logical conclusion, for them, is that God cannot exist.

Or maybe at one point, in the beginning of it all, they believe He did exist, but then He decided to disappear. Or, He still exists, but remains but a spectator, watching with indifference to our pleas for relief. Or, maybe He exists and is actually pulling the strings and purposefully making us all suffer. (How cruel would that be!)

I can see how people might come to those conclusions, especially if they are in the deepest depths of suffering.

But, for me, the existence of suffering does not disprove God’s existence.

The existence of suffering proves God does exist – always has, always will.

The hard part is explaining why I believe this. It would be easier to say, it just does, ok? 

But I’ll try and elaborate, knowing any explanation I could give could never come even close to explaining this great mystery.

The truth is I’ve been thinking about this question for a looooong time. The question about suffering seems to be the question of life.

It’s what all the great books and movies are about. It’s what sells newspapers and turns heads. Without suffering, we would hardly notice each other…except if we wanted to either mate or eat each other. (Or both in some cases.)

Suffering has been a part of human life since the very beginning of human history. Well, to be precise, the first humans may not have suffered right away – at least that’s what we can gather from the Biblical account of the Genesis  story. So we don’t know when exactly suffering entered into human life, but we know it entered at some point in the lives of those first humans.

But what is suffering? And why does it affect us so deeply?

When I think of suffering – real, true, deep down throbbing suffering – I don’t think of pain. Although physical pain can lead to suffering, physical pain by itself is not suffering. It’s just a reaction – a signal – from the body that something has been damaged and needs attention.

Pain is the reason we immediately take our hand off a hot stove, why we stop running when stabbing pain shoots from your ankle all the way up our leg, why we call an ambulance at the first “pain” of a possible heart attack.

But pain isn’t suffering. It goes beyond that.

Suffering is when we allow those pains, discomforts, inconveniences, grievances, and tragedies to immobilize us. Stop us dead in our tracks, hold a death grip over our hearts, and render us completely and utterly incapable of living without letting those pains affect us.

But here’s my question,

Why would suffering matter, if there wasn’t a God?

Why do we care about pain and suffering so much?

Look at the animals? Have they built any hospitals? Do they go around advocating for animal rights for their fellow animals? Do they hold up signs and set up sit-ins against all the bigger animals out there killing all the smaller ones?

No, at least not that I know of.  Why not?

They don’t care about suffering they way we do. They feel pain, they don’t like pain, they do what they can to avoid pain. But when they get hurt and experience pain – they don’t think any more about it. It is what it is. They don’t go around whining and complaining about it or accusing God of punishing them for attacking and eating that other animal they happened upon while hungry.

So why do we let all these pains bother us? Why does it matter so much to us when a child is abused, left to starve, or die abandoned in an overheated car?

Why do we care about all the people sick and dying from cancer and other life-threatening illnesses?

Why do our hearts ache when we think about war, rape, bullying, suicide, public shootings, terrorist attacks, and all the other disgusting atrocities that have taken place throughout human history?

The answer

When we see someone in pain, we feel for them. We empathize and sympathize. 

We feel pain for their pains. We feel sorrow for their sorrows. We feel grief for their griefs. We feel heartache for their heartaches. We feel compassion.

We don’t want others to go through suffering, because all we want for them is Happiness…Peace…LOVE.

It’s not just about survival, an instinctual need for the community to survive to guarantee our own survival.

If that were the case, we’d be no different than the other animals wandering around.

But we are different. We aren’t made to just survive. 

We are made for Love.

But where does this Love come from?

Beyond us –

God.

God is Love.

His sole purpose is to give love.

We are made in His image and likeness. In the same way that our human bodies share the same elements as the stars that came before us, so also we carry within us the same Love of the God who made us.

Because He gives Love, we seek and yearn to give love.

We love, because He loves; we exist because He exists first. 

Suffering exists because we are not meant for suffering. If we didn’t have a desire for love – pain and suffering would not matter to us.

But they do.

Therefore – God exists.

 

I realize this explanation, and all the others in my I Believe series, are woefully inadequate. I’ll probably think of something better to say after I publish this. And there’s so much more I could write about suffering and all the why’s that go along. But I’ve been thinking about this too long and can’t wait for it to be “perfect” because it never will be. This is what it is for now.

I’m not a biblical scholar, a theologian, or a philosopher. I’m merely a simple woman who likes to look up into the sky and think about what exists beyond us now and in the past, and how we came to be where we are now.

I look at the world around me, observe people, hear and read the headlines and ponder. I ponder why and what it all means.

When I do, my heart aches. It aches because I see something in all of this that I cannot explain. I see meaning, some sort of an answer or purpose to it all. I feel it, yet cannot grasp it. It is there, this something. And I think everyone else knows it, too. (Whether they admit it or not.) Everyone knows there is something…something frustratingly inexplicable yet also intriguingly real. 

And I want it. I yearn for it. I seek it.

Perhaps, the only word for this something is Truth. And perhaps, this Truth is the same thing we call “God”.

Decluttering, baby-proofing, and gardening {Small Success Thursday}

This week has been a bit trying so it’s time to focus on the good, the small victories I did accomplish.

1. FINALLY cleared off all the backlog of mail, bills, coupons, and school papers and such I’ve been collecting on my desk. It feels good to see a clear-er desk again. I really hate paper clutter, it makes me crazy.

2. Vacuumed, again. Yes this is worth celebrating.

3. After 6 years and 4 babies, I finally figured out that I should probably move all our bio-hazard cleaning and bug zapping type of liquids up high – away from curious fingers. We’d had them in a locked cabinet but the lock never stays closed. I even opened up some extra cabinet space with all my rearranging. Now I can buy more gadgets…or food.

4. Also, finally came up with the idea to put all our cereal boxes in a basket on top of the fridge. Now the baby can’t get into the boxes and help himself to all the cereal he wants and dump it all over himself and the floor. Pretty soon, everything in the house will be up high, except for the toys – that would make for an interesting HGTV designer challenge.

5. Planted 2 new mums in our front garden, trimmed some bushes, and dug out a few extra things growing that really didn’t belong (a.k.a. weeds.)

6. Met up with my college roommate and enjoyed a lovely morning stroll at the zoo, it was so wonderful reconnecting and catching up! We’ve both grown up in many ways but are still the same, it’s hard to believe it’s been over 10 years ago that we first met!

It’s better to focus on our successes – even if small – than to brood and whine over our failures. 

What small successes can you focus on and give thanks for this week?

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