I am thinking that it is time to say good-bye to my cat when my dear friend Merci calls. She has been to the memorial chapel to honour her son, Charles, who died in a car accident years ago when he was only seventeen. The age my cat has reached in people years, though he is far beyond that in reality. And suddenly my grief over my cat is not put into perspective, but instead intensified as I think of Charles, so handsome and energetic and hopeful, blossoming into manhood, enthusiastic about present and future. Now with only past. Merci is turning eighty next month and she makes me swear not to celebrate it: it will make her feel sad, she says. After all, her son did not even get to celebrate his eighteenth. She doesn't say this, but I think it may be the underlying reason she is not looking forward to another birthday, milestone though it is. I think of my sister Candace and my friend Catherine, go back to my father and father-in-law, and I am filled with sadness. I watch my cat hobble across the floor, water clinging to his chin, fur sticking up over his scrawny body, and tears begin to roll down my cheeks. This morning I have read the newspaper reports on the state of the earth, which have given me very little hope for the future of humanity. Despite the bright sunshine and the clear cool air, I am submerged in a depressed funk. Suddenly everything looks bleak.
So I force myself to arise from the cloud and turn on some music - the upbeat, sing-along-kind, silly and optimistic. It thumps through my breast, tingles to my toes. My mouth opens and I let the words gallop forth, loud enough to disturb the neighbours. The energy swirls back through me. I am once again alive on Earth Day.
I remember all the gifts that Charles, Candace, Catherine, Jim and Maurice gave me. I remember to compost, recycle, and turn off the lights. I think of what a great life my little pet has had and what a gift I will give him when we put him out of this misery. More than many, many people have received. I will delight in memories today, in positive action, and in the love that surrounds me, lu'y lu'y bahstahd that I am.