Bringing the Sunshine

Sarah Kate and Doc – October 2005

I’m not gonna lie. Tuesday honked. Big time.

In fact, the honk started before we ever saw the light of day. Thunderstorms rolled through with lightning strikes so loud at times that the house shook. I barely slept.

The slight fever and moderate diaper rash that we had attributed to teething on Monday had morphed into a wicked rash on Nathan’s bum and some other suspicious red patches elsewhere. By the time urgent care opened at 9am, he was a mess from head to toe.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease. Fantastic.

I spent most of the day trying to comfort my sick boy, watching “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Sesame Street” until I was ready to use Elmo to bludgeon Donald Duck. I smelled like sick baby drool and Motrin.

Then at 2pm I talked to the vet. Nothing else could be done for Doc. It was time.

I picked Sarah Kate up at school and drove to the vet’s office for her to say goodbye. She cried the tears of a brokenhearted child, all the while reassuring him that he was loved, would be missed, and would no longer be in pain. He let out two small cries, took a few breaths, then didn’t breathe again.

It was rough.

I had expected to be able to shepherd her away before The Event, but instead she was with him. Maybe that was what he wanted.

We suffered through the rest of the day. Sarah Kate played in her softball game and did well. I thought she was past the worst of things until I went in to speak her shortly after she went to bed. When I turned on the lamp beside her bed, her eyes were red and her cheeks damp.

Tuesday was a rough day. All I wanted on Wednesday was to stay in bed and sleep away the hard stuff. But life goes on, and as Mom, it’s my duty to bring the sunshine, no matter the weather.

She awoke in good spirits, but the grief set in again before she left for school. I went to the living room and pulled an album off the shelf from 2005. We all began to laugh at the pictures of a tiny Sarah Kate and an even tinier Doc.

We shared a few stories about him and talked about making a memorial scrapbook – goodness knows, we have plenty of pictures! By the time Mr. Andi dropped her off at school a little while later, she had perked up considerably. I had brought sunshine to her otherwise cloudy day.

Sarah Kate is going to spend a few hours at work with a vet friend of mine on Friday. At first I thought it might be too soon, but knowing her as I do, I think it’ll be good for her to be able to love on some other animals that may need her compassionate touch.

I’m just hoping she doesn’t come home with another cat.

Note: This post was written last Wednesday morning; I had planned to publish it on Thursday, but Nathan’s sudden hospitalization threw a wrench into my plan. When I read back over the draft on Sunday, I decided to go ahead and put it up a little late. I hope Friday’s Snippets didn’t spoil it too much.


  1. says

    I’m so sorry, I don’t even know what to say. Please accept my sympathies on your and Sarah Kate’s loss.