Wednesday, September 18, 2019

(Day 23) without Cleo ~ a very beloved tapestry

~Sharing beauty that I saw at the Cloisters on September 9, 2019 
on my 7th wedding anniversary with my beloved Husband.
I am busy visiting family but hope to share a bit of the Cloisters
to remember the beauty and more over, to share it and pray
that it is a blessing for you to see!~ 
~May God bless and uphold us all!~ 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Day 21 and 22 (without Cleo) ~ Cloister's Beauty

~Sharing beauty that I saw at the Cloisters on September 9, 2019 
on my 7th wedding anniversary with my beloved Husband.
I am busy visiting family but hope to share a bit of the Cloisters
to remember the beauty and more over, to share it and pray
that it is a blessing for you to see!~ 
~May God bless and uphold us all!~ 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Day 20 (without Cleo) ~ Cloister's Interlude

~Sharing beauty that I saw at the Cloisters on September 9, 2019 
on my 7th wedding anniversary with my beloved Husband.
I am busy visiting family but hope to share a bit of the Cloisters
to remember the beauty and more over, to share it and pray
that it is a blessing for you to see!~ 
~May God bless and uphold us all!~ 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

(Day 19) without Cleo: The Cloisters

~Sharing beauty that I saw at the Cloisters on September 9, 2019 
on my 7th wedding anniversary with my beloved Husband.
I am busy visiting family but hope to share a bit of the Cloisters
to remember the beauty and more over, to share it and pray
that it is a blessing for you to see!~ 
~May God bless and uphold us all!~ 

Friday, September 13, 2019

(Day 18) without Cleo: thrift shopping and being home

I was up early, lighting candles, listening to prayers, emptying the 
dishwasher of clean dishes, folding laundry, getting ready for 
going to the thrift store with a really good local friend...
I found the cozy super 'comfy' white cotton knit blanket, 
a grey vest for Mr Husband and a purple blouse for me, all
just 3 cents less than 13 dollars, so a pretty good price!
I was really missing (or noticing that I was missing) Cleo Cat today.
I keep thinking I see her at home,
as if I am subconsciously looking for her and am so excited
for a brief second when I think I have found her and then realize
I am still utterly mistaken and Cleo Cat is still gone, buried in our friends garden.
I told my Mom on the phone that I wish I knew how long that would last,
that I would keep thinking I found her or saw her in our house.
'Oh there you are Cleo, where were you hiding? I would often 
say to her as she did love hiding, esp in the later years.
Today I wore the black jacket I wore when we said goodbye and later
buried her.  It still had lots of fur on it in long strands.
I could not bring myself to clean the hairs off, but by the time I got back home,
most of them were gone. 
So my Husband and I had a, most likely very humorous, conversation about Cleo.
In the end the result was a re-affirmation that God never loses anything or
forgets anything so He has not lose track of Cleo or anything else. 
And if it is in my best interest in Heaven, then Cleo and I would be reunited
but if it were not, then we would not, but no matter what, 
God would not lose Cleo in anyway.
My Husband understandably realizes that 
Heaven is way beyond our understanding.
I was really happy by this conversation, as it unfolded because of my belief
in God as our Heavenly Father and that He is good, that He loves mankind; 
that He is full of loving-kindness and that the animals look to Him
for their food in due season, as the Psalms say. 
So if one trusts God as one's fully trustworthy unwavering faithful 
Heavenly Father and that He is good and loving,
then knowing that He is taking care of Cleo and that in Heaven 
He will have what is the absolute best then I don't have to worry.
It's just crazy how much I miss that Cat sometimes; 
I have turned a corner but I don't always know what the corners in grief
look like.  I miss knowing that Cleo is OK, that she is not lost or hurting in anyway.
I always looked for her before i went to bed, esp as sometimes she could get
locked in our office if she snuck in there when Mr Husband did not notice.
She was allowed in there, but not overnight as she could be naughty and get on tables
and such and we did not want her messing up my Husband's work space!
Sometimes all of a sudden I would hear this piteous 'meow' and realize that 
Cleo has woke from her nap and was locked in the office again!
Well.  I am going to visit family soon.
I always have this pull towards home when I am about to leave it
for a short bunch of days. 
But soon, I will be back.  I just wish my Cleo Cat would be there to
greet me or even to 'yell' at me for leaving her!
I am still doing the 'firsts' 
and it is just going to take more time.
The picture of the book page is from Gladys Taber's book.
I am quite enjoying it, even though I had a significant 
disagreement with it. 
She still has a lot of practical wisdom about grieving in it.
I won't have much time to write in the coming days but if I can,
will post a little photo essay (with little or no words) of things I saw at 
The Cloisters. 
God bless and keep you all! 

Ps: saw this video today and liked it! 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

(Day 17) without Cleo: I never did eat that blini

I had a list of things to do today and had written
'eat blini' (the thin pancakes, I had some pre-made in the fridge)
but I never did get to that...

Instead, in search of a suitcase, I took out everything that was on a hanger
and any hanger that was empty out of our main closet,
plus other things that were utterly disorganized.
I made 3 boxes (we have some we bought a few years ago that came flat-packed
and that we have not yet needed) and 2 boxes went on to the shelves and 1 box
is going to go in the garage. 
I have more room for my clothes and weeded them... 
The mess that it made while I was in that process was pretty overwhelming.

I started reading this book, Another Path, by Gladys Taber.
I am enjoying it - and it made me cry.  
I think in part because of Cleo dying but I think in part because
of the pain of loss itself, and of how that grief, or many griefs, is never 
fully over; my Grandpa; my Oma and Oma; my Aunt Karen; Uncle Hank; 
my Uncle Jack... loss is a very difficult part of life... 
I bought it because it deals with grief and I thought with the loss of 
my beloved Cleo Cat, it could be good to read.
And it is good to read.
I was, however, disappointed to read that she did not think that Jesus' 
death was a sacrificial one! 
 "O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, 
Who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us!
You, Who take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer!
You, Who sit on the right hand of God the Father, have mercy on us!
For You alone are holy, and You alone are Lord. 
You alone, O Lord Jesus Christ, are most high in the glory of God the Father! Amen!"
I esp love this part:  "Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who take away the sins
of the world, receive our prayer... have mercy on us!"
and a similar prayer is in the priest prayer in the prayers before the liturgy
(i.e. the liturgy is the service where 
there is Holy Communion):

"Sacrificed is the Lamb of God, the Son of the Father, Who takes away the sin of the world for the life of the world and for its salvation."
(John, Chapter 1, Verse 29;  I John, Chapter 2, Verse 2)
So, I will accept that Gladys thought differently but I can't but be sad at this,
as the richness of Christianity and the ultimate hope we have is because
Christ is the Lamb of God, and He did die so we can live. And we 
live because He is Risen and Ascended into Heaven and is coming back
to judge the living and the dead;
that He is coming back; that there is an end to all this;
that is my hope; my understanding of the meaning of life, of my life,
of all the suffering I see; everything, only; can be solved one day in this hope.
So I will appreciate her writing for what it is and not for what it is not, 
if that makes sense. 
She describes grief very well and I am glad that at least she went 
to some sort of church. 
And she does write so beautifully. 
I am so glad for leftovers!
We had the very last of the beef from last Sunday
(well other than 1 container, enough for 2, that I have in the freezer)
and that means that the meal, the beef part, cost about 3.25 approx per person
after you factor in that after the meal it was 6 servings. 
The potatoes, btw, were wonderful; I used this recipe, altered a little by
using fresh parsley that baked up so wonderfully and 
both my Husband and I enjoyed the crunch.
I love how our toaster oven cooks these so well. 

I really enjoyed pots of tea today.
And the last of the snickers ice cream bars, I admit!

The beautiful yellow roses wilted suddenly but this one 
was still good and looks so very nice on the buffet!  

I did laundry today and I was thinking about how,
while laundry is that thing that is never done,
how I love folding the towels, 
in that I love them, that I love how they clean up spills
or are soft and comfortable to dry up after a hot bath or
the cloth napkins that soak up my spills from a teapot
that I so often overfill! 
And I am very aware of how blessed I am to have
in-suite laundry.
We even had a cute little laundry room!
Many people who live in my city have to do laundry outside of
their actual apartment and I know how blessed I am to 
be able to do laundry so easily.
It's one of my homemaking joys, esp absorbent napkins and
thick fluffy towels. I got some amazing towels (probably the best
I have EVER had) at the VNA rummage sale for basically
'mere pennies' as one would say. 
I really do love our home and even though Cleo is not here 
to enjoy our home with us now, I still am happy that we have our home
and that I can tend it. 
By the way, the suitcase that I was looking for and cleaned up 
the whole closet for:
it was in the garage. :) 
But I am so happy I got this closet re-done.
I have other closets that need tending but that will have to wait!
I've been thinking about one's thoughts.
Specifically about anxiety.
And that sometimes worry is not only unfounded but
is really a frightened projection that is not at all a possibility
or does not have to be a possibility or a final reality. 
That you can see future events with either faith or fear, 
and when fear, I am not meaning
(I don't mean no a large scale or in times or war or things like that
but more about one's individual life and plans one has)
I have found that I have to re-think things and coach myself,
telling myself that expecting the worst or getting caught up in worry
about an unknown future event is not helping.
That I can think "maybe it will be alright" and that it can even be good.
I am, for sure, not saying this very adeptly but I hope you get the idea anyway.
How often Christ told us not to worry.
How often I fail at that.
Yet the Lord is merciful and I pray that His mercy
will be felt in your life, pouring down like 
healing oil on whatever is battering or troubling your soul....

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

(Day 16) without Cleo: quiet, rest, dishes and meals


Today was mainly a quiet day at home...
I lit the lampada by our hand-painted icon of St John the Baptist 
in the morning and we did the 'little tradition' of eating out of bowls all
day and not using knives, as today is the day we remember his death
(if you know the story, you know his head was put on a platter, 
therefore no knives or plates today, just a little thing to acknowledge
and remember the greatest of prophets!)... 
in the evening we read the Akathist to him and I just LOVE the parts about
how he dies and goes to hades to tell everyone that Christ is coming
and it will be EASTER and Christ is going to defeat death forever! 
The Gospel, Christ's gift of eternal life, St John goes down to foretell,
just like he foretold the coming of Christ, telling everyone
to repent and be ready for Christ's coming! 
I love the victory that happens in the midst of his horrific death; 
to keep preaching of Christ's coming!
Well, I made the Pasta sauce and I boiled potatoes for dinner,
cut them up, put sunflower seed oil on top and parsley and baked them at 
425F (and then 450F) in our toaster oven. 
I did 2 loads of dishes in dishwasher and have it half full again now! 
I am finally done with all of the Slava dinner dishes...
the roasting pans and things are now clean and put away... 
I took a nap in the afternoon and used my new Cleo pillow gift...
it really does feel soft just like Cleo and is really nice...
I got another card in the mail about Cleo today in sympathy; 
that was really nice; I have such a kind little stack of cards from various ones
very dear to me, each of them, the people that is, and of course the cards
they sent and I plan on keeping them of course... 
I wish there was a photobook that had 
really good size pockets with space in the book for them,
so that I would have a place to make a photobook and keep the cards
I got with them... but my searches show that this just does not exist yet... 
(esp in a large pocket/envelope size).
We went to church tonight for a memorial service for those who died
18 years ago in the 9/11 attacks. 
I was struggling a bit today... 
it is about to be a really busy season ahead of us and at times
I am more worried than excited and other times more excited than worried.
I bought the rose incense (pictured above) at the Antiochian Village back in June
and saved it for our 7th wedding anniversary.
I am just loving it.
The smell of roses.
It has to be one of my top favourite smells.
There is something so comforting about it.
I hope all of you are being up held.
Lord have mercy on us and save us!