Dear Mikey

Dear Michael,

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Wow! Today is the first anniversary of having to put down my dog — my white shadow. He played a game (or so my spirit thinks) when I made a post on facebook and when I tried to “tag” his name — a Chef named “Buddy” came up.

You never knew Buddy, but, he was a kid in a doggy suit. You would have loved him. I hope that whatever it’s like on the “other side” that you met him.

Yeah, so, today, one year ago, I had to put my dog to sleep.

I remember that I phoned you to wish you a happy birthday (January, 2015) and something was wrong in your voice. You opened up and told me that you had to have your cat put to sleep. Misty, your cat,  went through many trials, years, miles and tribulations with you. Other stories you never shared. She was your companion. She died on your last birthday.  You did not know that it would be your last birthday.  No one knew.

So, four days from now will be your first death-anniversary. I’ve been thinking about putting my feelings in writing. Should I wait until your actual “death date?”

I prefer to answer to feelings. And, tonight, I am feeling, therefore, I shall write — for my sake, and whomever else my feelings may help, because learning to lose, and live with the loss of a son is a sorrowful, special place. Losing you may be the most special thing about me.

I wonder if I should tell you what this year has been like without you.

No. I want to know about what this “earthly-time” has been like for you in your realm.

Are you free from pain?

Did you fulfill your earth-time goals?

Do you remember us?

Will our souls/light-energies meld again?

Is what I am experiencing, like the angel that came to me when I wished my death at 9 years old, and said, “this is not your time, this is but a dream, you will wake up.”

Oh, my Michael. Have you awakened from this “dream” that we on earth know as “life?”

How much of this “earth-dream” do you remember?

I talked with your brothers today. I talked with your widow today. I told all of them how I am a stubborn person when it comes to limitations, such as cutting down 200 pound tree limbs. It reminded me of how you fought to live, stubbornly, until Death had the final say.

I took a pair of gloves from your garage, before leaving your house. They had your initials on them. I thought they were yours. I was afraid to ask your wife for a keepsake because I knew her tribulations — I too was a young widow with young children.

Later, I told her that I took those gloves from the garage — two right-hand gloves (goofy me). She told me that they were your dog-shit-picking-up gloves. I slip my hands into them and feel your touch — dog-shit or not.

Your gloves sit upon my bedroom dresser, below the picture of you and your wife’s wedding invitation, and your funeral leaflet. I slip my hand into those gloves to feel your energy, to imitate holding your hand.

Beyond holding your hand, I will always feel our last hug.

You held me, your skeletal body grasped me as you left the house to go for a walk. You cried. I couldn’t cry. I was so strong/blocked. I could not let you see my tears.  Even though quiet tears did flow, I did not let you see them.

I hugged you as you told me that you loved me and cried. I, of course responded, still holding back a mother’s tears and my own death-wish, “I love you!”

Can you hear me? Are souls for real? Are we but energies of light that attract? Will I intersect with you again or are you gone forever? Are … is your light but a part of my learning experience in this thing we call existence?

Buddy, my doggy, sent me a sign today, or at least I am accepting it as a sign that he can still reach down to this earthly existence and let me know that … that I don’t know what… maybe that …

I had a dream about your dad the other night. He was happy. He was young. He was frolicking with people in a pool. I wanted to join them but I couldn’t.

Oh Mikey, I am so afraid of heights, but I hope that I have a dream of climbing mountains with you and wake up from this “dream” of life, and climb mountains with you in the next plane.

I have four days to live until your first death-anniversary. As I told your brothers tonight, I am stubborn, I will stint my hand/wrist and  rototill, I will plant, I will pole-saw branches. I am stubborn. My hand injury (torn ligaments) will not be a limitation.

The hardest thing I have to do is live. I survived cancer and feel guilty that I didn’t trade places with you. You had so much to do. You had a family to raise. You had a life to live. All that I have to do is get old.

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Open Letter to Incarcerated Animals

Dear Confined Animals,

I have only been to the circus once in my life when it visited our little town in Ontario, Canada. I thought it might be fun for the boys to see a real-life circus, with acrobats, trained elephants, the pretty costumed-lady with feather plumes on her head, riding a beautiful horse. We saw all of that and more. Yet, I did not enjoy the circus. I cannot pinpoint exactly why I did not like the circus, it was just a feeling, an emptiness of sorts — even a sadness. Was I sensing your sadness?

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Kandu at Marineland 1981

Photos of that circus experience are somewhere in my piles of albums waiting to be scanned and digitized, meanwhile, I will share with you photos from our 1981 visit to Marineland, an entertainment park with performing animals. We were especially excited to see the whales and dolphins do their tricks. I did not consider how unnatural, and actually cruel these shows truly were to you, the captured, incarcerated, spectacular creatures of this earth who were forced to perform for mankind’s naive pleasure.

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Through our ignorance, we thrilled at how talented you were. You could jump through hoops, swim in unison while allowing a trainer to ride your backs, jump high bars and synchronize swim “as well as” human synchronized swim teams. Yes, we were mesmerized by your talents, totally oblivious of your intelligence and higher capabilities used daily in your natural environments — functions which are more outstanding and useful than any stilted tasks we demanded of you.

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I am sorry for the whips and devices used to break your spirits.

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I am sorry for mankind’s need to abuse for the sake of enjoyment.

I am pleased to tell you that one of the largest and longest surviving circuses, Ringling Brothers, will no longer be exploiting elephants in their shows. It is a small start, but it is a start to stop this practice of animal abuse for enjoyment.

I hope that all circuses stop all animal shows, and are limited to acrobats and performers providing entertainment at their own choosing — an opportunity never offered to you.

I also wish that Zoos become extinct — replaced with wildlife sanctuaries, where injured species are healed and returned to their natural environments, if able.

I wish you freedom to live and die as nature intended, without man’s interference, which is another unfortunate discussion, for another time. Mankind has polluted the oceans, your homes, poached body parts for foolish medicinal beliefs and hunted for “sport.”

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Someday, you magnificent creatures may exist as nature intended. Someday, you will only be captured on film, shot in photography, visited through responsibly produced documentaries. Someday, mankind may evolve into appreciative stewards of the earth and its creatures. Someday, you may be freed from mankind’s stupidity. This is my hope.

Love,
Swoosieque

In response to The Daily Post – Circus
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