Monday 3 December 2018

When the end is also the beginning...

This evening I went for a swim and rushed back to see Brown Bear before he went to bed. I asked him to help me move the things from our old car to the new one. He put on some shoes and came outside - a bit reluctantly admittedly - and then helped lug car seats and random water bottles and leads from one car to the other. As we worked together I explained that it was the end of an era and this was the car he had come home in as a baby. He smiled at me and we carried on. When we had emptied the car, remembering to take out the eighties CD which has some songs he and Blue Bear like on it, I asked him to get the booster seat from the new car. He asked why and I said, "put the booster on the passenger seat and get in. We're going for one last drive."

We found some rock and roll on the radio and I put my foot down. We drove down the hill (a bit too fast if I'm honest) and went round the car park of the golf club. "Do you remember when Blue came to live with us and he cried so much ? I drove round here a lot that night." "To make him go to sleep ?" "Well to help calm him down, but it didn't really work. He missed Auntie so much." We talked a bit more about his brother then I told him how magical it was to bring him home for the first time as a newborn baby. One day I will tell him about how desperately we wanted him. How we cried and wished and prayed for him and when we knew he was real it was the happiest day of my life. That I talked to him every day in my tummy and sang him songs. When Neo miaowed at 4 in the morning the baby kicked me from inside and I knew they would be a force to be reckoned with.

It's not just the car that is old now. Neo is frail and ill. He can't sit comfortably as he is stiff in his back legs. He sleeps on our bed all night and can't bear to be left alone. His kidneys are failing and it's breaking my heart to think he's not the lively boy who came home with us over ten years ago from Battersea Cats and Dogs home. Brown Bear loves him very much and it makes me sad to think how much he will miss him when he's gone. Recently Neo has started to sleep on Blue Bear's bed. He is an excellent babysitter and will stay until his charge is sleeping, then he comes downstairs and miaows at us to tell us the boys are asleep in bed.

Things that I've taken for granted are coming to an end right now. The car we brought our baby boy home in is being replaced. The cat who made our first house a home is growing older and weaker. The year is coming to an end and it's taken all of my energy and strength to make it to this point. I don't want to remember the lowest points, but I have to in order to get past them. This time last year my beloved friend Soraya was in hospital with kidney failure. She downplayed it on the phone, but it was as serious as it sounds. I didn't see her as she didn't want visitors in hospital. I was preparing for our first skiing holiday in France. We were really excited and hadn't told the boys yet. I was waiting for Blue Bear's birthday party to be over before I made it all about Christmas in the snow. Soraya was so pleased for us and I promised we'd speak when we got home. I think we did only once more before she died.

Saying goodbye is difficult. Not least when you don't expect to have to do it. I've told my boy that this car was special to me because of what it meant in relation to him and his brother. It's now time to make some new memories for all of us.

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