All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


A Visit

I had a dream a couple of weeks ago that was very special, and brought me much peace.

I’ve handled the passing of my (favorite) kitty, Lily, better than I thought I would. I miss her every day, but I know we did the best for her always. When I went in to pick up her ashes, Dr. D pulled me aside to tell me that he truly felt that there was more going on with her than the thyroid tumor, and he was confident that surgery would not have given us more time, and easily could have shortened our time given her frailty. After hearing that, I let go of the guilt I’d been carrying about not opting for the surgery. I swear, when I walked into the house that day with her ashes in my arms, I felt her presence float away. Corny, I know. But I felt it.

I think of Lily every single day. I miss her every day. Months later, if I think too long about her, I’ll tear up and cry. Most days, I think of her swiftly to avoid the tears. I give longer snuggles to Jackson, Lily’s trusty companion, and I seek little Janie out more because I know she still misses her sister. Spending time with them is, in a way, spending time with Lily.

A few weeks ago, I had a very vivid dream. I woke up in tears, but happy tears. I dreamt that I was with my dad and Hottie, hanging out and chatting. All of a sudden, Lily sauntered in. We all knew that she was gone, and that this was a special visit.

“I think that’s Lily,” I whispered.

“It sure looks like Lily,” said my dad.

“Oh, that’s definitely Lily,” Hottie said.

I wanted to pet her, but was afraid she’d disappear, or worse, I’d wake up from this dream. Hottie encouraged me to pet her, he said she wanted love from her mom.

So I knelt down and pet her. I sunk my hand into her chinchilla fur.

I could literally FEEL her. I could hear her purring. I could feel her eyes burning into mine as I rubbed her and buried my face into her belly.

Slowly, we went from being on the floor to being in bed, with Lily under the covers as I rubbed her and loved her. And slowly, she faded away under the covers.

I woke up, rubbing the mattress, just as the dream ended.

I truly believe that Lily visited me in my dream that night. She came for that one last sleep that we never got to have together. She is such a good, loving girl.

(The gal who cared for Lily when we’d leave town asked me to stop by for a visit. I just left, with this special gift in hand. Tears all over again for my Lily girl.)


The Monday Snapshot – My Sweet Boy

Matthew is 3 now, and everyone says 3 is harder than 2. In some ways, I agree, but in others, I do not.

Matthew certainly knows what he wants and tries very hard to succeed in his endeavors (like his dad), even if he knows he’s, “making Mommy mad” (oh, the way he says MAAAAD is so cute!). But he is also just the sweetest thing I’ve ever met! He’s always been a sweet boy, but today … Today melted my heart.

(Jackson was howling in his bag in the front seat.)

Matthew – “Mommy put cat in car.”
Me – “which cat is that, Matthew?”
Matthew – “Lily.”
Me – “No, buddy, it’s Jack. Do you remember where Lily is?”
(He points up to the sky.)
Matthew – “Up high.”
Me – “In the clouds, huh?”
Matthew – “Uh huh. I want her back, Mommy.”

Then he waves to the clouds and softly says, “Hi, Lily,” with the sweetest smile on his face.

I teared up as we both blew her a kiss from the car.



Wordy Wednesday – Everyone’s Healing

Thank you to everyone for your kind words and thoughts about our Lily. We have had some really hard times here, but we’re doing better by the day.

We’ve been very surprised by how Matthew has taken this. We weren’t sure he’d understand, but he surely does and he has been very sad the last two days. He’s been waking up at night, telling us he misses us, resisting fun things like camp and friends because he doesn’t want to leave us, and saying, “I miss/want her,” when Lily comes up. We knew he loved her, but we didn’t know he’d miss her so badly.

My friend suggested a few months ago that we get a plush kitty that looks like Lily that Matthew can hold onto and love when he’s missing her. Being just 3, I wasn’t sure if he’d “get it” but that didn’t stop me from overnighting one yesterday. The stuffy arrived today during Matthew’s nap and I brought her to him right when he woke up. I said she’s his new “Lily Cat” who he can hug and love when he misses his Lily. He immediately said, “she’s in the clouds. Playing with ribbons. Pink ones and white ones,” and then hugged “Lily Cat” tightly and smiled. He seemed relieved. He insisted on taking her in the car (he doesn’t take any stuffies in the car – just wants balls and books) and hugged her the entire 30 minute drive to speech. “Lily Cat” had dinner with us on the deck, played basketball, and danced with us. At bedtime, Matthew asked for “my Lily Cat” and held her tight during books and singing, and fell asleep with her in his arms.

I am still amazed that Matthew understands this so well. I am even more amazed by the turn-around in his mood upon getting his “Lily Cat.” My little boy was hurting. He was confused, and sad, and insecure. And so were we. We shouldn’t be surprised by his emotions because he is a little human being with the same emotions as us, but we just didn’t think he’d “get it.” But he does.

Everyone here is healing slowly. B has taken this quite hard, I’ve had more moments of tears and sobbing than I can count, Matthew is obviously struggling (but seemingly better now), and Janie and Jackson are depressed and not eating. But each day is easier. Each day is a day further from the raw pain and a day closer to getting Lily’s ashes home with us where she belongs.

We’ll all be fine, it will just take time.

But we’ll miss Lily forever. That is for sure.


And Then She Was Gone

Lily is playing with an unending supply of ribbons in the clouds. Ribbons are her favorite thing in the world (besides me).

Last night was rough, because I went to bed knowing it was our last sleep together. All the signs were there. I knew the morning was going to be hard.

Lily was just so tired, and her breathing was very labored, this morning. I told B first thing that it was time, and he agreed. His parents headed down but she started feeling worse before they were here, so my neighbor came up to be with the kids until Bs folks arrived.

I really didn’t want to take her to the ER vet, but that was the only option for us on a Sunday. It turned out being perfect for us, and I’d choose to say goodbye there again in the future, when necessary. The tech was so kind and took us to a comfortable, darkened room with a sofa, lamp, and end table… and there were clouds on the ceiling. They took Lily back to put the catheter in her arm and swiftly brought her back to us. We wrapped her in blankets and held her lovingly as they got the vet. The vet was fantastic and as swift as we asked. Lily took a few breaths as we whispered in her ear that we loved her. I told her to chase those ribbons all the way to the clouds. “Red ones, blue ones, green ones, and orange ones. No one is going to take them away from you. Chase them, sweet girl. I love you.”

And then she was gone.


Thank You, Lily


You’ve been the best cat in the world. You helped me through the two hardest times of my life, and taught me how to give sub-q injections before I knew I’d need to be giving them to myself one day soon. I always thought, “if Lily can handle two daily injections, I can handle them too.” Your bravery and courage have astounded me through all of your health ups and downs. You always pulled through for me, even when I was sure we were at the end.

Old girl, I’m afraid we’re really at the end this time. I told you tonight that it’s ok to go, and that if you want to let go while snuggling beside me tonight, that would be best. I’ve emailed Dr. Dan to let him know we’re coming in Monday morning.

My heart is broken.

But it’s also full. You gave us more time than anyone thought you could, and you fought like the champ you always are. Dr. Dan told me that we’d know when it was time. I know now. Even your dad knows, and he’s usually in denial regarding your health. We all loved on you tonight, and I’ll bring you to bed with me tonight for one of our last two sleeps. I’ll do it happily, but with a lump in my throat and a pain in my heart.

As my dad says, this is the cycle of life. I wish it wasn’t. I wish we could keep you forever. You are our boys first pet, one of the many things that makes you so special to us. You taught them to love animals, pet gently, and give kisses often. Thank you for that, old girl.

Thank you for all of your love. Thank you for all of your snuggles. Thank you for all of your kisses. Thank you for the countless nights of purring in my ear. Thank you for loving my whistle. Thank you for loving your dad almost as much as you love me. Thank you for all of your unwavering trust. Thank you for your endless companionship.

Thank you for it ALL.

I love you to the moon and back, Lily.


The Monday Snapshot – Cat Potty Training

Um, how do I even explain this?

B showed Matthew last week how the toilet works (why, God, why?) and now he wants to “look in tank” every time he pees (or every time I pee). I limit it to once in the AM (I use the tank to get him out of his diaper), after his nap (again, to ditch the diaper), and at bath time. I’ve had to use the tank as bait to get him to pee in public restrooms (gross) before getting in the car and it’s just ridiculous.

Last night at bath time, Jack the cat learned all about the tank, the red flappy thing, and the “black ball, it floats.” The toddler and the cat now know more about how the toilet works than I do.

I’m okay with that.

On a side-note, preschool fun totally effed up potty training today. I knew it would. I’m not upset. It took an accident then at home to get back at it, but he’s in real undies now so that’s good. He can hold it for hours, but when he announces his intentions, you must drop everything, including the baby (poor Bryson).


Quick Updates!

It has been a while since I’ve blogged – we’ve been super busy.  Between my grandpa’s funeral and getting ready for our trip, it seems like there’s never a moment to just sit and “do nothing.”

Because Matthew will wake up in a matter of minutes, I’m sure, I’m going to do a big bullet list update.  I apologize in advance for this 😉

  • B was out-of-town all last week until last Friday, and goodness was his return wonderful!  Matthew missed him like crazy but also wasn’t surprised to see him Friday afternoon when B went in to get him from his nap (he came home while Matthew slept).  This made me feel WONDERFUL knowing that Matthew was secure the whole time, knowing that “Daddy will be back soon.”
  • We spent the weekend running errands for the trip, and also found some time to meet B’s mom for lunch on Saturday.  It was nice to see her – Matthew puts on quite the show for B’s parents because they truly focus on HIM the entire time we’re with them.  It’s fun to watch!  It is not like this with my parents, which is sad.
  • We went home Sunday for my grandpa’s funeral and the visitation and funeral were very nice.  There is a whole post to write about this, as my parents are just so strange and handled things with little to no communication, leaving all of the grandchildren confused about goings-on for the weekend.  There were some very disappointing moments, but all-in-all, it was wonderful to see the family come together to send Grandpa off.  He looked terrific, and it felt good knowing that he’s with my grandma in heaven right now!
  • Lily (the cat) seems to be doing just great – as if there’s nothing wrong with her at all.  I forget that she’s a possibly very sick kitty.  I’m having a hard time believing it.  😉  She’s snuggled up to me right now and loves spending time with all of us, including Matthew.  I am not worried about her dying while we’re gone.  Not at all.
  • We go on our trip TOMORROW!  I have never been so prepared for a trip in my life!  Matthew has been packed for over a week and I’ve been packed for days.  Everything is ready to go – we just need to get there!
  • I think we have a name for BB2.  YAY!  On the drive home on Sunday, I asked B if he could commit to a name that he really seems to like.  He agreed as long as we can change our minds if something else jumps out at us (it won’t – I don’t believe it’s possible).  BB2 will be “Bryson Lawrence” or “Bryson Theodore” unless something else grabs our attention.  “Lawrence” is my dad’s name, and his mother’s maiden name.  “Theodore” is my paternal grandfather’s middle name and goes back a long way in the family.  Tough decision.  I wanted to name BB2 “Theo Lawrence” but B said no  🙂
  • BB2/Wilson/Bryson is very active – way more active than Matthew was.  He’s beating me up on a regular basis.  He is all over the place and likes to make his presence known and remembered!
  • B scheduled a “man trip” to Kentucky with his best friend (men don’t call them best friends, but I do!) the weekend after we get back.  I am really excited about this!  He needs a road trip desperately – and he needs to just go with no commitments and reservations to be held to.  I expect him to come home VERY happy!
  • I MUST get started on figuring out the “room situation” for the boys the week after we get back.  Move Matthew into a new room, or put BB2 in the new room?  I prefer to move Matthew into a new, awesome room!  Lots to do… lots to do…
  • A HUGE thank you to all of you who have left such nice, supportive comments on both my Lily and Grandpa posts!  This community is so wonderful, so caring, so important.  I appreciate every word I read from all of you.  Thank you!

And in the spirit of quick lists and updates, here are some photos of the most recent happenings in our house.

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