Do you validate?

I’m not talking about parking. I’m talking about validation of feelings. I often think, “Why am I writing? What’s the point?” And then I would read an article from someone else and it would make me feel like I’m not alone. So that is why. I may end of being the validation for someone else. You just never know what someone else is going through or what they need to hear. If I can make someone feel like they are validated and not alone, then I’ve done my job.

The recent articles that made me feel validated were about exhausted moms, moms of seniors getting ready to go to college, introverts needing to recharge, and the value of true friendships. Sometimes when I’m writing, I feel exposed. “Wow, did I just write that? What will someone think?” They will think they aren’t alone, they aren’t crazy, and they can get through it. There is something about feeling like you have something in common with someone that gives you a bond. You feel validated in your emotions.

So my recent dilemma is with my cat. He is a shelter cat, probably 6 years old. Neutered male who was in and out of the shelter. He was an outside cat that would do ok inside. We took him home and he lives (mainly) in the garage. He likes to visit inside, but also loves to chase squirrels, birds, chipmunks and gophers. He’s had a couple of urinary blockages. He is otherwise fine and only went to the vet for his yearly shots. Now he has been in and out of the vet, the emergency vet and now he’s referred for surgery. I guess it’s common for male cats. I had no idea. I love the cat. My sons love the cat. My husband is not a fan. I grew up with farm cats, but Toothless is different. I am not sure I can explain it, other than “he’s part of the family.”

I kept reaching for an answer… for someone to tell me what to do. I spoke with a friend who validated my feelings. Loss of a cat at this time is not something I could handle. I reluctantly drove the cat 2 hrs to a vet who can do the surgery. I brought my laptop so I can work remotely. Decisions like this are not easy. It’s one of those adult decisions I am not prepared for. Hopefully the kitty will be ok, the recovery will go well, and the payment plan will work out.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Whatever your struggle, you may be surprised at who else is also going through it or has gone through it already. We are interconnected by an invisible web, woven together with shared experiences. We just don’t always see it until later.

He hears our cries…

I was holding off on my post this week, hoping I’d have a “homecoming” update about our cat. Our black cat, named after the “How to Train Your Dragon” movie star Toothless, has been at the vet. Last week, he stopped playing fetch. We thought maybe it was just a phase & didn’t think much beyond that. If you’ve been around cats, they kind of make their own rules. He switches his favorite resting spots so we thought he was just changing his favorite playtime toys.

Saturday, he didn’t seem like himself and got sick in the garage. At first I thought maybe he was just mad that we were moving things around. He was struggling to urinate also, so we knew something was up. Tried to give him lots of TLC, but Sunday he didn’t feel better. You could tell he was in pain. I tried the local ‘on call’ vet but couldn’t get through. I talked with an online vet who mentioned that bladder obstructions for male cats can be deadly. So, we took him to St.Cloud to the ER vet. Poor kitty had such sad meows the whole way there. Myles and I stayed at a hotel there instead of driving back. (PSA: the Hilton Garden Inn is very nice). They called me and said they removed the blockage but his potassium levels were dangerously high. He would have likely had a heart attack if we had waited. Several of his other numbers were elevated.

We picked him up at 6:30am. They said he was very loving after the procedure & was in pain meds. I’m sure he was purring and rubbing on them, so thankful for the relief! We took him to the regular vet to continue monitoring him and trying to flush his system out. We even made it back home before 8am! We thought he could come home today but he wasn’t quite clear and wasn’t going on his own yet. His blood work came back much better. They said he was eating well also. I miss him, but hopefully he will be fine tomorrow and we can give him lots of love and attention.

Hearing him cry was kind of like hearing an infant cry – you aren’t really sure what they need because they can’t tell you. And not being able to soothe them feels so difficult & helpless. I’ve had 2 kids, I understand it’s not the same thing, but it’s a similar helpless feeling. Sometimes when we cry out to God, we feel helpless too. We feel like he doesn’t understand what we need. We must not be saying it clear enough, right? Maybe he knows what we need and is clearing the way for better things.

I believe this for the most part but really struggle with the tragedy part. The young wife who is now a widow? The young man who took his life and left a heartbroken family? The mom with cancer leaving behind small kids and a spouse? Why did those things have to happen? I don’t know. I don’t claim to know. But, the young widow is bringing awareness to grief… the young man’s family is advocating for teen mental health all across the US… and the mom’s family is raising funds for cancer research. So I do think God hears our cries, and maybe he does really know what we need.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Reach out if you are struggling, you are not alone and you are always enough!

PS- the book launches June 21st!!! So exciting!!