Sunday, October 22, 2006

Goodbye, Cinnamon

Why do difficult things happen on Sunday mornings, right before church? I was in the bathroom getting ready, singing along with the praise CD, thinking life was grand, when Joshua came running up the stairs in tears with a nearly lifeless mouse in his hand.

The kids had gotten out of bed and were playing with their pet mice when the accident occurred. Apparently Cinnamon and Squeaker were running around on the floor when Matthew tripped over the cage and ended up sitting on it - and Cinnamon, who happened to be located underneath the cage. Elizabeth and Joshua yelled for Matthew to get up, but it was too late. By the time they rescued her, Cinnamon wasn't doing so well.

Joshua got some tissue, wrapped up his beloved, and held her until she died. He cried and needed comforting. Matthew was crying, feeling remorse for being the one who "caused" the untimely death, and needed comforting, too. I was only half ready myself, and wondering how to manage through the morning ahead. Between Brian and I, we managed to offer condolences and encourage the kids to move on with the morning.

But Joshua's mind was still with his precious Cinnamon. He had no appetite, didn't want to get dressed, didn't want to go to church, and...wondered if we could go to Petco and get a new mouse yet today. Somehow he made it past the tears, ate and got dressed, and we went to church. During WOW (Wonder of Worship - kid's church) we sang one of Joshua's favorite songs, which I thought was a nice touch from God, and he seemed to be doing OK.

So we came home and had lunch, then had a little funeral for Cinnamon. Joshua prepared a macaroni and cheese box for her casket, picked some flowers from outside, and we all stood in a circle and said nice things about her. After our eulogy, Joshua took her out back and buried her with all the other mice we've said "Goodbye" to over the past years.

Then it was time to make a trip to Petco. The choice of a new mouse was an easy one - an adorable cinnamon and white colored one with little black eyes. She's a fast little critter and we laughed as the store employee tried to catch her to put her in the box for us to take home. But, alas, she got hold of the tail and now Joshua has a new mouse.

As we were riding home Joshua declared, "This is going to be the best day ever! Well, it's bad because Cinnamon died...But..." Kids are resiliant, aren't they?

I wish I could say goodbye to hurts that quickly. Too often I stew over things that I really should just let go. It might be something someone said or did to me. It might be my own failings as a mother that get me down and cause me to grumble and mope. I wonder how many times I've failed to see the things that could make this the "best day ever" because I'm focusing on the dead thing that needs to be let go?

Is there a Cinnamon in your life to whom you need to say "Goodbye"?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OK, husband's persepctive:
Karen painted a quaint and somber picture of Cinnamon's funeral. she didn't tell you that after the nice words, Joshua said, "now we all have to cry and hug" so we all did our best fake wailing, crying and then laughed.

Kids ARE resiliant.