Between Facebook and Timehop, I'm well informed about what I've posted (and what's been posted by others) to my wall in the past. Normally, I find this kind of delightful and interesting.
Lately, though, I've known that something not so awesome was coming.
I thought I had another week.
But today, Facebook and Timehop basically said: On This Day In History? Your Beloved Cat Died!
I was not prepared.
Before Bean died -- before she was ever even close to the idea of sick, I had this conversation more than once: "When something happens to Beansie -- and it will, eventually -- you're probably going to need to be committed."
It says something that I didn't disagree with these statements.
I spent all day -- every day -- with Bean for six years. I worked from home. If I had a constant companion? She was it. The internets were nice, but Bean was THERE. She was there when I had shoulder surgery. She was there when I got married. She was there when I got divorced. She was there when I moved to North Carolina. She was there when I moved back. She was there through six years of working from home. She was there through the new job. She was there when I was HOMELESS.
I didn't know how to be without her.
Until, of course, I had no choice.
The problem with pets -- unless they're turtles, I'm told they live for, like, ever -- is that they have short lifespans compared to people. Even so, I thought that Bean and I would have more time. After all, she was only ten. For an indoor cat, that is practically a baby.
That's what I told myself, anyway. The truth was different. But then, the truth frequently is.
So. Two years later. Some things are much more stable. I'm in a relationship (true story: I once broke up with someone because he didn't like Bean. I could imagine life without him, but not without her, so I gave him the heave-ho. Lesson: never insult a lady's cat), I am not homeless, I am happy. My job is stressing me out, but what's new? I am -- for me -- doing well.
Despite that, I was knocked sideways when I saw the "on this day in history" notifications on Facebook and Timehop. Lizzie B and The Fella and The Wee One and I do well. We do.
But oh, I miss my girl. It may seem stupid to you, out there, but I miss her daily, in random and stupid ways.
I love Lizzie B, you see. But Bean was my familiar in nearly every sense of the word.
What's all this for, you ask? What's the post about?
It's about grace.
Because I realize that, even as I continue to miss Bean, I was lucky to have her. She was never supposed to live. The day I got her, I took her to the vet and was told: she's not going to make it. She's too sick.
She did make it though. She made it and stuck with me for ten freaking years, even though she wasn't supposed to. She curled up by my side through thick and thin until she couldn't anymore, and even then she tried to.
The last thing she did was lick my nose when I put my forehead against her forehead, as we had done a million times before. As if to say, whatever happens next? You're okay. I've got you. I've always got you.
If that's not grace?
Then I don't know what grace is.
So I try to remember. You keep going when you don't want to. You do it out of love for the people around you. You let them know you're here for them. You love them beyond yourself. You love them more than you love yourself and you do it because that's what love is for. That's what we're here for.
I learned it from Beansie Boo.
And I remember it every day.