Please forgive me for not listening

I think I made you sick after you showed up on my blue canvas. A painting I patted my shoulder for. I’m so very sorry, my dear friend. Did I do that to you? And it is too late now. I can take nothing back. Not one thing. I should have castrated my selfish fingers. You were saying you were sick. I didn’t hear the silent words. I wasn’t listening. For two months, I think it was two months, I can’t remember exactly–I was buried in my meaningful life. You kept visiting my studio. You hadn’t ever done that before. Well you had, but not to stay. You’d enter, do a sideswipe visit and leave. A gentle hello then you’d return to the usual places, ones of comfort like the sofa by the piano. We called it “your bed,” not our couch. Actually it is a love seat. The couch knew more than I. It knew how to comfort and be there accepting the additional weight of the masses growing inside you. The casual invaders I was too busy to notice.

And now, I watch your chest heaving up and down. It is your heart saying goodbye. I’m listening now my friend. I am listening now. Please forgive me when I must say my final goodbye to you and mean it from the depth of my selfish soul.

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves


20 thoughts on “Please forgive me for not listening

  1. Oh, AnnMarie — I just have to type these words before we leave for the vet’s office (an already scheduled appt. for two other cats, but a consult for Bobbie Sue) — please, please don’t beat yourself up about Rocky. The MI vet told us dogs, in particular, are very, very good at hiding their illnesses. Rocky wouldn’t have wanted you to know he was sick; he’s too stoic for that. I know how you feel, have felt that way myself many a time, but please, I know you, or think I do anyway, and I know you’ve given him and Mojo lots and lots of love (all of those brushings, that tennis ball tossing!). You are NOT selfish in any way, shape or form — you are a loving, repsonsible “pet parent,” and you and your family have given Rocky a wonderful life — and he’s done the same for you. I say thank God you painted him; I say a higher power drew you to the canvas. Hang in there, my friend.


    • I can’t help but think back on all those times – he is but a dog – not a person – they do become people don’t they – but not quite – that would be silly. How they do embed themselves in your heart – I guess there’s enough room in our hearts for four legs too.
      I hope Bobbie Sue is managing.
      Rocky is still going until he can’t.
      Darn animals…
      Thank you for your kindness and compassion.


      • Of course there’s “heart room” for 4-leggeds, too. To me, 4-leggeds ARE “persons with four legs.” 😉 BS is managing — going, like Rocky, until she can’t. We’re gradually reducing the steroids — then we’ll see what happens. Vet said if she crashes we can try the med again, but they won’t work forever. Well, I guess nothing’s forever. Hope you’re relaxing this weekend as much as possible.


      • These animals, both Bobbie Sue and Rocky have had blessed lives – more comfortable than many humans. Even knowing this and trying to keep a level head doesn’t always work. I will cry like a big baby – Rocky has been so tightly woven into the fabric of our family – when he goes there will be a heart-shaped hole.
        Thank you, Deb.
        I hope you guys are doing well too.


      • Of course you’ll cry, AM — so will I when that time comes. As we should. We’re the lucky ones who have the privilege to live with these gentle, 4-legged creatures (well, “hairy people”) and we honor them with our tears. We’re hanging in there — like you all. 🙂 Thinking of you, friend.


      • Now listen here, dammit (I’m on my 2nd glass, gettin’ lit, lol) … what’s all this “tough stuff,” this tough stance on crying? You cry, dammit. Tears, FYI, are cleansing — true! Cry when it’s time to cry; before that time comes, you hug Rocky and enjoy his company like you’ve never done before. You enjoy your time together, got it? There is no weakness in tears, AM.


      • Argh, all I’ve been doing is crying. Embarrassed myself in front of the neighbor, cried through a silly teen movie-Aquamarine- while watching with Caroline, cried today while cleaning, cried while brushing Rocky – I believe I’m dried out now – no definitely no weakness but plenty of headaches – ouch


      • Last word on the subject: Normal. You’re normal for crying. It’s what we do. I would be worried about you if you weren’t crying. Now — cry dammit. It’s what we do. No shame in that. None whatsoever. Tears honor.

        (Thinkin’ of you and yours, and Rocky and Mojo, AnnMarie.)


    • We artists are supposed to be excellent observers, and I guess we fall short when “enmeshed.”
      I am trying to remember he is but a dog not a human, but whatever the thought, it doesn’t change the outcome…
      Thank you for your words here. I do appreciate greatly.


  2. Tears in my eyes, that big knob in my throat. Oh Ann Marie….I am so sorry. Your love for Rocky has been so visceral to me and all readers of your posts — so many tributes to him….wonderful portrait. Pets are family. We usher them into our hearts as puppies and they romp and love and accept us as we are. And then there is always, there must be, there has to come a time when we help them leave. I’ve done this too many times and now….my friend….tears are brimming. Be gentle with yourself — cry and find somewhere, some place, to give a primal scream. Thinking of you and your family as this transition occurs. Tread lightly on your heart….Rocky is family.


    • Lillian,
      So many of us have been through this so many times, and yet we return for more. Why, because whatever time you have with a selfless creature is a timeless blessing. Rocky is hanging in there. He still is romping outside. When he can no longer romp, we will say our final goodbyes. Darn these animals.
      I thank you for your tender words, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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