This is my parents’ cat, Oona. She’s 18 years old. Only fur and bones anymore. She doesn’t walk so well. So mostly, she sits on the desk, next to the computer, and warms herself under the lamp.
She’s a Siamese cat. And is extremely loud. When you pet her she lets out the most awesome “Yoooowwwwwllll!” Remember those noise makers that you turned upside down and they made animal sounds like cow or a lamb? If you were to plug one of them into an amplifier and turn it all the way up, that would be Oona’s meow. She yowls when she’s ready for some petting and again when she get’s it.
We all love Oona and will be very sad when she is gone. Which we’re thinking is sooner than later.
Anyway. This is all to say that we had such a nice visit with Grandma and Grandpa for Thanksgiving. We drove out 635 miles on Wednesday. And home 635 mile on Saturday. It was just the right amount of time. We all got along.
I’ll tell you a secret. Sometimes I found my parents to be exasperating. Sometimes I found visiting with them over the holidays to be. In a word. Difficult.
But that became very tiring. And dissatisfying. Even sad. And I didn’t want that anymore. Not for me or Tim or Max or Henry. And especially not for Grandma and Grandpa.
Because, really we don’t know how much longer we’re going to be able to visit. Isn’t that always the truth?
And so. Really and honestly. I stopped engaging. I stopped taking myself so seriously. I stopped fretting over how my mother sees me. Or how I see her. And my dad. Well. If you know Dan. You know to know him is to love him. Because the more you love him, the more he loves you back.
After all these years, I finally understand that more than anything. I just want the warmth of being together.
The warmth of being under the lamp.
Oona the cat abides.