Letting Go Challenge: Week Two

This week’s 21 things:

  • very dirty, worn out door mat
  • terra cotta owl
  • Glen Haven ear cleanser
  • Flea and Tick spray
  • Cat Calmant
  • Dermacare Anti-Itch Spray
  • Hairball Remedy
  • Extreme Groom Waterless Foam shampoo
  • Chinese take out dish (cracked, courtesy of the dog)
  • Rubbermaid storage piece and lid (chewed, courtesy of the dog)
  • 9 small spools of thread (where do they keep coming from?)
  • Peanut butter jar lid (I don’t even want to know)

This week was a trip back in time, and one I’m surprisingly grateful for.

All of the cat items (listed by brand in case I want to find them again) were from a time I had been reunited with my cats after Hurricane Katrina. (So, the stuff is at least NINE years old!)

I was very grateful that I had someone far away to take them in when I couldn’t. I was living in a fish camp on the river at the time, not exactly the driest place to be that summer, but it was drowned in mud and dead fish and, to this day, has yet to be rebuilt.

It has, however, been cleaned and gutted.  So, no dead fish smell.

I was grateful that someone had taken them in.  He had offered to take me in, too, but I was too stubborn, too tied to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and my family to ever truly consider leaving.

They had been staying in Florida, vacationing as I called it, while we dealt with the aftermath.

The hurricane itself was a breeze (ha!), I actually slept through the majority of it, but the aftermath was something entirely different. That was a rough time for me; I was living in a camper far too tight for cats who couldn’t stand each other, my alpha having already been returned to me due to her inability to play well with others. She’s never really played well with others.

Maybe that’s why I’m writing a book about her.

I was not so grateful, however, when I saw what shape they were in when they returned.

All of these products were either purchased by the Keeper of the Cats during their stay, or by me to help them recuperate after their stay.

It was a long road to recovery for all of us. It took them a long time get healthy again, and it took me a long time to get my anger within healthy parameters again.

In the end, I realized that he did the best that he could given the circumstances, and he did a hell of a lot more than I was able to, given the circumstances. Once I realized this, this key fact: that he, for all of his attributes and actions, character and circumstances, honestly did the best that he could do, there was something that was similar to–but not quite–forgiveness that sparked within me.

I had realized there was nothing to forgive despite how things may have appeared.

When that happened, I could forgive myself for subjecting them to such tribulation: there was nothing to forgive. I, too, had done the best that I could have done given my attributes and actions, character and circumstances.

There was nothing to forgive despite how things may have appeared.

And I’m not saying that I’d make the same choice today that I made back then. I have, after all, learned a LOT about emergency preparedness since Katrina.  It’s just that the choice I made was the best one I could have made at the time.

And that is glorious. No blame. No shame. It just was.

It probably was one of the most powerful lessons on forgiveness I’ve ever had.

A side note: I had originally included my Misfit  (so very NOT recommended), but switched it out for another item when I found out I may be able to get my money back on it.

The owl I had bought for someone’s birthday at least 2 years ago. I’ll be gifting it this week.

Forty-two things gone. The thread (all of it) re-homed with a sewing-addicted coworker, the rest of it trashed or re-homed.

I have to say that I am just a little bit impressed with myself.

I had a little lagniappe for the week: In cleaning out my junk drawer, I switched drawers, so that my “junk” drawer is a much smaller one, and what had previously been the junk drawer now holds dish towels. The result of this is that I have a little more room in my pantry, since it was holding the dish-towel overflow.

What a magnificent thing.

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