First Snow Without You Our Message to Gracey After 6 Months

This entry is part 9 of 16 in the series Messages to Gracey








It snowed overnight Monday. Not much, just a couple of inches. Enough to cover the ground and the golden blanket of ginkgo leaves that danced to the ground over the weekend.  I missed the leaves falling this year and that was fine with me.  You weren’t here to watch with us and that was one of our favorite things to do  in November. Your dad said the leaves fell so quickly that even though he was home he missed them too.  I think that might have been on purpose.

Paul and Gracey watching ginkgo tree

Paul and Gracey waiting for the ginkgo leaves to dance last year.

I went to Washington D.C. for the Alley Cat Allies conference.  I learned a lot about community cats and what we can all do to help them coexist with humans.  When Becky Robinson, the founder of Alley Cat Allies, asked me how I came to be a cat advocate, I told her your story of  how we found you after being dumped at the dog pound and that I bottle fed you and hoped you would grow strong and thrive. I told her your story and she smiled and said, how amazing it is that many people become cat advocates because of  rescuing one special kitten.

Later I thought about how you fit in the palm of my hand and I used to put you under my coat, zip it up and you would ride there, snug and warm.  I think of you every day. Six months since you’ve been gone.  Six months without you.

Your video The Tiniest Tiger’s Snow Adventure won the CatVenture category at The Friskies. This was an amazing surprise.   After I returned to my seat from accepting the award your video was shown to the audience.  Your dad and I weren’t expecting to be hit so hard with sadness seeing you up on that big screen.  I had watched that video many times at home, but during the video when you climb back into your heated thinking circle and the words Home Sweet Home were displayed, I felt a tear roll down my cheek.  I looked at your dad and he just shook his head no, like don’t look at me because I understand and feel the same way.

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My Favorite Tree and Memories of my Grandpa

November Memories of my Grandpa

The Tiniest Tiger's ginkgo tree

My grandpa’s ginkgo tree

October has passed by and now there is a short lull before Thanksgiving and onto the rush of the Holiday Season. I like this break between Halloween and Thanksgiving, while we prepare our habitat for winter.  Thicker and softer blankets come out of hiding and my heated thinking circle takes its place in the sun room.  Even though the sun begins to play hide and seek with us  for the next few months, the warmth of my heated circle allows me to close my eyes and pretend the sun is shining down on me.

As the days shorten and the temperature cools, the leaves on all the trees around our home begin to turn color and then float to the ground. Some leaves are super spooky, like the giant Maple tree leaves that scritch and scratch across our porch. But my favorite leaves dance and float down to the ground from the ginkgo tree.

I have a great view of the ginkgo tree from the front bay window.  I know that sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving depending on the temperature fluctuations that the ginkgo tree will perform a mesmerizing leaf dance as  she sheds her leaves for winter.  The  leaves twirl and float down to the ground forming a golden blanket upon the ground. I must stalk the tree, because once the dance begins, it continues until all the leaves participate and take to their winter resting place.

Paul and Gracey watching ginkgo tree

My dad and me waiting for the ginkgo leaves to dance

The ginkgo tree is extra special to me and my family.  You see, my grandpa planted and loved this tree.  He nurtured her from a sapling and made sure she was protected and able to grow.  Today she is a mighty tree with strong limbs and gorgeous leaves.  This tree stands as a living memory of my grandpa and we feel his presence every day when we come and go year round.

But in November, when the  ginkgo leaves turn gold, memories of my grandpa turn bittersweet. Our hearts feel a little heavier  remembering the November  the ginkgo leaves performed for us when my parents came home from Grandpa’s funeral.  The sun was shining, the leaves were dancing, and I was waiting in the bay window for my mom and dad to come and watch with me.  And just like that,  in the middle of our heartbreak. our spirits were lifted watching his tree and feeling his spirit dancing  with the leaves.   Grandpa lives on in our hearts, and we dance in November.

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