Friday, August 26, 2011

These guys.

They're not mine.

They think they're mine. Pepper - the little white one on the right - follows me around the house and cries most piteously when he loses me. Most of the time, he's on my lap or laying draped over my shoulders like the most alarming fur stole. Nacho, the handsome boy on the left, likes to grab my hand with his paws when I pet his head and will show no signs of ever wanting to let go. Channeling the Beatles, that kitten is.

And it sure feels like they're mine. No matter how much I tell myself I'm just holding on to them until they find their forever home,  I'm so in love with my SPCA foster cats. I'm going to have a broken heart when it's time to bring them to their new home.

But I believe in animal rescue and fostering most passionately, and if there's one thing I've gotten out of this awful summer?

A broken heart's almost always worth it, for the love that came before the breaking.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I spent this past weekend at the funeral of one of my best friends.

Cam was incredibly smart. There was nothing he couldn't figure out how to fix. He had a dry, wicked sense of humor.  We teased him about looking like a young Wesley Snipes (or maybe Welsey Snipes looks like HIM). When I went to Iraq, he sent me a Blade DVD because he knew I'd miss him.

And now I always will.

We trained for and ran a marathon together -- 26.2 miles. You have to like someone a lot to talk through seventeen-mile training runs on the beach and a marathon itself, but we never ran out of things to talk about. He was my adopted big brother. He called me kiddo. Even though we'd moved to live far apart, we still tried to find times to talk and to get together. He was one of the first people I told that I was pregnant, and when I lost the baby.

He was the first person to read GODDESS. He gave me great feedback even though he wasn't a writer himself -- but then, there really wasn't anything he couldn't do. Except maybe teach me how to make an ethernet cable. I never quite got the hang of that.

And he was an incredibly loyal, dependable, thoughtful friend. Kind and giving, underneath his tough exterior.  He had a great heart. There's a poem by E. E. Cummings that I love, and it ends--

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

It just seems so crazy that he's gone -- at only thirty - and that the world is going on without him. A world that's a little sadder, a little lonelier, a little worse, because he isn't in it. I hate that I have to go on without him, that his family, his wife, his other friends have to go on without him. But I'm going to try and carry his heart, to be a better person for having know and loved him, and been loved in turn.