A love story
The little grey one on the left, would steal his heart and open it wide. A year later she would break it, she would hand him his first blow. She would give him one of the greatest gifts, only it wouldn't feel like a gift at first. But it would come at a time in his life, when he would be surrounded with pure love and have help to maneuver through it. And the gift she would give him, would trickle out into his life for years...
A wild neighbourhood cat had a littler of kittens under our neighbours porch. For Sam having a basket of kittens to come home to everyday felt a lot like a big reward at the end of a long kindergarten day. All he wanted to do, was be near them. For weeks, he watched them emerge from their cubby and each personality take shape. He was drawn magnetically to one, the little grey one in the photo. We believed it was a boy then, and so he named the kitten Murry. (see Stuart Little). Turns out, he was a she, and Murry eventually came to live with us. And while she had been steeped in Sam love, bottle fed and adored, and was smitten with him…she was innately wild. She needed to roam and chase and climb and explore. And despite our attempts to tame her and keep her indoors, she would have none of it. The streets were her backyard, cars and all. Sam made the decision after so much contemplation, to allow her to be free. To come and to go, as she pleased. I was so proud of him for having the ability to let her be free, to not need to change her, or ask her to be... just for him. It spoke volumes to me, about his character.
Almost a year later, Sam was at a birthday party in the neighbourhood. The party wound through the streets towards a park beside our house, and as the children marched past our home they were stopped in their tracks as a cat who looked identical to Murry, was hit by a car. In Sam's heart, it was his cat, and when we picked sam up after we got the call, he collapsed into a heap in the back seat. But it wasn't his cat, and while we could not turn back and erase all that he saw that day, there was great relief for him that he could still hold her. That she was not gone. This day awakened his sense of mortality and he realized how life could be so messy and scary. He questioned and revisited his decision to let her be free, after all he had seen he knew how this could go. For two weeks he got clear and asked questions. About freedom and happiness and souls and love. We uncovered the debate about quality vs quantity. That we could prolong Murry's life, perhaps, by keeping her in and having more time with her. Or, we could let her have however many days she had, spent wild and free, as seemed to be her greatest preference. And one evening on a summer drive, at the end of his two week contemplation, from the back seat I heard 'I'm worried about Murry….I am afraid she might get hit by a car.' There it was, fear. I asked if he would like to change his mind and keep her in now, after her year of freedom. I remember a long silence and then a resolution, he knew in his six year old heart, it wasn't his place to keep anyone else alive on the planet. If she didn't have so much wild in her, and it wouldn't be so painful, we may have tried to tame her. But something in Sam knew it would change her and he never wanted that for her. So once more, he agreed to let her be free. Later that evening in the park beside our house as the sun hit that magical hour, Murry came to play with us. We watched her weave in and around Sam, and the play structure. Climbing and chasing, so wild, and so beautiful. I distinctly remember feeling her gratitude, as if somehow she knew the gift we were giving her. The freedom we had granted her, an hour earlier. Sam was able to see the other side of his decision. Her joy was tangible. We got a glimpse of her life, and how happy she was, when she was free. Sam got to feel the full circle, of choosing love over fear.
The very next night, she would be gone, and the beautiful glimpse she gave us, was also her goodbye.
Murry was hit by a car in the same spot as the other grey kitten, turns out that was a foreshadowing of things to come. Sam was devastated, and angry. It was heart wrenching to watch and I knew he would revisit his decision, and question everything. And had we not been given a glimpse that summer night of how happy she was in her freedom, he might have had a change of heart. But he just kept coming back to that feeling, and that knowing...and when I asked if he would take that from her, so he could have her here, he answered no. And then broke some more. It was a beautiful hard real life moment, that beckoned him to choose again, in the midst of his pain…and even then, he chose love. What a gift this sweet grey soul was in his lifetime...
I believe we make soulful arrangements before we come, with other souls. A permission is given out…to hurt one another. Born out of a need for growth and love and our ever after need to evolve as humans. There will always be beginnings and endings, but what happens in between defines who we are, individually. We choose the safest paths when we have the most to loose…but the root of those choices is often fear. And fear closes us off, and we pinch off the magic and possibility. Sam loved Murry so much, he stepped over fear of loosing her, and let her be free. And forever in his heart, he knows that he gave her that gift. The universe timed it all out magically, so he could connect the dots and even see his gift up close on that summer evening, when she said her goodbyes. He chose love. And when you do, your heart expands and it hurts sometimes as growth tends to. But all of a sudden, there will be more space in your chest and heart and life, and something else will come. Something so beautiful, that could only come when there was a space for it to. And in that moment, you understand the pain and the process a bit more. And so you leap more easily next time. You don't hold on quite so tight. Life is a process of opening and then opening some more. And if you believe in magic and serendipity and flow…you know it's on the other side of leaps. There is always a reward, for leaping. Forever as I watch him leap and love big, I will remember one of his early teachers who showed him how to do it. Her name was Murry…xo