Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Gracie Grace

One month ago today, Gracie left us for the RB. Gracie came to live with us on July 19, 2005. She had been abandoned at the county ACA. The workers left her outside of the facility and she sat at the front door begging each person who entered to take her home. I know it sounds cruel that they did this, but I can tell you they were hoping someone would just take her (like we ended up doing). Knowing Gracie as I do now that was not easy for my shy quiet girl. But that July day her prayers were answered and she got a forever home and I am so eternally grateful that fates allowed us to bring her home with us.
 I have so many photos of Grace, I condensed them down into collages to show you some of the things she loved to do the most.
 Being outside on the back screened in porch was a highlight for all the cats, but Gracie really loved finding a warm sunpuddle and soaking it all in.
 When I went looking through the photo files I came upon series after series of each cat grooming Gracie or sharing nose kisses with her. On Feb 10th she allowed Annabelle the same gestures which I didn't get a chance to photograph, although I have a video of that encounter all by accident. Gracie was the queen of headbumpies. When she came to live with us, Abby had been here a little over a month and I was having a tough sell with Abby fitting in with Boo,Ping, and Jinx. Well, Gracie fit just like a glove. While it took Abby months to fit it, years really, Gracie loved everyone, even Abby.
Oh my how she being outside. If the back door was open to the porch she was on it. She loved watching the squirrels, the birds the lizards, and the occasional snake!
 If I was in the office where the computer is Gracie always paid a visit. There is a window right in front of my laptop and she loved to sit there. Now I have a favorite photo of her there, so I can have my Angel watching over me all the time.
 You can see from over the years how Gracie loved to be nearby while I was in the office at the computer. In the bottom left of the photo you see Gracie's body in the window sill and her head resting on the desk that is the location of her photograph now that watches over me.
Gracie went after lizards in and out of the house and even a little froggy that attached itself to the door one day. If it moved she was on it!
So may pretty little tabby faces.
Just enjoying the wonderful warm sun!
 Gracie loved playing. She also loved playing with Ping. Her Dad and I used to joke and call her thunderpaws because when she came running you could hear it a mile away! But playing was just what came natural to her, she always seemed so young at heart.I so wished that she would be Annabelle's play buddy, but sadly, that just didn't have time to develop.
 Gracie getting into the Christmas season!
 I am sure missing this pretty little face.
 Every time I called Gracie Grace in a sing song voice, Gracie would always answer me with her little high pitched Meow. It was a little routine she and I had with one another.
 I couldn't help but put my own thoughts into these pictures which made me conjure up in my mind that Grace was looking beyond what can be seen with the mere eye and seeing into the greater horizon.

Things all seemed to happened suddenly, Gracie's developed an abnormal breathing pattern that I noticed on January 26, 2014 and I rushed her to the ER where it was discovered that she had a great deal of fluid in her chest cavity. Unknown cause at the time. I got her home the next day and over the course of that week she rallied well and started gaining back the weight & strength that she lost. Things took a sudden turn for the worse when she had further diagnostic testing done to try to find out what was wrong and how we should proceed. I must admit for a few days after that visit with the Specialty Vet and the extra diagnostic testing, I was very bitter about what had happened. I came to realize it would not have mattered if we had gone or not. There was nothing, sadly, that could be done to stop what was happening, so I finally was able to let that horrible episode go and try very hard to concentrate on Grace because my instincts were telling me she was not going to be with me long. I hoped for weeks, but I was hesitantly doubtful and as it turned out we only had days. It may be silly, but I was so glad that she was able to celebrate her 9th birthday with us on Feb 1st. We lost ground after that, but I will grateful that she was here that day. Probably more for myself than her, as it was simply another day, but it was a beautiful one. The days between the 1st and the 11th were a mixed bag. It was hard watching her go up and down, have good days and bad ones. Feb 11th was another beautiful warm sunny day and Gracie was able to spend the afternoon outside where she loved. Smelling all those special scents and basking in the warmth of the sun. I was so glad that the weather had warmed up enough to for her to be outdoors and to be able to spend those many hours with her. They will always be very very special memories I will hold in a special place in my heart.We had to say good bye to her at 4:40PM on Feb 11th. I finally was able to fulfill the promises I made, that there would be no more needles, no more medicines, no more sickness. Gracie slept peacefully from my arms to God. I know she is safe, happy and whole again. I believe she waits for me and when my time comes to join her we will have a great reunion. I feel so blessed to have had her for nearly 9 years. I believe she had a very happy loving life.
 I miss you Gracie Grace. I can't tell you how much I do.
I'm waiting to hear that sweet Meow again.
And to play "pen".
Get a head bump.
See you run like thundering elephants.
One day.
Gracie, one day.
I found this quote from Karla Bertram and it expresses my feelings more eloquently than I ever could. For I am still convincing myself that letting go was the right thing.
My head knows it was.
My heart still does not.
But, one thing is very clear.
What I did was out of unconditional love for Gracie, and I have to accept as Karen says:
to be willing to let go and to accept my pain
so you, Gracie can be free of yours.
That is not an easy thing to accept, even if it's the truth.
One day I hope to fully be able to embrace that.
But for now, I find an ambivalent heart that aches.

For if there's one thing you've taught me
If there's only one thing I've learned....
Unconditional love has a condition after all,
I must be willing to let you go, when you speak to me
I must be willing to help you go, if you cannot go alone
And I must accept my pain so you can be free of yours.

Go easily now, go quickly now,
Do not linger here, it is time for you to leave.
Go find your strength, go find your youth
Go find the ones who have gone before you
You are free to leave me now, free to let your spirit soar
Rest easy now, your pain will soon be gone.

I pray I will find comfort in my memories...
in the dark and lonely days ahead.
I cannot say I will not miss you, I cannot say I will not cry.
For only my tears can heal my broken heart.
But I promise you this; as long as I live,
You will live, alive in my mind, forever in my heart.

So I give you this last gift, all I have left to give,
And this will be my greatest gift...sending you away.
It is the measure of my unconditional love....
For only the greatest love can say
"Goodbye, go find the bridge, we'll meet again,
Loving you has been the greatest gift of all."

By Karla Bertram


  1. All we can say is we miss Grace, too. Terribly.

  2. Sweet Grace. You gifted her with a home and endless loves and she gifted you with her heart and endless loves. What a delight! So sad she left so early. -purrs

  3. count us in the multitude that love and miss her.

    emma and buster

  4. What a lovely tribute to such a loving little girl.

  5. Gracie was really a very beautiful and special girl. You and the other kitties were so fortunate to have her in your lives - and I think in the end, you returned that gift to her.

  6. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful,gentle kitty.
    We miss you Gracie.
    We are glad she had a wonderful life.
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    and Angels Tiger and Tillie

  7. Gracie was such a special Cat, and we're glad she was able to share all those years with you.

    The photo collages are wonderful, a loving tribute.

    Purrs and peace.

  8. It is clear that Gracie loved you very much and can see from your words the love was reciprocated. It is always hard to take the kindest step and I have wept at your words today.
    Take care and remember her love for you always.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  9. what a beautiful tribute to a very beautiful girl.

  10. What a beautiful post about Gracie...and one thing for sure she lived up to her name. She was for sure Gracie Gracie full of Grace!!
    And your collages are full of unconditional love.
    Hugs madi and mom

  11. thiz bee an awesum tribute two gracie....N we loves her collagez...prob a blee number five de best ...N yes, that does seem cruel what ac did...tho fate interveened....guarantee gracie loves thiz tribute N ewe az well.... promise


  12. Tears here again but only at the wonderment of the love that Gracie and all of your babies get and have gotten. xoxox

  13. We do miss your sweet Gracie and she was so fortunate to have waited for you to bring her home.

  14. A lovely post about Gracie. It made us all teary.

  15. What a touching post about your lovely girl. We especially love the photos of her interacting with all of the other cats. It shows how much evrybody loved her. Big purrs and hugs for you.

  16. That was such a great tribute to Gracie. And those pictures were just terrific. Loved all the collages. I truly believe the biggest gift we can give our fur animals, is the gift of letting them go.
    Have a great day.

  17. What a beautiful tribute. We are new followers so we did not know Gracie, but we can definitely feel the love that you had for her, that she had for you, and that she had with your other kitties by looking at all of the wonderful photos you shared and reading the sweet and lovely things you wrote about her. It brought me to tears. That quote you included at the end says it all perfectly. Losing a beloved pet is one of the hardest things, and we wish you comfort and healing. You were both lucky to have found each other.

  18. Being so painfully shy myself, Gracie always has a special place in my heart :-) She found the family she was supposed to find, and you do have a way of finding the kitties you are supposed to find.
    Hugs to each of you.

  19. your compilation of photos/collages are just beautiful. If you haven't, you should frame those. When my Angel Bobo crossed the bridge I made collages and hung them everywhere, they are STILL up. That way he is ALWAYS with me xoxo

  20. This is a lovely tribute to Gracie, and beautiful photos.She was a lovely girl.

  21. Such a lovely tribute to your Gracie Grace. She is loved and missed by so many, including us. Hugs and purrs to you as you remember your beloved girl...

  22. Gracie was beautiful...and you have so many wonderful memories of her. She is missed.


  23. Grace was a beautiful and well-loved girl. What a joy for you both that you found each other XOXOXOX

  24. PepiSmartDog: Beautiful tribute and beautiful tribute pictures. I am a Rainbow Bridge Ambassador and I can tell you it's a pretty awesome place.
    Please know your kittehs will always be with you and live on in your heart. You'll hear them whisper to your heart.
    You will be a forever family again; not just yet.
    Thank you for joining Thankful Thursday Weekly Blog Hop and we look forward to reading your next post. XXX

  25. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful little girl. You were meant to find each other.

  26. Such beautiful memories you have captured of Gracie. And we are so very happy you heard directly from Pepi himself, too.

    Momma made a note to herself: no reading your blog at work. She CRIES! :-)

    We'll come back and re-read the prose by Karla once she gets home. It's beautiful we can tell - she just hates red noses and weepy eyes - and explaining herself - at work. :-)

  27. I certainly can see the time and thought you put into this lovely tribute for Gracie. It must have been very difficult for you to do. I know that you will look at this often for comfort and enjoy all the wonderful memories. Gracie was so lucky that you showed up at the ACA and fell in love. XO, Janet

  28. When I saw this post I had to stop and wait until after I was done work to read it and slowly go through the collages. What a beautiful girl she was.
    Thank you so much for sharing her with us all!
    Dad Pete, Timmy and Family

  29. So beautiful. What an amazing tribute. It touches my heart and my soul.
    Marty's Mom

  30. Gracie was such a sweet soul. What a wonderful post and tribute to her. So glad she ended up in such a loving home with you.

    Be Well Sweet Gracie


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