Browsed by
Month: October 2017

When an angel came home and into our lives

When an angel came home and into our lives

“Your beloved pets are earth angels, and when they cross the rainbow bridge, their loving presence stays loyally by your side.” ~Doreen Virtue

Today happens to be the birthday of a special someone. This blog post is dedicated to him!

Flashback to two years ago…

My daughters and I were in a perennial debate of sorts over owning a pet dog. We had several discussions on the pros and cons of having a puppy at home.

  • Who would take the huge responsibility of caring for a little animal at home?
  • Are we ready for a commitment of another 10-12 years of an average dog life span?
  • Would a pet fit into our lifestyle?
  • What would happen during vacations when we are not at home?
  • How will they manage their studies along with taking care of the pet?
  • Are we going to be okay with the mess a puppy can create?
  • Should we adopt or buy?
  • Is everyone at home okay about this?

Many such questions and more faced me…and my daughters had all the answers ready. After looking at their earnest desire and enthusiasm and weighing the positives, we concluded to go for it. In all good faith, I decided to take the plunge of being a pet parent.

Then the choice of the right breed was important. Not too big, not the very shedding kind, not an aggressive breed, etc. We arrived at an amicable choice – Shih Tzu would be just the right fit.

Since chances of finding Shih Tzus for adoption were rare, we decided to buy a Shih Tzu puppy from a breeder. The breeder sent us pictures based on which we selected our baby. Out we went to a pet store nearby to get all the accessories ready to welcome him home. While talking to the pet storeowner, we proudly showed him the photo of our chosen pup’s mother. He immediately pointed out that this photo was of that of their own Shih Tzu – a prize dog! We felt cheated and instantly canceled our booking with that breeder. And booked one with this pet store owner.

The day arrived when we had to bring him home. There was excitement in my daughters’ eyes, there was a bit of anticipation in mine as I was bringing in another baby home. A baby I had not much idea how to bring up. We had agreed – it was going to be a joint responsibility between the three of us. I was going to be dependent on my dependents to raise him.

SIMBA!

That was the name chosen for our little bundle of joy. How tiny was he when we first held him – almost the size of our hand. For most of the time, he slept. But while awake, Simba was full of energy running from one end of the house to the other. He kept following whoever was in his visibility. And hated to be confined in his playpen. Just like a little baby demands, so did we have to be on a constant vigil cleaning up his pee and poop.

How Simba liked being snuggled under my mother’s sari and find comfort in the warmth. We had to be watchful of him not coming under our feet, as he was so tiny and swift in his movements. Everyone took to him beautifully, again just like we do towards babies. It’s amazing how quickly a pet can become the center of activity and attention at home. But just as quickly, things changed in a matter of a few days when he contracted a deadly virus. Unfortunately, he was too little to fight it and much to our despair, couldn’t survive. But today I do not want to talk about that pain of losing him.

Instead today, when Simba would have turned two years old, I only want to celebrate the precious time he spent with us. Our family cherishes those days filled with joyful, playful, fun loving moments. The glee in his eyes when we would return home. The sprint in his feet when it was time for meals. Just having him constantly yearn for my attention made me feel so wanted. Our paths were meant to cross for the short life span he was here. In those few days, he had exemplified the true meaning of unconditional love. We had chosen him but in reality, perhaps he had chosen us as his family to facilitate an extremely peaceful liberation of his soul in this life. It truly felt like an angel came into our lives, blessed us and left for heavenly abode. He may have crossed over the rainbow bridge, but he continues to live with us in spirit!

Simba – we miss you and love you. Always will.

 

What the children of divorce must definitely be told

What the children of divorce must definitely be told

“Divorce isn’t such a tragedy. A tragedy is staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce.” ~ Jennifer Weiner

Through this blog, I have had the privilege to connect with some interesting souls who bring along their own unique life stories. Some of them have connected with me in the open, while some secretly through personal contact. Amongst these many associations, there is one life story that has touched me hard. One soul who has been distraught with her parents divorce when she was a child. She has been nursing strong feelings of hatred and bitterness for the longest of time. ‘If only I was a better child, this wouldn’t have happened. My father would have then loved me and not left us’, she had expressed in one of her conversations with me. She blames herself for their divorce and for all the hatred that her father has for her.

This made me think that how parents handle their divorce is so much more important than the impact of the actual event on the little minds. Divorce is an extremely sensitive topic.Children must be handled with utmost care and they must be aware of certain facts. How critical it is for the children in divorce to receive the right messages at the right time. What you say, how, where and when you say it are all important factors to keep in mind. From my personal experience, and from what I have read and learnt over the years, I believe this is what must be conveyed to the children:

Divorce is imminent – ‘Mom and Dad are not going to live together anymore. We tried hard to stay in the relationship but it’s just not working out. We have been unable to work out our adult problems. We feel it is healthier to separate and go our ways rather than live with constant conflict under one roof.’

Your parents will always remain your parents – ‘Mom and Dad will always remain your Mom and Dad. Divorce happens between the two parents and not between parents and their children. It is the end of the marriage but not the end of our relationship with you.’

It’s not your fault – ‘You are not to be blamed. Nothing that you have done or not done has caused this to happen. Nor can you prevent this painful event from happening. You are not responsible in any way for this divorce.’

You will always be loved – Unless there’s a situation in which one parent abandons the child/children, children need to know they will always be loved, that the parents will always be there for them. As long as this remains true, they need to know that even the parent who is no longer living with them, will be there for them. They will always be cared for and all their needs will be met.

Changes will occur in our family life – ‘Our family maybe called broken but we will still be a family in many ways.’ Here, it is extremely important to explain to the children the mutually agreed upon visitation schedule. How often the non-resident parent will see the kids and where – all details have to be explained well. It is equally important to specify what will not change – the sibling, the home, maybe the school, other relatives, their belongings, etc.

It is not the end of your world – ‘Having divorced parents can be extremely painful and challenging. I/We recognise your feelings. You have a right to be angry and hurt. But be assured, it is definitely not the end of your world. There’s a lot more that life has to offer. Even though this event may seem insurmountable now, you will soon discover ways to get past your pain and angst. You will come out strong and successful, you can surely thrive!’

“I strongly believe children can thrive through divorce. Children need parents who love them. Children need to know they are safe. Children need stability and sometimes that’s much easier to achieve outside a marriage than in a broken one.” ~Lisa Hayes

The best of kids have divorced parents – Children often wonder why their parents are divorced and not the parents of their friends. It is very easy to feel victimised. It is natural for them to think they must be bad kids, hence this is happening to them. But children need to know that divorce can happen to the best of kids. This has nothing to do with their behaviour or shortcomings whatsoever. They are wonderful children. And will continue to be so.

Ideally, both parents should break this news together. But every situation of separation is different and even if one parent has to break the news, so be it. Be careful of the place where these things are being discussed, as there is likely to be emotional breakdowns. And again, the messages have to be reiterated in an age appropriate language.

When children of divorce look back, they realize that the moment of hearing ‘the news’ changed their lives forever. This makes it vital for the parent/parents to handle it well and set the tone for an emotionally strong future.

Also read: How children see their family

%d bloggers like this: