I have to admit that the initial excitement about the ride up to Lake Toxaway last Wednesday, for the holidays, was diminished by Tigger’s passing just hours before we left. I kept my sunglasses on for more than one reason…my eyes were puffy from crying.
I told Mandy I saw Tigger everywhere and said a prayer at the third waterfall…blew him kisses into the blue skies over the North Carolina mountains…he was everywhere in my mind…reflecting off the lake, rising above the fog gathering each morning…even at the weddings held near Tommy and Kaitlyn’s room. Tigger was there.
I knew Tigger when…he was just a little puff ball that could fit in the palm of Walsh’s hand…which he did one time soon after John and Mandy adopted him. They left on their honeymoon and Walsh kept him while they were away.
Tigger’s favorite stuffed animal was “Tiger”…Joan had to re-sew it back together again every time they visited…it was Tigger’s favorite fuzzy friend!
It was Thanksgiving afternoon, when we had finished eating that it hit me….how thankful we should all be to have had that adorable little bundle of love in our presence for 12 and a half years. He gave and gave and gave unconditional love and accepted everyone’s love back.
Sunday afternoon before Tigger got sick the next day…he was lying by the front door watching the children play…still guarding them from his normal stance…Tommy stopped by and had Atticus with him. When he took Atticus inside…he immediately ran over to “cousin” Tigger and began licking him all over (never had done that before)…like he was kissing him good-bye…Atticus seemed to know intuitively something was wrong. Animals’ intuitions are amazing.
As hard as it is thinking about Christmas without Tigger…we are all looking at new traditions this year for the first time in a long time. Part of me is very sad about the loss of some of the holiday traditions but I also understand that new traditions are important too…life changes and we must change with it. It is a great teaching lesson for those who are modeling what we do.
So I will remember precious Tigger with love and fondness forever…and thank God for our memorable “every holiday gift” we had for as long as we did. Tigger did make me laugh!
So until tomorrow…Tigger, you have left our lives…but you will never leave our hearts.”
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
Don’t forget to say “Rabbit, Rabbit” (it’s the first day of December!)…we could use some good feelings dominating this month of Jesus’ birth. Let’s take this daunting year out on as high a note as possible.
*** Please keep the Kmetz family in your prayers today. Janet Kmetz was my social studies teaching buddy for many years at Alston Middle before transferring to the new (at that time) Oakbrook Middle School. Our loss was their gain. She was a fabulous teacher.
I told her husband Steve last night at the Visitation that I was sending him funny anecdotes about shared experiences Janet and I had while teaching together. Those years are some of my most memorable…made so by a special friend.
Janet died from complications of cancer that snowballed too quickly and didn’t give us enough time to let Janet know how much we will miss her…but somehow I think she already knew that…my love and prayers go to her husband and three wonderful sons (Michael, Steven, and Jimmy) and their families…Janet had finally gotten her wish… granddaughters….been waiting on a little girl for a long time. Now she had three!
Mandy and Michael Kmetz playing over at the house…fading photos but warm memories.