the simple minded suburbanite


RIP, Dear Hazel
August 12, 2010, 11:48 am
Filed under: suburban

I’m all for dinner out, a rare treat, usually instigated by one constantly cooking, packing, cleaning up housewife…moi!  But it has been so crazy busy lately, and, yes, we have been flying through money in a way that makes even my teeth chatter, all I was focused on all through our celebratory meal was getting my worn out kids home, bathed, and tucked into bed.

I can do this!  I thought as we pulled into our driveway at 7:42.  Quick baths, one quick story and lights out!  Afterall, hadn’t my little one laid his curl covered head in my lap at the restaurant?  As I scurried with bathwater, and clean towels, and backpacks to be packed for the following day, my oldest entered the kitchen crying, “Hazel is dead.”

I wrapped him in my arms and he sobbed into my shirt as I twisted the heart-shaped pendant I was wearing to the back so it wouldn’t cause him any discomfort.  Hazel was one of two of my son’s guinea pigs.  She was the big one, the dominant one, the one who hogged the castle.  But she would stand up on hind legs every time my son would enter his room and squeek until he either fed her or held her, things he did with genuine love and things he never forgot to do, even on his worst days.  Hazel was my son’s pal and where he learned to practice care and responsibility and nurturing.

To be honest, I know both my husband and I were thinking, “Yes!  One last being from which crap must be cleaned!”  But, our little boy was suffering a loss, perhaps his greatest to date.  So, all forward motion to night time slumber stopped.  A shoe box was found and lined with wood chips.  A poem was written on a pretty card.  Two fairly fresh flowers were plucked from my birthday bouquet and a whole was dug next to the Crepe Myrtle.  Our cousin, who has lived with us for 8 weeks and was leaving at 3am the next morning for college, stopped packing her car, and the younger boys were encouraged from their place near the family room window to come outside to say a word about Hazel and comfort their brother.

The service began.  Amazing what one can say about a fat little guinea pig, it gives me hope that, yes, someone may find something nice to say about even me someday!  But we all shared our feeling for our Hazel and our oldest son.

And then my little one began…he began about how he knew how my oldest felt because he felt that way when he lost his pet frogs, Frozie and Big Foot.  They were his friends too.  And he was surprised too when they died so suddenly and so close together.  And as the sun began to go down, my curly headed 5 year old turned to his big brother, put his soft little hand on his own naked chest and said, “Don’t worry, Hazel is still right here with you.  Forever.”  And he patted his heart space.  He repeated the exact words I had spoken to him while he cried about his own little frogs.

Bedtime, shmedtime.  Sometimes the world has a way of slowing you down and giving you peace in ways you never thought you would find it.  Rest in peace, dear Hazel.

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