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Sunday, March 24, 2013

61 Taking Comfort

I’ve sat down several times to share this with you, only to find myself staring at a big blank white screen, taking a deep breath and sighing, and walking away.

Our little girl Chloe is gone. She lost her hard fought battle to advanced kidney failure.

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I don’t think I could sum up in a single blog post what these past 16 1/2 years have been like with this bright little orange spark in our lives. And what our life is going to be like without her.

Our little family of four is now a little’er family of three.

There are some days that are hard, and some that are even harder. And there are times I sit and cry in the driveway when I come home, with the realization she won’t be there to greet me anymore as I walk through the front door.

I’ve been trying to find calm and comfort in quiet, simple things.



I’ve been watching from my kitchen window as Spring’s arrival breathes new life into nature, reminding me that no matter what happens in our lives, life marches
on.

The trees in our yard are blossoming at such a quick pace, the fallen tiny white petals look like California snow. It was so beautiful, I wandered out into the backyard in my pajama’s one early morning with a pair of gardening sheers and clipped several branches. I gathered them up and plunked them into one of my favorite old vessels.

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I’ve also been catching up on some of my favorite reading, which I sometimes feel guilty doing. Like I should be doing something more productive with my time. But I find the photography and articles so inspiring, I tell myself it’s research. 

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And I’ve been crushing hard on cotton.

Anyone that knows me fairly well knows I’m a wee bit obsessed the stuff. Imagine my delight when I landed two dozen REAL cotton stems this past weekend from a fellow dealer.

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So yeah, the stuff you’ve seen all around my house up till now…manufactured (fake stems).

This here is the real deal. Crunchy, flaky, billowy and fabulous…

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I’ve also been clutching tightly to my chest Sibella Court’s latest book, The life of a Bowerbird.  


sibella spring1 



I’ve been carrying it around with me every place I go ever since I I first met Sibella. 


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You can find me reading it in the kitchen while waiting for my veggies to roast in the oven, out in the garden as a welcome distraction to pulling stubborn weeds, and most often, while lying in bed late at night trying to clear my mind before falling sleep.

I’ve found it’s the near perfect antidote to chasing away the blues.



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Have you ever loved a book so much that you can read it front to back, back to front, and each time you crack it open, it’s new all over again?


sibella spring4


I also finished a bookshelf project that I started working on after the New Year, but only recently just completed. Sometimes I need to remind myself it’s okay to loose yourself in a project, even if it takes you a week, a month, or half a year.


log preview1

This is just a little teaser. The rest I'll share with you in a future post.

We are so pleased with how it turned out.

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I want to thank those folks who were concerned about my absence. 

Only a few weeks before Chloe took ill, we both had our own share of (scary) sickness and doctors and scans and tests. Thankfully, gratefully, we are doing okay now.

I want to ask a small favor: After you’re done reading this post, please go hug someone you care about and let them know how you feel. Sometimes it takes a wake up call to make you realize what a brief and precious gift life really is.


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Till next time, click and keep up with us on our favorite sites…
 

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61 comments:

  1. Hi Jennifer,
    I am so sorry to read about your losing your precious Chloe. Know that she is watching over you still and that you will be together again one day. Saying a prayer of healing for you and your family.
    Sincerely,
    Suzanne
    Pieced Pastimes

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  2. I am so sorry! It made my cry just to read the first sentence of your post. All of us animal lovers understand the pain you must be going through. We rescued our dog 1 1/2 years ago... she is about 7 years old, but has hip problems. Just to see her hobbling around makes me cry. Hang in there and cherish all of your memories!!!

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  3. I'm so very saddened by this news and so sorry for the loss of your beloved and beautiful Chloe. I know all too well, as do all of us who have cared for and loved our pets, how profoundly if not near unbearably painful this heartbreak and heartache is.

    I do know, though, as I know you do too, that your little angel Chloe always knew how very much was loved. You gave her love, comfort, shelter, safety, in never-ending abundance. You gave her a wonderful 16 and a half years of a wonderful life, filled with so much love.

    I've realised, through the many years of losing our loved ones over a lifetime, that even though they are no longer here with us in the tangible, physical sense, they are still very much with us, and always will be with us, because of our love for them, their love for us, and the unbreakable bond that will always be there. Death cannot take this from us.

    Your beautiful and sweet Chloe, just like my beautiful Mollie girl, and my Rudi and Rocky, Pooka and Finn, Shibbles, Shadow and Holly, Puddin', Angel, Fluffy and Pudgie, are with me - in my heart, in my beautiful memories of each of them over and through the years. No matter how long they've been gone, they are still with me, and still loved so very much. Keep that love with you always - the intense and very deep heartache and heartbreak you are suffering through right now will eventually lessen...slowly, very slowly, but just take comfort in knowing that your love will light Chloe's way, and your love for her will keep her alive within you.

    Sending you, your family and your beloved Chloe much love. - June

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  4. It is so hard to lose a beloved pet. I am so sorry.

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  5. I am sooooooo sorry, those sweet animals are so much a part of our families!!! take care!

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  6. Reading your blog brought back painful memories for me. This past fall we lost our sweet Chloe Joy (14) to kidney failure. It was so painful. I still feel her presence in our house. At night, many times, I think I feel her jumping up on the bed to sleep beside me. And when we are away, we still forget that she is gone. It seems like we should be hurrying home to her so she won't be lonely. You have my sympathy.

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  7. Hi Jennifer,
    I was so sorry to hear about your loss. We just lost our 15 year old basset hound Molly. She lost her fight too with Kidney issues. They are family members so I know the pain you are feeling. Time has a way of not making things better but time does have a way of making things different and less painful. My wish for you is to get to this place after losing your Chloe. Hold onto all the fond memories and the wonderful life she had with you. My heart goes out to you Jennifer.
    Kris

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  8. I am so sorry Jennifer. I have lost many beloved pets. It is never easy. They are such a part of the family. Prayers for your hurt during this time. I love reading and yes, there are many great books I tend to go back to time and time again. Praying your week is beautiful and peaceful and healing begins. Blessings!

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  9. Oh no, I'm so sorry about little Chloe, it's hard I know. I have a dog, Roxanne, who is getting quite old and slow and I know it's going to be hard when her time finally comes. Hope your spirits start lifting soon, all of us out here in blog land are thinking of you. :o)

    Tania

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  10. Jennifer, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet cat. I know from reading your blog for several years what a part of your family Chloe was and what a void there will be without her. I am also sorry to hear about the problems both of you have had with health scares and I pray that all of that is behind you now. I know, from personal experience, what that is like. I have had and am still having my own problems, but they dim in comparison to the battle being fought by my wonderful son-in-law. We don't always realize how much we all take for granted until we are suddenly faced with earth-shattering news. We really do not need to put off until tomorrow showing the love we have in our hearts for each other. Each day we have with loved ones is truly a blessing and not to be used frivolously. My family and I can attest to that.

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  11. I'm so sorry Jennifer. My heart hurts for you guys Marcy

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  12. I'm so very sorry that your furry baby has gone and I hope that each day gets easier to remember her without tears......B:) xo

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  13. I'm sorry for your loss... You may not feel it now, but time will heal and it won't be long and you'll be laughing and reminiscing over the moments with her. Until then, don't be afraid to she'd a tear or two... It does make things feel better! *smile*

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  14. Deeply sorry. We lost our dear Kitty Ned last year. I still weep over our lost. I try to tell people that it wasn't just that we loved Ned so much, it was that he loved us so. I will say as the months went on I did get better. It worried me that I would not. We have gotten a new kitty and we love'em. He can't replace Ned. Nothing can. God bless.

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  15. Jennifer,

    Having my own crisis with my dog, I want to tell you how sorry I am that Chloe is gone from your sight. But you will see her again...she is just waiting on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge....healthy, young, and happy....dogs and cats leave such love in our hearts....I wish they could live longer...take care of yourself...be kind to yourself and time will make it better and possibly even room for a new little kitty heart in your life...:) Sandy

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  16. So sorry for your loss Jennifer and for your health scares as well. Hoping you are healing... Take care, Laura

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  17. I'm so sorry to hear that your girl is gone. That is the heartache of pets, they don't live long enough. I know exactly how bad you feel because I suddenly lost one last year and I didn't think I was going to live through it. Really. But I did what I always tell others to do...make something good come out of the bad....and rescue another. I know it's too soon...but after I lost mine...all I could think about was finding another to help. I still miss my Newman but my Franklin helped. He did not replace him...but I am comforted by the fact that he got to have a great life as result of my losing my dearest dog ever. Oh...I pay attention every day to my loved ones...I've had too many scares and losses not to pay attention. This last week we thought my Aunt had a stroke but it turned out not to be after several scary days. She went home today feeling fine. I feel blessed that she is ok...even though we lost her daughter last year. We never know what is coming...we just do the best we can do.

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  18. My heart aches for you and your family. We suddenly lost our beloved 16 yr old "baby" kitty to pancreatic cancer just two weeks ago. She had suffered with chronic kidney failure for years so I know the anguish and anxiety of trying to treat that disease as well. Catster.com had a good article on how to deal with losing your cat and the book There is Eternal Life for Animals by Niki Behrikis Shanahan has helped me as well. The most comforting thing for me is knowing I'll be seeing my little girl again someday. The hard part is the meantime, of course.
    http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/how-do-you-heal-loss-of-a-cat

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  19. Dear Jennifer,

    So sorry to hear about your kitty; we lost our Monique to the same thing a few years ago after having her since she was 6 weeks old til she died at age 15. I know it's hard and hope you find comfort in your tea, books, friends, and family. Love, Kathryn

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  20. I am so sorry to hear of Chloe's passing! I know how difficult losing a furry family member can be and how long it takes to get over those habitual things you do, like expecting to see her when you get home. My beloved dog Sullivan passed in June and I still expect to see his little face in the window when I pull up. Remember the good times and your heart will lighten. Hugs, Leena

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  21. I am really feeling for you. We are losing our beloved dog and I do wonder how I will cope when the time comes. Let your tears flow when they come, it is a great release of sorrow.Thinking of you.....

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  22. I am so sorry. Simple words and not nearly enough but they are from the heart. I lost my dear cat of 16 years not long ago, around the time your Chloe was first getting sick. I remember trying to sit and write you a comment because I understood what you had ahead of you. (Mine, too, was lost to kidney failure) But I couldnt form any words. It was too soon for me. I can tell you it gets alittle easier, but it will always be hard. Hold your husband and your other fur baby close and enjoy each and every day. Thank you for your beautiful blog and the joy it brings to me and so many others. I wish you all the best.

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  23. Oh Jennifer, I'm so sorry that you lost your wonderful Chloe. I lost my cat, Hank, to kitty kidney failure many years ago and I don't think that I'll ever forget. I'm glad that you and your husband are okay. Medical issues can be so scary and when you're coping with other things, they're all the more difficult. I'm glad that you're keeping busy and that you're finding at least some comfort. Just remember to be good to yourself. Spring time's coming, and with it, a few rays of sun and signs of life. I'm certain that memories of Chloe will be with you always and that her spirit will keep you company in all that you do. Hugs, Kimberly

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  24. Bless your heart. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  25. I'm so sorry Jennifer Chloe was such a pretty kitty. I know how you feel they are not pets But part of the family
    my heart goes out to you and yours. Keep yourself calm and busy. Blessing and prayers sent your way.

    Pattie

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  26. So sorry for your loss jenn... words can never fill that empty feeling but please know all warm and fuzzy thoughts are sent your way from us~ Hugs to you Guys oxox

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  27. Dear Jennifer,
    I hope you can feel the big hug I am sending you...I know how sad you are. Your sweet Chloe was a fighter, she can rest now.

    I really love your cotton stem. It sure does add that vintage charm to a room. I do find myself going back to a book that really calls to me, I will read it over and over again and pick up something new that I missed reading from it the first time.

    I hope your days are becoming brighter and that your heart will feel better soon.
    Elizabeth XO

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  28. I'm so sorry about your Chloe. I, too, had to say good-bye to my sweet kitty and I still look for her when I set down a drink, or curl up in my favorite old green chair. Love your beautiful posts and I read more than I comment. Please have a joyful Spring.

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  29. I am so sorry for your loss. I offer my deepest sympathy. I lost my sweet Izzy nearly 2 years ago and my heart still aches for her. Just know that you now have an extra angel watching over you.

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  30. So sorry, Jennifer for your loss. I lost my cat of eighteen years so the same disease. So hard to lose a furry cherished family member. I need to check on that book you are reading. Looks good.

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  31. I'm so sorry for your loss Jennifer. It's always so hard when our furry loved ones pass away. What a beautiful kitty she was. We also lost a cat to kidney disease a few years back - he is still much missed. Your book sounds like a good one. Big hugs!

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  32. Dear Sweet Jennifer,

    My heart goes out to you. I know when I lost my cat, I didn't know how I was going to make it through the day. Let your tears flow. They help you to heal. Talk and share your memories with us. Eventually, it will get easier. You are so lucky to have had such love and joy. That love will always be with you in the present too.
    Hugs from monah
    (a dog & cat lover)

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  33. I am so sorry to hear of your loss!!! I've been there and know it's so hard. Our pets are one of Gods special blessings.

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  34. Hi, Jennifer. Sorry to hear about Chloe and about your recent medical issues. Where have I been? I should have kept in touch more....Please let me know if there's anything I can do.

    Last night at midnight our cat, Mochi, had a seizure. It came out of nowhere, but for 2 minutes of her life I felt her pain. She seems to have recovered completely, but last night she was disoriented for quite some time. My good friend lost her cat of 20+ years to renal failure just last week. So sad for all. From one cat lover to another...my thoughts are with you, Jennifer.

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  35. It is sooooo sad losing a member of the family. My boy, Boogie, a chihuahua died on the 14th. I have cried so hard every day since. I am having a really hard time coming to grips with him not being here and the fact that I will never see him again.

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  36. So sorry about the loss of your precious Chloe. Our pets steal our hearts, don't they? I hugged my three cats tonight in honor of Chloe. Take care.

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  37. Jennifer, I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. I hope that time and precious memories help to heal your heart.

    I also wanted to let you know that I can get you cotton! In late summer, early Fall, I am happy to send you cotton, on the stem. I live in Texas and in South Texas, cotton is the king crop. I recognize your love for it and I am happy to send you your heart's content in cotton. (This is free, I'm no soliciting any payment but I would ask that you pay postage or for the shipping method of your choice.) Anyway, if you are interested, shoot me an email at groth.alison@yahoo.com

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  38. So sorry to hear your news about your beautiful cat. I had two girls that both lasted 18 years each and I still miss them, although the memories are much easier to handle these days. Sending you a hug from overseas. x

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  39. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss of sweet Chloe. I recently lost a kitty in January who was 22 years old. It still hurts even though she had a long life. But please take comfort in knowing that you loved her and she felt your love. Our pets are such a blessing from the Lord and give us their unconditional love in return. Even though thay don't live as long as I would like, I would rather have a pet for a short time than to never know that special kind of love.
    Take care and
    God bless you, Mary

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  40. Dear Jennifer....my most heartfelt sympathy to your family in having to say googbye to your most beloved Chloe...I am sending you all a ((( BIG HUG ))) - sincerely, Valerie from up in British Columbia

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  41. I understand your pain. I lost my Georgie over a year ago. We rescued a new kitten shortly thereafter and named him Charlie. He brings me joy and helps me mask the pain of loosing George but sometimes I still call Charlie "George" and I wince because it hurt to say his name out loud. Amazing how a creature can bring so much joy and so much pain. I am thankful for the years God allowed him to be on this earth with us. I am praying for healing for your broken heart and if nothing else seems to work...buy a new kitten and learn to love all over again. :) They are loads of fun!

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  42. my dear friend, i am so very sorry to read that your precious chloe has passed away. my heart is heavy for you and adam. i completely understand your loss and it makes me sad to know that you are having to walk this path right now. after losing my son, Jordan, life is just different now. but i hold tight to memories and to my faith. so glad you have the things in life that bring you joy. these little things are soooo very important to help ease the pain in the heart and to redirect our focus. please know i love you.

    becky
    xx

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  43. I am so very sorry for your loss. There's a hole they leave, and I am glad you have many happy memories for comfort.

    Many blessings to you - it helps to find those things we are grateful for! :)

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  44. I always read your blog but have never commented before now. I just joined to do so. It seemed unfair to enjoy your joy and lovely things which you have shared and not say how sorry I was at the loss of your beautiful charming cat Chloe. While we have them we put thoughts of how short their lives are out of our minds .... and the time we have with them does go by in a blink. But we are blessed, we know that we are and would never, ever trade the pain for not having felt the love at all. I really am touched by your last paragraph, and that hug. I hope that you do not mind but leaving you this comment was a hug from me and my cats, past and present.
    Minerva x

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  45. Je suis désolée pour le départ de Chloé. Je comprends que cela soit difficile et je suis de tout coeur avec vous. Je vais aller faire un câlin à mon chat, même si je garde toujours à l'esprit qu'il faut que je profite de lui car je sais qu'un jour il ne sera plus là. Amitiés à votre famille.

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  46. I was wondering where you'd been...I'm so, so sorry to read about your precious Chloe's passing. My eyes welled up with tears as I was reading this, as I'm the "mom" to 3 kitties myself and I know how much I love them. I was also sorry to hear that you and your hubby were ill too...I hope you are both well now. Scary times! That book looks absolutely wonderful. I'm going to check it out on amazon and put it on my wish list. Love and hugs to you.

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  47. My neighbors just lost their 16 1/2 year old Murray this week. I know what it feels like to lose a precious pet and my thoughts are with you. I am hoping you will be at the Seaside Park Flea Market tomorrow.

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  48. Jennifer, my heart goes out to you. I know exactly what you're saying over the loss of Chloe. The day I lost my little Jackie, the little Jack Russell dog of my life 4 years ago, my world went dark. I'm still waiting for the sunshine. May you find comfort. I'm glad you yourselves are doing alright medically.

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  49. My heart breaks and aches for you, for Chloe, and this sad time. I know so well what you're feeling, first hand. I never really get over these losses. My thoughts are with you.

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  50. Dearest Jennifer,

    I was on Etsy this morning and saw their "Get the Look" blog posting featuring you and your home, and thought "Yay, Jennifer! Good on you for getting featured on Etsy!" because I've been following you for YEARS, since you were a seller on eBay. But when I read the article description that said "She lives with her husband, Adam, and their orange tabby cat, Skylar, ..." I got a cold chill down my spine and my first thought was "Oh no, something's happened with Chloe," so I immediately came here and found this post.

    Oh, my heart hurts so much for you and Adam and poor Skylar on the loss of your sweet, beautiful girl! I know what it's like to lose a fur baby, it's like part of your heart dies. They really are our precious family members! I think sometimes animals are more accepting of death, like they realize sometimes on a different level and maybe better than we humans do that it's just what happens in life. I know Skylar and Chloe were very close and loved each other dearly, so even though I'm sure he greatly misses her, too, take heart in knowing that he was more than likely prepared for this in his communications with Chloe and has accepted it in his own kitty way. The passing of time will make it easier to bear, as will knowing Chloe is never really gone from you. Don't be surprised if you feel her presence around you, I sometimes think fur babies "stick around" as it were for a while to comfort us. I think they do it because while they know we love them and provide a wonderful life for them, they love us just as much, too, as they possible can.

    Hoping I don't sound too new age-y, but Marty the pet communicator http://www.talktoanimals.com/ is very good at "speaking with animals," and can probably ease your mind in regard to Chloe. I highly recommend her, and I've sent four of five of my cat-loving friends to her, and they've all been very pleased with her work.

    I am happy to hear your recent health scares were just - scares - and that everything is OK now. You are absolutely right, life is so brief and precious, and we often take it for granted until something scary happens. Life has a funny way of bestowing blessings on us, and sometimes a fright like this is just the wake-up call we need. Thank you for reminding us all of that.

    Take care,

    Kimberly

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  51. Dearest Jennifer,

    I was on Etsy this morning and saw their "Get the Look" blog posting featuring you and your home, and thought "Yay, Jennifer! Good on you for getting featured on Etsy!" because I've been following you for YEARS, since you were a seller on eBay. But when I read the article description that said "She lives with her husband, Adam, and their orange tabby cat, Skylar, ..." I got a cold chill down my spine and my first thought was "Oh no, something's happened with Chloe," so I immediately came here and found this post.

    Oh, my heart hurts so much for you and Adam and poor Skylar on the loss of your sweet, beautiful girl! I know what it's like to lose a fur baby, it's like part of your heart dies. They really are our precious family members! I think sometimes animals are more accepting of death, like they realize sometimes on a different level and maybe better than we humans do that it's just what happens in life. I know Skylar and Chloe were very close and loved each other dearly, so even though I'm sure he greatly misses her, too, take heart in knowing that he was more than likely prepared for this in his communications with Chloe and has accepted it in his own kitty way. The passing of time will make it easier to bear, as will knowing Chloe is never really gone from you. Don't be surprised if you feel her presence around you, I sometimes think fur babies "stick around" as it were for a while to comfort us. I think they do it because while they know we love them and provide a wonderful life for them, they love us just as much, too, as they possible can.

    Hoping I don't sound too new age-y, but Marty the pet communicator http://www.talktoanimals.com/ is very good at "speaking with animals," and can probably ease your mind in regard to Chloe. I highly recommend her, and I've sent four of five of my cat-loving friends to her, and they've all been very pleased with her work.

    I am happy to hear your recent health scares were just - scares - and that everything is OK now. You are absolutely right, life is so brief and precious, and we often take it for granted until something scary happens. Life has a funny way of bestowing blessings on us, and sometimes a fright like this is just the wake-up call we need. Thank you for reminding us all of that.

    Take care,

    Kimberly

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  52. Pets are part of our families, and losing one is so hard ... especially one that has been such a big part of life for so many years. I'm so sorry about Chloe.

    Hugs to you this morning, to help bring peace and healing. Chloe is at peace, and she loves you. Fly free, sweet Chloe.

    Connie

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  53. I'm so sorry for your loss and reminded of my own just over a year ago. I've got a soft, white, cotton velvet winter duvet which made collecting (over the years) kitty whiskers shed by my furry girl almost mandatory. I mean, there they would be -- so cute -- so I collected them in my bedside table drawer. I peek at them now and then and remember all the funny, sweet, smart things she used to do and think about all the things she taught me over her 18 years. Sending a big hug. E.

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  54. Hello Jennifer, I came over from another blog where I saw the picture of your sweet Chloe on a bloglist. I'm so very sorry that you lost your dear family member. It's only some months ago that one of our kitties died and so I know how sad you are.
    Sending you a very big hug,
    Julia

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  55. So sorry for your loss of your sweet Chloe, It is so hard to lose those little furry babies, I've been there and it took a long time for me, it's been several years now when I lost my Eli, I still miss him. I have three furries with me now, more than planned but the attachment is amazing. They're sweet little companions
    MCB

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  56. Chloe seems like such a love, it takes time. I sure miss my Suzy. And you are right, we need to stop and consider the gifts we have! Hugs to you. Di

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  57. Dear Jennifer....I love your blog and thank you for sharing your creativity with us all. My deepest sympathies to you on the loss of your beautiful Chloe. I too lost my cocker spaniel Brittany after 16 1/2 beautiful years shared. I thought I would never get over it. Time has a way of healing us...mending our broken hearts. I found a website that was supportive and allowed me to write messages in memory of my Brittany. It is Petloss.com. Every Monday night, they have a candle lighting ceremony. Somehow...I felt like I was still connected to her by writing messages and also writing my thoughts on her anniversary and birthday dates. It has now been 5 years since she has passed....and the deep pain I once had has been replaced with joyful memories of her. I will keep you in my prayers!!

    Take care,
    Laura

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  58. We have a ginger cat too. So very sorry for you, pet lovers understand totally.

    Lisa

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  59. I'm so sorry about your loss. Our pets become our family and it is so difficult when we lose them. Hugs and prayers to you.

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  60. Yes, as the others said - any one who has had a pet, and gone through the heartache of losing their beloved pet - will understand exactly what you are going through ....Just remind yourself what a loving and gentle home you gave your beloved Chloe for over 16 years .....She knew that she was loved, and your cared for her to the very end. You won't forget her, but someday it will be will a smile instead of a tear.....

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  61. I am so sorry for your loss, I know how hard it can be. My most loved bunny Pebbles died a year ago of kidney failure and I still cry now and then over her. She was my little darling girly who loved her mommy as much as she was loved. I so miss her running to see me whenever she heard my voice...Hang in there, Lynnie

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