My older son lives in the Dallas Metroplex. We see each other every couple of years, and keep up-to-date on each other's lives through the courtesy of Facebook, Twitter and texting on our phones. But because we're so limited in our personal interactions, I haven't really been able to watch him grow up. He'll be 40 this year (oops, I think I said that out loud!), so he's pretty well grown up. But the past couple of months I've seen him from a different perspective.
We're cat people, and he's had two cats during his adult life. Persephone and Orion became his masters about 13 years ago. Then Persephone passed away in August of 2009. So it's been just T.J. and Orion for the past three-and-a-half years.
So what does this have to do with my watching T.J. grow up? A couple of months ago, he realized something was very wrong with Orion's health. After a lot of worry and several doctors' visits, he learned Orion had a fungus that had eaten his skull away. I watched from afar and read his impassioned Facebook posts about this beautiful and affectionate cat.
What I have seen is a very mature man with an enormous heart do everything in his power to bring comfort to this beautiful animal that has been so special in his life. I'm so happy T.J. had this cat as a part of his life, and I'm so touched by his gentle carrying of Orion to his passing.
I have two wonderful sons. I'm a lucky mother.
Note: the picture above was taken last night by one of T.J.'s former roommates, who also loved Orion.