Panda's First Smile

Panda's First Smile
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Monday, November 25, 2013

The Byrds - Turn! Turn! Turn! In Memory of Chai

To Chai…
Our Beloved Bengal: There was a Season…And a time to every purpose Under Heaven…"

"A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing…"

Today, we let you Go Home.

And the guinea pigs…coming home from the hospital three of four were terminally ill: Peter-Peanut had pneumonia, bronchitis, droopy, red eyes, and congestive heart failure. Poppity-Squirrel had pneumonia and his lymph nodes so swollen the vet thinks he has lymphoma. Bhindi had pneumonia and droopy eyes. Only Vinny was well…but pneumonia so contagious we feared losing them all. An extraordinary "exotics" vet (who was so sure we would lose Peter-Peanut she asked if we wanted to "put him down" - mortifying me!)…we have been treating them with lots of medication, diligently administering it by wrapping them up in a 
"Guinea Burrito" towel which I don't have a photo of. They get fresh wheat grass, take their meds, and are not out of the woods yet but they have become "Poppity" again and the vet was astonished how well Peter was doing - his coat all glossy - when she saw him Saturday!

"A time to be born and a time to die."

It feels like a slice of me just calved off like the glaciers are doing in the warmer waters of the Polar Ice caps, never to cleave to me again…all I knew was of no value. Only Love. Only the "uninhibited brain" willing to be vulnerable and reply to those who asked how we were: "We are suffering." We have been grieving.

"A time to tear down and a time to heal,"
This - this, then has been "A time to tear down" and we welcome it as Healing is sure to follow as the dawn is never far from Night's Darkness.

Today we let go of Chai. We do have faith that all the guinea pigs will heal. And so will we. But, that chunk from the Past that calved off in our grief has changed us, recreated the geography of our hearts, and we feel, as one of our favorite mystic poets, Jalaludden Rumi wrote: 
"The wound is the place the Light enters."

So, in the Heart of Darkness, in the agony of our broken hearted wound, we await Light.

Chai…you were amazing. Oh God, you were so amazing! 
"A time to be silent and a time to speak…" 
Now, Boyo, we shall fall silent and speak no more.

{Special thanks to "our family" at the Phinney Ridge Animal Hospital for holding us so tenderly while Chai slipped away.}