And then there were none

| | Comments (2)
Nettie (Annette Funicello, pictured below as a youngster) breathed her last today, and it has hit me hard. She was the last survivor out of the 3 baby mice we brought home in the summer of 2008, and the cute Netty sm.jpgone I grew closest to. It's not just her death that I am grieving, but the passing of an era--however brief--and the loss of 3 tiny, but bright, lights in my life. As Rick said, "They were fun." They were, indeed.

But to be perfectly honest, they were a hassle, too. Cleaning their tank, etc., was a weekly chore we had come to dread. Making sure they had fresh water and healthy, fresh fruit, nuts and mouse food every day was yet another responsibility. And from the moment we brought them home and I read how female mice need companionship to be happy, the spectre of what was to come has hung over me. Logic told me that unless we wanted an endless line of mice throughout the rest of our lives, some mouse was going to be the last and was going to live alone for awhile.

That was Nettie. Since Tina died February 2, Nettie, an old lady according to mouse life-expectancy, has hung in there, but her physical and emotional decline has been hard to witness. She had taken to staying in her sock for all but a few minutes in the middle of the night when she'd come out and consume just enough food and water to make it through the next day,not even coming out to eliminate, so I don't have to tell you what was in her sock with her. The last 4 or 5 days, she had not come out at all when I was awake to see her, and every day I'd talk to her in her sock and plead with her not to die without saying goodbye; not to die in her sock where we wouldn't even know it was happening.

Last night, as I was about to go to bed, I looked up as I had done hundreds of times lately in hopes of seeing her, and amazingly, she was there. She didn't want food or water--not even the almond butter from my finger that used to be her ticket to Nirvana. I knew for sure then that she had come out to say goodbye, just as I had asked her to. When she seemed too weak to move further, I made a nest of fluffy Kleenex and placed her in it, gave her a washcloth as a blanket, and began the death watch. When she was still breathing a couple hours later, I knew I needed to go on to bed and let her be.

This morning, we found her with her head resting in her food bowl (a jar lid, since her "official" bowl was too tall for her anymore), still breathing, but obviously most of the way gone. Somehow, she'd rallied enough to make it to the food, even though I doubt she had been able to eat. After a couple of hours, she slipped away. As Rick astutely observed, "She died with her head in the food bowl--a true Hamrick!" I guess there are worse fates. Nettie did love her food, having been obese for much of her life though she had, since September, shrunk to a fraction of her size.

Anyway, as I have said so many times, it's not the size of the package that determines the size of the Spirit or the size of the impact a being can have in your life. I am deeply grateful to have had 3 tiny family members in Britney, Christina, and Annette. I will never forget them. The hassle was worth it for the joy they brought. I still have a lot of crying and releasing to do, but as Rick said, if I didn't, he wouldn't know who I was. Letting go of those you love may just be the hardest part of being human.

Here are the Three Mousketeers as babies (Nettie's on the bottom, Britney's the white one, and shy Christina, the caramel one is hiding in the back as usual):
carton of mice sm.jpg

Bookmark and Share


Jacqueline said:

Much love to you, Julia.

Julia Author Profile Page said:

Thank you for that vibrational hug, Jacqueline. I could feel it and I needed it! xoxoxoxo

Leave a comment

Where To From Here?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Julia published on March 22, 2010 5:59 PM.

Eat, Pray, Love trailer was the previous entry in this blog.

For success YOUR way, don't follow the Difficult World rules is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.