You all remember Izzy, right? Izzy was my wonderful cat who died almost exactly a year ago. She was the best cat. This is her:
Izzy was the sweetest cat in the world. Sam loved her a lot, but Jack and Quinn really bonded with her. For a long time she slept with Jack at night and they were total cuddle buddies. Once she got older and sick, she retreated back to my bed to sleep, where she could hide from the loudness of the rest of the house.
Even though she has been gone for more than a year, she is practically a daily presence in our house. Quinn talks about her all the time. I think he uses her as a calming tool, especially at night when he is going to sleep. I believe that Izzy is still a very real presence in his life.
Jack doesn’t talk about her all that much anymore, but I know that she is still in his heart.
Today, however, Jack got off of his school bus after school and he was SOBBING. I hugged him and asked him what he was sad about.
“I blank zee blank,” he said.
I thought for a minute and couldn’t figure out what he was saying, so I asked him again.
“I blank zee blank,” he repeated. “I can’t stop thinking about it.”
At this point I thought he was using a little Frenchie accent to say something that he was afraid to tell me, like, “I lost zee library book,” or something like that. Let’s just look past the fact that I accepted the French accent without question.
Finally he managed to tell me that he was thinking about “I-Z-Z-Y.”
He told me that he was sad that Izzy was dead. “Let me tell you about Izzy,” he started reciting, in a tone that let me know this wasn’t the first time he had recited this today. “She was a cat who was the best cat in the world. She was my best friend. As the years passed, she didn’t like me as much. Then one day she died and I was sad for a whole day.”
It took me some time to get him calmed down and relaxed, but I wasn’t able to figure out what had brought this on. What had brought Izzy to the front of his mind so strongly that he was sobbing on his school bus?
Then I opened his school folder and found his daily contract on which his paraeducator had written a note about how he’d gotten stuck on Izzy that day and had been crying at school too. However, behind that was a vocabulary worksheet he’d filled out with pictures and sentences that defined his vocabulary words, one of which was “tragic.”
Well, that would do it.
I’m hoping that future vocabulary words include concepts such as “cremation,” “trauma,” and “scary black spiders.”