So I had this pet rabbit (I can’t even tell you how depressing it was to change the word “have” to “had”) for over 9 years. Her name was HoneyBunny. The Angel named her, and I loved it because Tim Roth’s character in Pulp Fiction called his special lady (Amanda Plummer) Honey Bunny, and I can always hear him say, “I love you, Honey Bunny,” in my head. Bunnies live 5-7 years, it says on cards at pet stores. They live much fewer in the wild, but in houses, there are far fewer predators. Ours live forever, in rabbit years.
Smoothie lived to be over 11. We asked the vet if he looked good for 11, and he answered, incredulously, “I don’t know.” He had never seen one that old, which made him in GREAT shape.
I work from home, so I was the primary caregiver for HoneyBunny. Every day for over 9 years, I let her out of her cage, feed & water her, change her litter box, and love her. Thursday was the last day I did any of those things. I let her out and she went under the ottoman, as was her recent practice. I gave her lettuce and treats on a plate under there. Then, around 4, she had an ‘episode’ that I can’t accurately describe. I held her tightly while my boys called local-ish veterinarians. We finally found one to see her by the time the Angel came home, and went there immediately.
She fell asleep in my hands, with the Angel stroking her ears and back. Of course it was horrible, but way too many pass alone, I’m grateful she had 4 hands on her with care and love. She deserved at least that much.
At home, I dug a hole to place her in and watered it with my tears.
Now, why I tell you all of this is because of Thursday morning, when I let her out and gave her the last treat I’d ever give. Sometimes we know when the last times are…
Friday morning Samuel went to the Annville-Cleona high school as a student for the last time. Last night he and his friends said goodbye to a young man who came as a foreign exchange student and was leaving as a close friend.
And others we don’t. How often do I reference Genesis 28:16, “Surely the Lord was in this place and I was unaware?” It’s a serious danger to live these beautiful lives of ours asleep, walking through the days & moments in a daze, oblivious to the fact that the ground on which we’re walking and the people we walk alongside, is all holy. I’d like to think I spoke to her with kindness and intention many many many many more times than I was absent or in a hurry or treating her like she was a nuisance, under my feet or chewing cords, boxes, and furniture. I’d like to hope I was as good to her as she was to me.
The message is always the same – God has so graciously given these blessings to us, we need to stay alert, keep showing up expecting wonder and beauty, keep our eyes open to/for this extraordinary grace.
Yes, she was just a rabbit, but if only you knew her, you’d know there was nothing “just” about her. And now the cage she slept in is empty and I miss her. This is the deal – to love something or someone means, at some point, it’ll hurt, it’ll break our heart into a bazillion pieces. Those pieces are a wonderful gift. She’s gone, but I had her for a long time, forever it rabbit years. My heart is broken but it grew 9 sizes while she was here. I’m really thankful.
I loved that HoneyBunny, and I love her still.