I’m often amazed at how fast time passes. I’ve heard people say, “The days are long, but the years are short.” How true.

This past week I had to face a tough issue as a mom. Sixteen years ago, I found a little cat in a garbage dumpster, and we became a family. For years it was just the two of us. As time passed, I added my husband, then a dog, then both of our girls. My little cat was there the whole time, on my chest every night as we went to sleep. We had some tough years. She lost most of her fur each time we brought home a baby, and she hated the dog, but she loved me. Yet, the years marched on, and time is not kind. She started forgetting where her litter boxes were and she went deaf. She didn’t move very fast and slept almost all the time.

I spent a year debating about her health, but I finally had to make a choice. Her other issues aside, I couldn’t have her going potty all over the house, especially with an autistic child. It wasn’t sanitary. And with her other problems, she was suffering. So, last Tuesday I had to say goodbye.

It wasn’t peaceful for either of us, and I felt terrible. My uncle, who helped me take her for that final drive, reminded me that death is a result of what happened in the Garden of Eden. It’s a sad part of life, but a part none the less. Yes, I can be sad, but when I focus on praising God for the good memories and that I gave her a good life, I find peace. I know she was just an animal, but her passing hurt more than I expected.

As I thought it over, I realized my powerful grieving is part of having a mother’s heart. We love without condition. A mother’s love is fierce and can weather all sorts of storms, even when it involves a pet. And you know what else? A whole group of my mommy friends stood by me with a sympathetic ear and tears in their eyes. Aren’t mothers the best?