9 Lives

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While in Greece we were surrounded by all sorts of animals. From cats to goats, everywhere you turned there was some sort of four legged or three legged animal roaming the streets. When we arrived at our hotel in Paros, we were not only greeted with the view of the sea from our room, fresh lemonade and air conditioning, we were greeted with kittens.DSC_4261
Baby kittens that were just a little over a week old, we were told. They were latched to their mother like lice clings in the hair. They wouldn’t go ten steps away from her. They hid in the bushes until she meowed them out.DSC_4733
As I sat poolside, next to my husband watching our son swim and the felines that were not babies anymore, but not yet adults, I started to think how it’s been said that a cat has nine lives.DSC_4297
The thought went deeper and my psyche started to think we as humans have at least nine lives, if not more while on earth.DSC_5137
In the beginning, we are dependent on a mother; her body feeds us in her womb. We are birthed into a loving or unwanted arms solely dependent on a mother or caregiver.DSC_4681
We move on as toddlers, elementary age, middle school, junior high, high school, maybe college, middle age-where we create our own families and then off to our golden years.DSC_3287
Our lives are always changing, like God has made seasons to change. How we adapt to our ever changing seasons is up to us.DSC_4250
Animal after animal gravitated towards my son while in Greece. From the wild dogs at the Acropolis,DSC_3098
{one of which was enjoying the rub down while the other was getting jealous, and getting the evil eye from the one who was enjoying his massage}DSC_3099
to “Hisser” the mid-sized kitten who spent the evening,DSC_5196
and morning in our hotel room.DSC_5252
9 Lives, yes, it was seen in canines, goats and birds.DSC_3493
On our last night we boarded a fast speed ferry to shuttle us from Santorini to Athens. On that ride, I was blessed to be able to hold a newborn baby for an extended amount of time. The mother had two other children under the age of three and was all alone. She was being transported from Santorini to Athens by ferry. She didn’t speak any English, only Greek but that didn’t hinder our communication. Needless to say, the baby slept in my arms for five hours without even waking up.DSC_5267
I couldn’t believe it. He went five hours without a boob or a bottle. She had boarded the ferry with her three kids. Two Grecian women, plopped two kids next to her in one seat, kissed their cheeks and ran off the ferry. I saw her all alone. As she was settling in while the other passengers boarded, she was told that she and her three children were in the wrong seats.DSC_4237
She didn’t have a baby carrier, a diaper bag or a bottle. When the lady moved in the row in front of us with no help, I knew the Lord was prompting me to move. I prayed, that the children would be at peace, that God would be with her and this woman would not get the evil eye from passengers who get irritated by children.DSC_4699
Sometimes prayers are answered faster than others. Her little ones slept on a blanket, underneath her feet, but before passing out they barely made a peep. I even kept feeling the baby’s head and placing my fingers through his fingers to get them to move to see if he was still breathing.DSC_5256
We didn’t realize how bad she was until, we arrived in Athens. Two medics boarded the boat and whisked her two children off, I gave her back her baby and she was shuttled off by ambulance to a hospital.DSC_5221
I will never know who she was in one of her nine lives, what was wrong with her in this life, or where she was going in the next. But she and her children made me think deeper about nine life living outside the animal kingdom.DSC_4443
Since we as humans are at the top of the food chain, how do we live during our nine lives of seasons? We start off being taken care of by our mothers or a caregiver. In the end, some of us end up taking care of the ones who give us life.DSC_4293
When I returned home from Greece, I received a card from dad. My dad has always been one for cards and pictures, my mom too, it’s the gift they both share in expressing their love to their children. Now, I am not one who really celebrates my birthday. I get that from my dad. He’s like it’s just another day. He’s right, it is one day that really just moves us out of one life to another. But coming home to his card with a cat and a band-aid taped of Phil from Duck Dynasty, a show that we both like, had my heart. The simplicity, the thought and the words were what I needed to read. My dad doesn’t have e-mail or the internet for that matter. He’s a lot like Phil from DD. He still uses a number two pencil. So reading this blog and seeing pictures doesn’t happen, unless a family member shows him through their modern upgrades. It’s his choice, he’s a low tech man in a high tech world. But a man who encourages his children to make the most of our 9 lives because it is so short.DSC_6243

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