Friday, October 10, 2008

'The Man' Tales - Cid's Room

There is a beautiful dark green bedroom in the barn that is called ‘Cid’s Room’. It is filled with furniture that belonged to my beloved friend. Cid’s large bed is covered with his own bedspread and the matching curtains hover beside a view that Cid loved. This was his room when he came to stay for 3 months as his health slipped from his grasp. Now it held his ‘lawyer’s library’ – a beautiful piece of furniture with glass doors. All his books are neatly on the shelves and his wallet and shaving brush and other paraphernalia are displayed. His favourite hats are perched up against his collection of vases and the hats look like they are waiting for him to snatch one of them up and pop it onto his silvery hair.

Another of Cid’s cupboards holds more of his personal treasures like his shaving kit and binoculars. Warm pictures of Italy hang on the walls and there’s a dreamy picture of two kids fishing off a dock. It hangs over the bed – a reminder to me of Cid’s dreams.

It’s Cid’s room. That’s all there is to it. And it was here that we tried to make Cid’s two beloved cats feel at home. I had hoped that Cid’s smell would calm them and remind them of the man who had taken them everywhere he went. If only they could hear his voice on the three phone messages I had unknowingly saved. And even though I listened to those messages over and over – they couldn’t hear the voice that they longed for.

What we didn’t know was that both of his cats would feel the same way I did. His male cat – Rigel – pined away for Cid. He grew thinner by the day and hardly ate at all. Within 3 months D had to take him to the vet and have him put to sleep. I thought at the time that I should go with Rigel and asked to be put to sleep so I could be with Cid as well. I rocked precariously on the boundary of insanity with the pain of losing Cid.

His female cat – Sarah – was the meanest cat I have ever come across. She would rather claw your eyes out than have you look at her. It was so obvious how much she missed Cid but her claws and temper kept her isolated and there was no way to console her. Six months later she was gone too and I felt like such a failure. I felt I had let Cid down.

Once more my mother came to the rescue. She got me out of the house and away from the endless crying and back into the family business. She didn’t care if I sat in the backroom and cried my eyes out – just as long as I wasn’t doing it at home by myself. I started to take an interest again in the retail part of the business and managing the staff. I even started to go out on the sales floor and sell a few coats. I tried to save my tears for Cid’s room where I could go and smell him and feel him around me. So many times D came and joined me and we sat with our arms around each other and missed our friend.

Eventually we were able to talk about him once more. The memories started to come out and every time we saw a hawk we said it was Cid. He had loved them so much because they were big enough for him to be able to see with his poor eyesight. I thought that now he glided on the wind and saw the world through hawk’s eyes and reveled in it. When they flew over the car I waved and said ‘Hi Cid’. It is now just something we do. Back in Cid’s room a hawk sits on one of the cupboards. If you squeeze it just right you hear that high cry they give and I can envision Cid – flying over the mountains and coulees – and grinning from ear to ear.

Cid’s room. My haven in the storm of life.

26 comments:

Living the Dream said...

What a lovely image, Cid flying high above you. Your very own guardian angel. He will always be near you aims

Akelamalu said...

How sad that Cid's cats pined away, of course there was nothing you could do to stop it.

It's good that happy memories of Cid are now coming to the fore rather than the suffering you saw him endure. It must be a great comfort to you to have Cid's belongings in a room where you can sit and remember all the good times. x

Leatherdykeuk said...

Those poor cats. I can understand their behaviour though I've only seen it in dogs before now.

*hugs*

Maggie May said...

Pity about the cats.
I think your mum did a good thing taking you away from the lonely situation.

rosiero said...

I think it great that you have a room you can dedicate to Cid's things and share them with him, as if he were still alive. I am sorry to hear about the cats, but you could not have done anything to prevent it.

TSannie said...

I'm so glad your memories became gentler. I know Cid would have liked that - and I do believe there's a bit of Cid in those hawks you see.

Such a beautiful saga.

BT said...

I'm glad, too, that the pain has at least subsided a little, enough for you to live again. Strange how your Mother became a comfort after your past relationship.

Cid's room sounds lovely.

XX

bermudabluez said...

Oh aims. I am speechless once again. I too wondered about your mom coming to your rescue when you had such a torn relationship before. But I'm glad she was there for you. How sad about the cats. I'm sure that you did everything humanly possible. Maybe it was just meant to be and they are with Cid now too. His room sounds like a place of comfort for you. Sending hugs your way, my friend...

Lola said...

Your superb posts always seem to make me cry nowadays, and I don't want to be sitting here crying about someone I never knew. You make it so real.

I'm not angry with you, though, and I know I'll keep reading the next post, and the next.

Melanie said...

Hi Aims, I am glad that something of Cid was saved. You were the best person to look after his cats. Even though you couldn't do anything to help them, you understood what they were going through.

I am glad too to hear that you could begin to move on while still mourning. This was healthy.

CrazyCath said...

So glad you find some peace in Cid's room. He is free of pain and suffering now. At peace.

It is a shame about the cats but you did not let him down. You cannot make them eat. They too are at peace now.

Glad you have a haven. We all need one.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

i agree about the cats - they are masters of their own destiny. They are much more self sufficient than dogs and if they wanted to eat they would have trapped mice and such like if they didn't like what you were feeding them. It was their wish to go and being the independant ceatures they are, they got their wish. You gave Cid peace of mind knowing that you would take care of them after he had gone. That was enough. The rest was up to the cats. They choise a different path to the one they had mapped out for them. That's life...

Mean Mom said...

How wonderful to have all of those memories of Cid in that special room. Very sad to read about the cats, but having kept them for 32 years, I am well aware that they do become very attached to their owners, so I do understand how it happened. Our 3 cats have very reproachful eyes, when we have been away, even if we have only left someone else to look after them for a few days.

dawn said...

Cats so hate change. It is very sad they had such a reaction and sad for you to feel the responsibility of not being able to help them. Having Cid's room is a good idea.

Retiredandcrazy said...

You have a beautiful way with words. We are all right there with you. Much love, Ann xx

Stinking Billy said...

aims, baby, I can't believe that neither you nor any of your commenters ever used the word 'shrine' in relation to Cid's room, because that is precisely what it is. Maybe not fashioned in stone that might survive for centuries, but nevertheless a place where precious memories can always be revived and respected.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

There has to be somewhere.

Every room in my house has a memory of my dad. It's just the way it is.

CJ xx

travelling, but not in love said...

It seems your Mom can come through good at the right moment...at times. I guess family surprise us most with their unpredicatbility...

Maggie May said...

Aims.... concerning your comment on my blog. Maybe it would be easier to email? grannie.may@gmail.com

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Those poor wee cats, Aims. But you tried your best, and it was good of your Mother to take you out of yourself when you needed it. Glad you had D to turn to. M xx

Brett said...

Well worth the wait.

Lane said...

I'm heartened your mum came through again. Although not demonstrative, it seems she was very practical.

I love the image of the hawks and the peace that you've found in Cid's room.

Daryl said...

What a fitting tribute .. a room of his own forever ... poor kits,I am sure they wouldnt have done any better elsewhere ... and you know Cid knows you (and D) did your best.

xox

:-Daryl

PS .. I hope Dolly is feeling better

Biddie said...

Oh, the poor lil kitties, missing Cid. My Dad got a dog when he was first diagnosed with his terminal illness. She was his constant companion and I do belive that she keep him going years longer than he would have without her.
She passed away exactly 9 months after my Dad. Poor Mandy wasted away without her dad, too.
How sweet that you have such wonderful memories and a place to go to be with them.
You are so right about love, Aims.

San said...

Such beautiful images, Aims. I can see Cid's room. And, yes, I do see him flying over the mountains and coulees.

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