30% OFF Pride collection code: USAPRIDE! Free Shipping over $99


by The Next Family March 31, 2010

By: Tanya Ward Goodman

In the last two weeks, we’ve lost a beloved neighbor and a beloved cat.  In the last two weeks, the air is thick with the fragrance of orange blossoms and even the barest of branches have exploded into opulent bloom.  It’s spring.  Things are changing. It seems strange to compare a ninety year-old former dentist and an eighteen year-old grey tabby, but the two did share one marvelous quality: they loved everyone.  After less than six months of acquaintance, our neighbor, Bill, started ending our brief over the hedge conversations with “I love you.” “What do I say when he says that?” my husband asked.  “He told me he loved me.” “You, too?” I said. At Bill’s funeral there were over two hundred people.  Each speaker spoke about how much love Bill had.  Each spoke about how much love he shared with the world. “He was a guy with a million best friends,” someone said. “He always said he loved me and I think he meant it,” said someone else. His family assured those gathered that he did mean it.  They said Bill often wondered why we scrimp on these words, why we save them when there is so much to love. We’ve lived in our house a little over a year, but almost immediately, I began to look forward to running into Bill in our driveway.  He always had a positive word about my parenting, my outfit, the new flowers we’d planted. “I’m really proud of you guys,” he said.  “You’re raising a beautiful family.” Just after Bill died, our aged cat, Pokey started spending more and more time on Bill’s front stoop.  She lingered around the white plastic chair on his front lawn, the one where he sat almost every day, blinking in the afternoon sun.  She meowed by the door and arched her thin back when Bill’s widow, Ruth stooped to rub her fur. Pokey had been our cat for roughly half of her life.  She was a small, but congenial hostess, welcoming all guests to our home.  With her deep purr and insistent meow, she wormed her way into even the cat hatingest of hearts.  She wooed furnace repairmen, babysitters, contractors and all of our closest friends. Pokey, like Bill, was all about love.  There wasn’t any reason she could find to hide from life.  She had no time for cowering under beds or shivering in closets when there were people to meet.  Pokey loved a party.  She loved to mingle.  She climbed into the laps of strangers knowing that they were soon to be friends. Last week, my yoga teacher started her class by saying, “love your life and everything will change.  Love your life.”  It seems like a simple thing, this flowering of emotion, but sometimes it gets lost as we rush through the day. I’m trying to remember.  It’s a good way to honor a good man and a good cat.

The post Spring appeared first on The Next Family.

The Next Family
The Next Family


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Parenting

Modern Fitness For the Modern Parent

by The Next Family March 25, 2016


Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian

By Laura King

Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...

Continue Reading →

Estate Planning: The Basics For LGBT Families

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...

Continue Reading →

Representation of Modern Families in Kid-Friendly Entertainment

by The Next Family March 24, 2016 1 Comment


By Alex Temblador

I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.

The same can be said of other...

Continue Reading →