Saturday, June 8, 2013

Goodbyes and Hellos

At the end of April we went to visit our friends at the Jersey shore. I posted all about it.  The day we left, I noticed that Seren's BELOVED guinea pig, "Gin-Gin" was looking...fluffy. That is the only way to explain it. He didn't look right.  But we really wanted to go to the shore and there was no way I was going to stay home from a beautiful weekend with friends for a fluffy rodent.  We were also going to be gone for less than 24 hours.

The day we left Seren cried hysterically as we got into the car; would Gin Gin be ok?? (She didn't know he even looked odd- she was just very worried about leaving him alone!). We assured her that of course he would be fine; we had left him before for one night. We'd be back super soon and that we should quickly leave, dry our tears and get to the BEACH!

Fast forward 24 hours...

We all walked into Seren's room. We were tired from the sun, the beach and the drive. But Gin-Gin didn't "jump" in response. Guinea pigs have strong startle reflexes! That freaked me out. I walked over to his cage. Still no movement.

Sam walked into the room at that time and I made my eyes as bigger as saucers. Sam lipped "Is he dead?" to me.  I nodded ever so slightly. We quickly moved places with Sam getting closer to the cage and me taking his spot. Seren and Wyeth were oblivious to this entire thing. Sam took one look at poor Gin-Gin and we both knew.

Sam bent down, took Seren by the shoulders and told her we had bad news; that Gin-Gin had died.

The sobbing and heartache that followed was too much for this momma. I joined in on the sobbing. To see your child grieve for something like that? Oh my.

It was horrible. Gin Gin arrived Christmas day and had become quite the best friend to Seren. She read books about Gin Gin, told him stories in her lap, read to him and generally loved this furry little rodent. He was a good pet and a serious OBSESSION for her. To find him dead so shortly after he arrived?

So Seren was inconsolable, I was crying, Wyeth was crying and Sam was all about business; finding a box. Figuring out our next steps. Wyeth said "Daddy isn't even sad! He isn't even crying!"

I told him that all of us grief in different ways.

Seren and Wyeth talked to Gin-Gin and prepared for his burial. The more humorous part of the day was when we told them we'd have a "ceremony" for Gin-Gin. Wyeth stops in his tracks, looks up at us and asks us incredibly "Wait! One of us gets to WIN Gin-Gin?"

It took us both a moment to figure out what he was talking about. His only experience with 'ceremonies' was a gymnastics end of season 'ceremony' where the children get medals. He thought that wed be given out dead guinea pigs!

 We found a Kleenex box and identified the best 'love notes'. Seren had written him a love note/fortune cookie for each day in February. She found 4-5 good messages and lined his little casket with the notes. Oh, it was a sad day.

Without any warning, we called up my mother in law who is perfect for such occasions. So my poor mother in law picks up the phone and Seren is BAWLING. They talk for a few minutes with Seren crying on her end and barely getting words out.  When I got the phone handed back to me at the end of the conversation, my mother in law was crying too.

Wyeth tried to be helpful. "I know Seren, I know what to do. We will just write Santa and tell him what happened and he'll make us a new one! Ok?"

(Gin-Gin, if you don't recall, came from Santa)

So we buried our dear friend under a brand new tree that we received for Earth day. And he went where Guinea pigs go. 

Seren continued to mourn and Wyeth continued to be well...Wyeth. We cleaned out the cage and he would say "Well, we don't need that anymore! Our pig is dead."  Or  "I was having a good day today until our guinea pig got dead-ed."  Or "Geez! That guinea pig didn't last long! My fish, Molly, is still alive!" He continued to make comments like this all night. And every time he would, Seren would burst into sad tears all over again.

Good grief!

So that was on Sunday. By Thursday, we had replaced dear Gin-Gin with Hector. A 'rescue' from the Guinea pig adoption agency, Hector has quickly become a part of our family. She was thrilled to get   a new buddy right before her birthday. He is not as jumpy as Gin-Gin but squeaks when he is hungry.  I was a skeptic of this whole thing but Seren has taken to mothering these guinea pigs in big big ways.

Welcome Hector!

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