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  • Nancy Bathurst

  • April 2015
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My Heart Is Overflowing

My heart is overflowing today and I don’t even know if sharing all of this is the right thing to do.

The Cat House on Wheels safely transported us from Florida to our new home in Crystal Lake the last days of March. The cats, Carly and I remained while Jim took Zeke and went to our home in Girard. The past two weeks and the next few weeks will be spent with Jim down in Girard doing the hard work of preparing for the physical move of household goods and doing all the necessary home repairs and yard work. I, on the other hand, will remain in Crystal Lake and have the sole responsibility of caring for our cats, kittens (16 at present count) and Carly. Jim brought a truckload of “stuff” to me this past weekend so now I have a lot of unpacking to do. Jim and I are a great team but when we move, Jim becomes the Gunny and I and anyone else who happens to be around to help are the troops. For those of you who have been a part of the military, you know exactly what I am referring to. The one problem is that I am not real good at saying “Yes, Gunnery Sergeant” in answer to his commands. Instead I bark back! So although he just arrived on Sunday, by Monday I was ready for him to go back to Girard! And I told him this!

Then we opened Jim’s email and learned that our very good friend George had a massive stroke and the prognosis was not good. Today we learned he did not make it.

Let me tell you about George. He is the one person you hope you are seated next to at a dinner party. He is funny, loves life and seems to love everyone he meets. He makes you feel like you are the only person in the room and you have his full undivided attention. To quote Jim, “What a man, what a friend, what a Marine he was!” He knew everything there was to know about the civil war and was writing a book about that subject. The last time we had dinner with him in March, he was 80 percent finished. Every time we were with George and his equally wonderful wife, Pat, he never said good-bye. Instead he would say “I miss you already.”

So does our little bickering matter – or does it matter how quickly our “stuff” gets here or is put away. No…what does matter is that Jim gets up here as quickly as he can so we can spend every precious minute together. I know that can’t happen right away and I can’t change that but what I can change is cherishing the time we have together, even when he is “the Gunny.”

When we are together we love spending time with our animal family, and the kittens bring tremendous joy to us. Izabella gave birth to five beautiful kittens exactly on her due date, April 4. Izabella is like no other cat we have–you have probably read about her in previous posts or saw her photo on the home page of our website–a photo of her in the refrigerator. And when she has kittens, she continues to be a little stinker! The newest mama and babies are always in our master bedroom so we can keep an extra special watch on them. So Monday night we go to bed and about 3:30 a.m. we are awakened by Izzy and all five of her babies–she brought all five up on the bed in between us! I would have to contact a cat psychologist (yes, there are!) to see why she did this but I think she just wanted to be with us so she brought along the whole family! After lots of loving, she seemed to be content to go back to where she and the kittens belong.

Izzy and her kittens.  Notice she is lying on Jim's pajama top so she feels he is near.

Izzy and her kittens. Notice she is lying on Jim’s pajama top so she feels he is near.

Birth, death – the circle of life. What is the meaning? I just hope I can finish my days here on earth like our friend–loving people, caring for them, giving them my undivided attention.

George, I miss you already.

Leave a comment


  1. bathurstj

     /  April 15, 2015

    Wow! What a nice blog post

    Jim Bathurst aka “The Gunny”

  2. Kathy Lincoln

     /  April 15, 2015

    What a beautiful story to share. You made my day with George’s story. Life is too short to worry about the little things. When we trust in the Lord with all of our heart, and lean not on our own understanding; in all ways, acknowledge HIM, and HE shall direct your paths. Proverb 3:5-6 Thank you, Kathy, Ed, and Stacey

  3. Julie Garthwaite

     /  April 15, 2015

    Sorry to hear about your friend, Nancy. Sounds like you were lucky to know him!

  4. Sorry about the loss of your friend. Hope you settle in nicely to your new home. As always, I love reading your blog and seeing all the momma’s and babies.

  5. William D Meyer

     /  April 15, 2015

    Please accept our deepest condolences for the loss of your friend George. He sounds like a great friend and we agree the most important people in our lives are our family, friends and pets so it is important to spend as much time together as we can. Bill and Amy Meyer

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. Amy Schubert

     /  April 15, 2015

    Oh what a touching post, and a wonderful reminder to all of us about the time and people we need to cherish. Thank you.

  7. This is very touching and real. Quality Time is sometimes forgotten. Life is a mystery and only The Supreme One knows the answer.

  8. Ann Brown

     /  April 15, 2015

    Dear Nancy and Jim,

    Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your friend. What a lovely tribute you shared with us. Thank you.

    What wonderful news about the new kittens. I think I am now #11 on the lucky list. Can’t wait!

    Hope you find peace and love in this continuing circle of life. Thank you for all you do for us with these darling kittens!

    Sincerely, Ann Brown

    Sent from my iPad


  9. Barb

     /  April 15, 2015

    You shared your feelings with us. Sometimes you absolutely must do this for yourself, Gunny and your friend. Now everyone knows what a wonderful circle of friends you have and it helps us appreciate our friends.

  10. I loved receiving all your replies to my post. Thank you for your condolences and your understanding. Nancy

  11. Brooke Culen

     /  April 17, 2015

    Dear Nancy & Jim,

    I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of such a wonderful person that was so close to you both. Thank you for sharing his personality with us, it seems like he was a great man. I’m sure that he is smiling down on you both now from heaven and that he’s out of pain.

    I’m glad to hear also about the birth of the new litter and that your move is happening somewhat smoothly! Congratulations. It sounds like Izzy is a great mama. I really look forward to all of your updates, so thanks for sharing! 🙂

  12. Dinora Hedberg

     /  April 19, 2015

    So so sorry for your friend passing! and yes do not stress, no moving is easy! wish you the best to you and your husband, and those precious kittens. may be when you move to Crystal Lake I have the pleasure someday to meet you, and when thing get better with my fam and I, I could be the proud owner of one of those kittens. 💜

  13. voicewilderness1

     /  May 12, 2015

    How far is your new place in crystal lake from St. Louis?


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