Welcome to Viva-city and Downtown San Diego
Sandra Simmons

Life in the City

-by Sandra Simmons

“Pets are here on Earth to teach us. They have taught me to be patient and taught me about love. I’ve never found in a human being loyalty compared to that of any pet.” Doris Day.

My precious 11 year old flame point Himalayan, My Darlin’ Valentine, affectionately known as Vallee, was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease. After many days in the hospital, an x-ray, ultra sound, blood transfusions, and intravenous feeding tubes, I brought her home for her few remaining days.

Being single, Vallee was my most intimate connection to another living being. I love feeling her little body’s heat and silky fur on my face, listening to her rumbling purr as we snuggle.

Our pets love us unconditionally, while we place conditions on love. One of our greatest human fears is giving love freely and not being loved in return. Our pets love us regardless of who we are, where we live, how much money we make, what we do for a living.

They also have a different concept of time: pets remember the past, live in the present, and for them the future doesn’t exist.

What does this have to do with community? Everything. Love, understanding, unconditional acceptance, being considerate, and expressing our anger appropriately are all integral parts of being a community. Who are we to judge our neighbors? We’re more alike than different.

Life teaches us each moment is precious. Living in the present frees us from worrying about tomorrow, giving us more time today. Every person we meet holds the potential of providing us happiness and joy; even relationships with annoying neighbors teach us about ourselves.

Forgiveness allows us to live full lives, reconnecting with others and ourselves. You don’t need to forgive the behavior, forgive the person. Maybe they were having a bad day, maybe their beloved pet just died.

Though it seems far off now, one day I will heal. Right now my grieving is very much in the present, but one day it will become the past.

I struggle with… When is the past past? When is it time to let go?

I had so many people who supported me during this time with their love. My parents, Bub & Fay Simmons, cut their stay in Mexico to be with me. My sisters Roxanne and Pamela both recently lost a beloved cat. I want to send love back to a friend from afar LaJean Edwards; friends who live near Gary Truman, Kimberley Stoutamire, Linda Mullen, Kathy Najewicz, Dan Haslam, Deniece Duscheone, Adam Ozarski, Michael Lewis, Zoe Lamarra, and neighbor/friends, Nancy Caine, John and Denise Crofton, Rhett Willen, Becky Wissbaum, Barbara Middleton, and Griff Lindell, and all others in our wonderful community who have provided me with love and compassion in a very difficult time.

Vallee will always live in my heart and my soul. Loss shows us what is precious in our lives. Treat everyone with unconditional love. Live each day to the fullest. - May 15, 2003

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