While I was in town the other day, I stopped to pick up some thread and more fat quarters of quilting fabric for my toys. As I said yesterday, I’ve been feeling kind of down, and so I hope this doesn’t come across as too morbid or too much to share. Believe me, I hope and plan to be around a good long time, knock on wood…But anyway, many years ago it struck me that when my time has come, that I don’t want one of those dreary, depressing headstones that you see. I want mine to have a bunny on top.
Yes, I actually mean that. I’ve shared that with a couple of people in my life that I hoped might be around, but sadly, people come and people go. So, I might as well say it here. I hope you don’t mind. The first question has always been, “What kind of rabbit?” I usually say one sort of like Maurice Sendak’s Mr Rabbit in Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present, but I want him to be his own bunny, unique, someone’s own invention, maybe even mine.
Well, as I was paying for my thread and fabric, I looked up from the checkout and thought, “Like that!”
Why a rabbit? I’m not sure. Maybe I think rabbits represent me on some level, or maybe it’s just my love of animals. They are guileless, loyal, sweet, and capable of unconditional love. I’ve never been convinced that people are superior to them. Some are certainly just as great, but we all have our flaws. One time, my mom and I were sitting at a stadium when a bus emptied out from a group home for people with special needs. We were listening to one conversation in particular that stayed with me because it was so poignant. It was a simple dialogue, but it said a lot to me. Two women who seemed to be developmentally disabled were talking about how much they liked animals. “I like animals.” “Me too!” “Animals are much nicer than people.” “Yeah, people are meaner than animals.” “Yeah, they are! Animals are much nicer!” I thought that was the sweetest and the saddest thing at the same time, because you couldn’t deny that that had to have been true for them.
Back where I grew up, there was a sweet elderly woman with Alzheimer’s who always remembered to tell you one thing, “Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t love animals.” You might not think much of her remembering that over anything else, but I do. She was dependent on others at that point in her life, and I believe it was a fundamental belief she held as necessary to well-being and survival. It told her who was kind and caring, and she was frail as a little bird.
A friend of mine sent this video to me to cheer me up. I’m sure it has been already seen by millions, but it is still remarkable…