Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wrapping up--

Let's see if we're on the same page as far as assignments go. Remember: missing 0-3 gives you an A, 4-6 a B, 7 or more an F.

You should have written 39 prompt reactions, three per week, weeks 1-13. How many have you written___37_______?

You should have written 16 themes (2 for week 14)(count all journal entries as a single theme). How many have you written____17______?

And you should have written one writer's autobiography (in three parts) as oneself as a writer back in week one. How many did you write______3____?

When you think you are done, but not before, fill out above what you HAVE done (not what you plan to do) and email it back to me.

week 15

Choice #4 Week 15.
Write about yourself as a writer--hopes and dreams, strengths and weaknesses, ambitions and failures; reactions to the semester, what changed for better or worse in your writing; course experiences, problems, positives.

What is a writer? 
I like to think that a writer isn't just a profession or a noun or even an adjective. It's a personality. It's a piece of who you are. It's a passion. 
Writing is so infinite. There are a million different possibilities. Every story opens doors; every door opens to another. Writing can never end. 
Myself as a writer... It's a funny thing to ponder. I have the soul of a writer; the soul of an artist who wants to make a mark on the world. Although I enjoy writing and consider myself a bit talented - I'm unpublished. 
Even though I'm a dreamer and an optimist, I'm also a realist. If I'm not officially published, I don't know if I can call myself a writer. Maybe I could say I'm an aspiring writer. Maybe I could say I enjoy to write. 
Career-wise, being a writer is something I've wanted to do for the entirety of my existence. I had dreams of best sellers and book signing. I wanted to be a famous author with an array of books for readers to choose from. 
But as an adult, I'm a realist. I would love all of the things I just said - but let's face it, the chances of that happening are pretty low. I'd like to be a photojournalist and incorporate both of my biggest passions into one big, heap. At the same time, I strive at creative fiction writing. This course has taught me more about non fiction then I ever knew before. I used to avoid non-fiction writing because I thought that writing was an escape. And non-fiction would ruin that. Why escape and go to something that's... real?
But after spending this semester inside my own head, racking my thoughts around and composing pieces, pieces that I had lived or felt, it made me think differently about non-fiction. You can explore things that are real and still have that sense of fantasy. This course helped me learn things about my own writing ability that I didn't know I had. It truly put a lot of things to the test. 
I can admit that I've been told before by multiple people that I have a knack for writing. I think it's very important to recognize your talents in life but remain humble. At the same time, writing is still difficult for me at times. Sometimes, it's no effort at all. But other times, I'm struggling and fighting to get the words out. Sometimes I experience writer's block that is so severe I feel trapped. I think writer's block is an awful feeling. Sometimes I work as hard as I can on pieces and I feel literally, physically drained. I take writing too seriously from time to time. 
This course has helped me with one very important thing that I needed - feedback. I needed some helpful advice with my writing. Sometimes I use too many adjectives. Sometimes I work so hard on the beginning of the piece that by the ending, I just want to be done with it so I finish on an unsatisfying note. 
My strengths are my passion for writing. I'm the sort of person that when I care about something, I care about it with everything I have. That's how I am with writing. When I get positive feedback on my writing, it's a feeling that sends me souring. When it's not-so-positive feedback (someone told me once it sounded like a romance novel... yuck), I work on fixing it pronto. Writing is something that I need. I need that sort of expression; I need that feeling of freedom. I've always thought that the human mind was both the most dangerous and the safest place. Its secrets are locked away forever. But there also can be plenty of madness locked inside. As far as writers go, I think they're a little more crazy then the normal human mind. They can create their own world in their mind, and I can bet they get lost. I know I get lost from time to time in the fantasies of my own mind. 
As far as weaknesses go, I think too much. Sometimes I try too hard. My simplest pieces can tend to be my best ones. I put too much thought into things sometimes; I don't trust myself enough. This course made me challenge myself to really fight for words and think outside the box - and it's exactly what I needed. 
I think I'll always be that little girl who wants to be a writer. For a while I strayed from the dream, but when I got back into it, it really started clicking. It makes me happy. I can't ignore how happy it makes me, and I can't ignore a talent that I have. I have a long ways to go before I'm anywhere near a professional writer, but it's a journey I'm willing to take. Best sellers? Maybe not. But possibly. 
For now, classes like this are exactly what I need. This class challenged me and made me become very serious about my writing. I can admit that there are times when I can be cocky about it. I wrote a 9 page paper in 2 hours the other day, and got a 95 on it. Sometimes I when I do that, I feel a little over confident. But as an instructor, your honest critiques and thoughts really help bringing me back down. I'm definitely not a cocky person; I'm as honest and humble as they come. But being reminded that I'm still working on being a writer is something I need from time to time. 
As a writer, I will always be looking for more things to write about. When I write, I'm happier. When I write, I'm stronger. I can't explain it; maybe I shouldn't. Maybe it's something that even words can't explain. 
But for now, I'll continue to write. I'll continue to work on this skill. 
I'm looking forward to 262 :) 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Week 14 theme 2

The fireworks light up the river in a thousand different ways. The 'ooohs' and 'ahhhs' of the crowd sounded like whispers next to the crack of the firework.
It was a calm, still August night. You know when you get that happy-medium sometimes in August? Not quite dog days and not quite coat days? Today was one of those days. Where the sun shined just right all day, and the night sky felt just right too.
The waterfront walkway was full of people from all over. Up on top of the hill, there was a live band playing. They stood in a stage that was nestled on the greenest grass. Waves of the river made light noises in the distance.
You could hear all this in between firework pops.
Couples were sitting with their legs intertwined; children were twirling sparklers in the sky; older people were chattering about the beauty of the fireworks with a 'back in my day' tone.
The place was alive. More alive than it is all year. For some reason, this time in August, it seems like the life comes out from hiding.
Why is it that summer creates such a happier human being?
Maybe it's all the lake water. Maybe all that sun makes them a little mad. Perhaps it's all the kegs, spiked watermelons and fruity cocktail drinks.
No, that's not it. Too simple.
It's the time of the year that defines the term 'carefree'.
As the famous song says, 'The things we did last summer, I'll remember, all winter long'. 
No one sings a song about thinking about the cold winter all year long.
As the fireworks begin booming a little faster, the crowd starts cheering. It is clearly almost time for the finale of the fireworks show.
The sky lit up the faces of the onlookers, and the sight made them all smile. Once it was all over, people left, arms around each other, hands interlocked. Skipping, walking, running... The happy people dispersed and went their separate ways, talking about how beautiful the show was. The band packed up for the night. The booths that crowded the entire street just earlier that day were all gone now; the beer tent was taken down.
Suddenly but surely, a town that was so full of life just hours ago, was back to its old peace and quiet. There were no more fireworks reflecting off the river. The band on the grass was long gone. The chit-chatter had ended. The town carnival was all towed away, along with the Zipper, the Scrambler, the Ferris Wheel and the Funhouse.
Everything disappeared so fast.
Perhaps everyone realizes that fall is right around the corner.
It's a shame how things don't last.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Week Fourteen theme 1

She always came into the grocery store and seemed so frazzled. She had a kid on her hip and another in the cart. She wore so much make-up, even though she was naturally pretty enough without it.
Was it judgmental to say that she was a single mom? She never came in with a man. Always just the children.
She bought fairly normal things. You can tell a lot about a person judging by what they buy at the grocery store; this is something you learn after bagging groceries for two and a half years.
She would collect her bags and go to leave. She seemed to always be in a hurry and she only muttered a 'have a nice day'.
It's hard not to wonder what her life must be like. Maybe she has to chase after both of her small sons all day. Maybe she gets sad. Does she sometimes wish she would've waited to have children?
People say that having kids at a young age will rob you of your picture. While bringing in the shopping carts, the young mother was cleaning off the face of her little boy and talking to him in baby talk. A bright smile was on her face, and there was a sweet ring in her voice.
The ring that, for some unknown reason, only mothers have.
How can so much love rob her of her future?

Red blotches on his face, wrinkles and balding hair showed that he was far too old to be working on his feet. He breathed in heavy wheezes, and he was a little round around the middle. He didn't have a wedding ring on.
His current costumers were two young teenagers wearing jeans that were so tight they would probably lower their sperm count, t-shirts with ignorant sayings on them and big, fat skater shoes.
The man talked to them in a very quiet voice. He kept his eyes low and didn't look them in the face. The Hannaford name tag on his red polo shirt read 'Toby, at your service for 12 years'.
"Wait, is that soda $2.99?" One of the punks asked.
Toby pushed his glasses up his nose and answered softly, "Yes, that is the price of it."
"Seriously?!" The kid said dramatically, "I don't want it anymore. Take it off."
Toby nodded and cancelled out the item. He continued ringing in their things.
It was clear that Toby was older, and he worked at a slower pace. One of the punks was tapping his stupid foot impatiently.
"Can you hurry it up? We've got places to be." The other punk said without a touch of politeness in his voice.
Toby started to sweat; you could see it on his shiny forehead. He nodded quickly and started ringing in their items faster.
One of the kids nudged the other and they shared a cruel smile, "Twelve years working in this dump and you still can't ring groceries in fast enough?"
Toby didn't say anything. He just continued to do his job. His eyes were full of an emotion that looked like hurt.
The two punks left. Toby stood motionless as they walked away without saying thank you.
It seems like people in this world assume that every store clerk worker is an idiot without a work ethic. Why does it matter where he works? Maybe he enjoys it. Maybe this is what he likes to do.
Does it matter if he went to college or not? Does it matter if he isn't making triple digits a year?
Why do people go out of their way to be so cruel?

65. In the drawer is a box made of carved and joined bits of driftwood, which holds objects meaningless to anyone else but sacred, precious, unforgettable to you..

Walking along the sandy beach with my friends, I sort of feel at peace with the world. Yeah, when I return to Old Town on Sunday I have a lot of work to do and I'll have things to worry about. 
But now, I'm with my friends, and all seems well. 
The sky is bluer then I have ever seen it, and the ocean stretches on before us. It touches the horizon and creates a straight line of blue. The sun creates a sparkling sight as far as the eye can sea. 
I watch the waves as they move slowly and melodically in and out. The breeze swept my hair over my shoulders.  
Felicia, Laura, Gilman and I were walking slowly down the sandy beach, our shoes in a pile by the rocks just off shore. We were walking in silence; not a heavy silence or a burdening silence, but an enjoyable silence. A pleasant silence. A peaceful silence that talking would ruin. 
I've always thought that friends who were good enough friends didn't need to talk all the time. 
I was wearing my favorite white Irish knit sweater as a coat. It had a sash to tie around the waist and and wooden buttons.  Accompanied with my favorite colorful earrings, flowered sunglasses, bright blue shirt, pink scarf and gray skinny jeans and gray boots, I thought this was the perfect outfit for a day out on the town. 
"It's crazy that this is your backyard," I said to Laura. We were in Biddeford at Laura's school, the University of New England. In the back of the school was this beautiful sandy beach that we were strolling on. 
"Believe it or not, this is the first time I've been out here this year," Laura replied as her, Felicia and I sat down in the sand, "I'm always so busy I forget it's here sometimes." 
I pushed my sunglasses over my eyes and felt for my camera next me, "If this were in my backyard, I'd be here all the time."  
Further away on the beach was a long stone wall. There were many people sitting on the stone wall with books. Some of them were writing, some of them reading. I remember being young and reading while sitting on rocks at that craggy old by my grandparents lived on. 
This beach was much different. 
There were expensive beach houses as far as the eye could see. All of them had wrap around porches, whiter then white shutters and gardeners in the front yard. 
In the outfit I primarily bought at Goodwill, I felt slightly out of place. 
Earlier that day, we met Laura's room mates on campus. The four of them lived in an on-campus suite. All three of them came from money and they were all flat landers. None of them were born in Maine. They did nothing but complain about Maine and how much they hated it. 
The Maine they lived in was definitely not the real Maine. This was the 'other' Maine. The Maine you see on postcards. 
Their condescending nature and attitude is what encouraged me to suggest this walk on the beach. I already couldn't stand them. 
"It's so beautiful." I said and started snapping pictures. 
While Gilman wasn't paying attention, I snapped some pictures of him. He was walking along the beach looking for shells. I collected sea glass and seashells, so I've been keeping my eye out as well. I took a picture of a shell that was sitting in the sand next to us. 
We started to make small talk. Gilman was still walking around the beach. He'd bend down occasionally to pick up something. Laura, Felicia and I laughed together as we sat in the sand. 
"We could take a walk around downtown Biddeford," Laura started as she took a stick and started writing her name in the sand, "I'd like to see if I could show you guys the old theater. The one I took a class in last semester." 
"That actually would be really cool." Felicia agreed, "I'm pretty much up for anything." 
"We could get breakfast at the dining hall," Laura continued, "I would have to use up all my guest swipes but that's not a huge deal." 
The emptiness in my stomach agreed with that statement, "Breakfast sounds wonderful." 
Felicia and Laura laughed. As my father told me once, "Holliann, you have the same problem as I do. We both truly love to eat." 
Out of all my friends, I was the one who was always concerned when dinner was, I always had snacks in my purse, and I have never and will never be the type who could just 'skip breakfast'. 
"And Tom's soccer game is later. And after that I was thinking we could go to the Maine Mall." Laura went on. 
"We have a full day, huh?" Felicia said. 
Laura smiled, "Well, there are a lot of cool things I'd like you guys to see. And we really only have today." 
We all stood up from the sand and decided to take a walk along the rock wall. We motioned for Gilman to join us. 
"Here," Gilman said once he got to us, "Some sea glass. I know you collect it." 
He held his hand out to me and gave me a handful of green, blue, brown and clear sea glass. 
I thanked him and put the sea glass in my camera bag with some of the other shells and things I had found. 
We walked along the rock wall in a line. I was snapping pictures and saying 'hello' to people who we came across. We walked past some people who were being talked to by a man who appeared to be a teacher. 
We got to an interesting rock formation. The rock wall went out into the water and seemed to separate the ocean into two pieces. 
"This is really cool," I said and pointed at some graffiti on the rock formation. 
In big green letters painted on the rocks it read, 

We can live this way. 

I didn't know what the artist was referring to. Hear on the ocean? Hear under the sun and on the sand? Here on this rock wall, watching the waves move in and out and listening to them crash? 
The ocean has always fascinated humans. Why is that? I can think of many reasons why. 
It's endless, it's beautiful, it's dangerous, it's mysterious. But at all the same time, it's peaceful. It's unchanging. It's vast. With an ever changing world and lives that are a little different every day, something that is constant is a comfort. 
Laura walked up to me with pieces of smooth and soft driftwood in her hands. 
"Here," Laura said and handed it to me, "I have too much driftwood already. You can have these pieces." 
"Well, thanks," I said happily and put the driftwood in my camera case with the other things. 
For a long time we meandered around that beach and talked for what seemed like hours. 

Some months later, I was cleaning my room. With a small room and enough stuff to fill a big room, I was always tripping over ridiculous amounts of stuff. 
I was throwing some of my dirty clothes into my hamper when I knocked over a basket that sat atop of my purple book case. 
I cried out a curse word and bent down to pick up the contents of the basket. 
Seashells, sea glass, and driftwood scattered all over my carpeted floor. I started quickly picking them up; I was in a bit of hurry. 
But something slowed me down. As I held each item in my hand, I realized that I had had some of these shells for years. Some of them were ones that I had collected on that bay in Robinson. One of them had a painted tree on it that I had purchased at a gift shop in Eastport after the first time I went whale watching. 
A handful of sea glass sat in my hand and I wondered how many of these pieces were found on that beach in Biddeford. 
Each of these things had floated in that vast ocean, and somehow it ended up here, in my messy bedroom, sitting in my hands. How many places had these seen? 
How many memories had been created finding these pieces that I have collected for years?
I placed all of the items back in my blue basket. I set the basket back at its spot on top of the purple book case. 
I collected my things and went to leave the still messy room. Before I turned out my light, I looked back at that basket and had a little thought. 
How often do we forget the little things? 
And why do they seem to hold the biggest space in our hearts?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Week 13 Theme

I bounced and pranced all the way to the entrance, my stressed-out mother holding my hand.
"Oh, Mommy! I'm so excited for this! Do you suppose there are sharks in there?"
"Well, Holliann, it is an aquarium." Mom said as we walked into the entrance of the Boston Aquarium.
Inside, I was surrounded by colors, sounds and exciting things to look at. I had never been to an aquarium before! In the middle of the room was a huge tank that had a stair case wrapped around it. Inside of it was bright blue, and yet beautifully clear water. Living in that water were the most colorful fish I had ever seen!
I pointed and cried, "Mommy, look!"
She quickly turned to me and shushed me. My dad strolled in behind us with Donny in a stroller and Cindy on his arm. Flustered after the day of travel we've had, (I'm sure 6 hours in the car with us wasn't exactly a relaxing ride) she approached the desk and paid for our tickets.
Once we were on the other side of the desk, I ran straight to that giant tank.
I pressed my little hands against the glass and smiled.
"This is pretty cool, huh, Holl?" Dad asked as he stood next to me.
"So pretty!" I cried. Because of my speech impediment, not everything that came out of my mouth was exactly audible. But I was so excited that I didn't care.
"This is so cool!" My sister said and came up on the other side of me, "This is the sort of stuff I want to do when I become a marine biologist."
As a family, we started looking around the exhibits that the aquarium had to offer. I cringed at the sight of an octopus sticking to the side of it's tank; Cindy got overly excited at the dolphin tank; Donny giggled as the penguins as they waddled around their habitat.
At one point in time, I had my face pressed against the glass of a tank. I didn't know exactly what animal was in said tank.
Nothing was appearing in the tank. I was waiting and waiting for something great to appear. Maybe there was a whale in this tank!
Just like that, a giant shark appeared in front of my face.
I shrieked and shot back from the glass.
It's not like he could hurt me from where he was, but I still didn't want my face so close to him! He had big, ugly sharp teeth. I watched as his gills moved in and out; his small eyes watched me.
At first, he scared me. But now I didn't really mind looking at him. He was nothing but a big fish. He was on the other side of this tank. I had nothing to be afraid of!
I smiled at him, and for a second it looked like he smiled back at me.
I heard Mommy call my name. I waved at Mr. Shark and moved on.
Once you got to the top of the very tall staircase that was around the giant tank, you could look down and see a tank full of big sea turtles. There were bright colors of blue everywhere, and this tank was full of every color flower you could ever imagine.
Mom and Dad chased Cindy and I around as we looked at every single thing we could look at. We were both fascinated by everything around us.
Once they rallied up their two girls, my parents took us to a sea lion show.
It was a very crowded room, and we got there a little late so we sat very high up on the stands. There was a pretty blonde lady in a wet suit stood near a pool with a big, shiny sea lion whose name was Guthrie.
At first, I thought he was a little scary looking. But, when I watched as he hopped through hoops and caught beach balls on his nose, I found that he was... cute. He had big brown eyes and whiskers like my dog's. He sorta barked like my dog did too.
"Okay, so now I have an idea." The blonde lady yelled to the audience and tossed Guthrie a fish, "I want to bring some kids down to ask Guthrie some questions. Who wants to ask him some questions?"
As if I had no control over it, my little arm shot up. I waved it around in the air, hoping that she called on me. I wanted so badly to go down and ask Guthrie a question. I tried to hold my arm higher then any of the other kids' arms.
"Little girl in the glasses," The blonde lady called and pointed my way. My eyes got huge, "Do you have a question?"
Because of my speech impediment, I didn't want to talk. I thought I'd sound funny in front of all these people. I shook my head.
The lady smiled, "Did you just want to come down and say hello to Guthrie?"
I nodded quickly. She told me to come on down, and without missing a beat I shot up and ran down to where she was.
Up close, Guthrie was bigger then I thought. But his eyes were still kind and brown. His body was big and he looked slimy. He smelt a little like fish.
"Now, what is your name, honey?" She asked me. She was much prettier up close.
Very quietly I answered, "Holli."
She smiled, "Everyone, this is my new friend Holli. She wants to meet Guthrie." The lady turned to the giant sea lion that stood next to her, "Guthrie, this is Holli."
Guthrie put out his flipper.
"Go ahead and shake his hand!" The woman encouraged.
Nervously, I put out my hand and shook his flipper. The crowd clapped.
"Now, Guthrie," The woman yelled, "Give her a kiss!"
It didn't really register, what she said... Not until I had the snout of a seal in my face.
First, he kissed my nose. I giggled at the prickle of his whiskers. Then, he kissed all over my face. It tickled and scratched; it felt so funny and weird. He breathed in hot puffs and he smelt even more of fish up close. His breathing fogged up my glasses. He was so much taller then me! The crowd was laughing and enjoying the show. The blonde lady was trying to get Guthrie to stop.
I was giggling and couldn't believe what was going on. I was being kissed over and over by a seal!

63. To see a world in a grain of sand. and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour

It's a night in early December, and the winter has been surprisingly mild. The sun has been out almost every day, and the temperature hasn't dropped too low. I'm snoozing on my parent's couch and I suddenly feel my mother shaking me. 
"You need to take Uncle Brian to the vet with Monty," She said as soon as my eyes were open. I must not have been a very attractive sight; I was drooling all over my face and my hair was sticking out in a million different directions. 
"Huh?" I muttered. 
"Monty's not doing well." She said, her brown eyes that look so much like mine soft, "The vet clinic is in Perry." 
I stretched my arms and looked around. The Christmas tree was up early this year, the sun was streaming in through the bay window behind the couch and there was a dog sleeping at my feet. It took me a moment to remember what Mom was talking about. 
Last night, my Uncle Brian was worried about Monty, his old black-and-white cat. He wasn't eating and he was limping. 
I sat up and shook off the slumber soreness, "Okay." 
I went in the bathroom to take a shower and found Monty laying on the bathroom floor and Mom said he hadn't moved in hours. He meowed as I walked past him. 
I knelt down and took a good look at poor old Monty. 
He had breathing problems, so as he breathed he let out little gasps and croaks. His green eyes watched me as I stroked his long black fur. I talked to him in a low voice, even though he was deaf and there was no way he could hear me, I liked to think that he could. 
After getting ready, Uncle Brian and I gathered up Monty and were on the road. 
The drive to the closest vet clinic was about an hour long. The whole way there Uncle Brian and I talked about an array of things. 
"I need Monty to be okay," He said, putting his hand inside the pet carrier and stroking Monty. Monty meowed at his touch, "He's always been sick, even as a kitten." 
Because of my Uncle's health problems, he decided to adopt a cat that also had a lot of health problems. No one else ever wanted to adopt a cat who had as many health problems as he did. 
The drive there was beautiful, but the reason why we were making the trip wasn't. 
I looked over at my uncle as he peered down at his old furry friend. 
My uncle is an eccentric man. He has a bald head and a big white beard and kind blue-green eyes. He's very tall and walks with a cane. He lives in an attachment to our house that was originally built as a garage because he has a tumor wrapped around his jugular vein and a genetic disorder where he has awful blood clots. Someday in the near future, he will have to have his legs amputated. 
He used to have a job in Immigration and has an autographed picture of Ronald Regan on the wall from when he met him. 
Now, he's retired at the age of 46. For Uncle Brian, losing his cat would just be another loss for him. 
We drove to the vet clinic and had light conversation as we did. Like the big elephant in the room, the sound of Monty's sallow breathing was a painful reminder of why we were taking this drive along the jagged down east coast that, on another happier day, I'd enjoy taking. 
I helped me uncle and Monty into the vet building. I sat down to wait in the waiting room, but my uncle insisted that I come into the vet's office with him. 
In the vet's office, we were surrounded by little happy things. Posters of puppies and colorful decorations. It almost makes you forget that most of the animals that come in this room don't come out. 
We paced around in the room and my uncle tried to talk, but most of his words came out as babbles. Clearly, he knew that there was something deeply wrong with Monty. 
The nurse came in and my uncle didn't stop talking the whole time she checked Monty's temperature and looked into his eyes, ears and mouth. Because of Monty's ear problems, his ears were sewn shut earlier just that ear. 
"He's been sick ever since he was a kitten... He's really not that old... He lost weight over the summer just because he was going outside and being more active... Yeah, his ears are sewn shut, the doctor said that was the best way to make his ear infections stop... He has problems with his lungs and skin problems... But last night he stopped eating and Monty never misses a meal... He was limping yesterday but now he can't get up at all... He's so cold..." 
"Yes," The nurse intervened, "His temperature is 93... the normal for a cat is from 100-103." 
Uncle Brian looked at Monty with heavy eyes, "That's so low..." 
"The doctor will be in in just a minute.." She said and left the room. 
My uncle didn't say much this time, and that's not like him. He stood next to Monty on the table and pet his fur. He said things to him, and Monty would meow in return. 
After a wait that seemed like forever, the doctor walked in. 
My uncle started in with the exact same things he told the nurse. The doctor started feeling around Monty's body as my uncle continued talking. 
I watched the doctor's face. He was older and had balding blonde hair and blotchy skin, but kind green eyes. As he felt around Monty's body, I heard him whisper, "Wow" as his brows furrowed. 
I didn't need anything other then that to realize that Monty wasn't going to be okay. I sat down in a chair and watched as he continued examining Monty's limp body. Monty let out wheezes and meowed; I wanted to yell at the doctor to stop because it was clearly hurting him. 
Once my uncle stopped talking, the doctor brought his hands together and let out a heavy sigh. 
"Well, one of Monty's kidneys is three times it's normal size, and the other kidney is smaller then it should be."  
My uncle didn't respond right away, "That's not good, is it?" 
"No," The doctor said quietly, "It's not. And his temperature is so low - 10 degrees lower then it should be, actually. And at that point, we're talking about the body shutting down." 
"Could it be..." My uncle started, "Kidney failure?" 
"It could be.." The doctor started, "But there is no 100% way of me knowing that Monty won't be okay and that he will. I could run blood tests and x-rays but honestly, those things could only be prolonging the inevitable." The doctor paused, clearly not wanting to go on, "Monty's body is shutting down. That's why he's been limping, because he isn't getting circulation to his legs." 
My uncle made a noise in the back of his throat and shifted his weight on his cane. He cleared his throat and started, "You need to do what you think is right." He said in a very quiet, sad voice. 
"You want me to go ahead and put him down?" The doctor asked. 
My uncle only nodded. The doctor nodded as well and left the room. 
Like he had been kicked in the stomach, my uncle hit the wall in a fit of sobs. He was crying and I just realized that I had been crying for some minutes now. Instinctively, I wrapped my arms around him as he cried on my shoulder. 
He put his arm out to Monty and stroked him. 
"Oh, Monty... Oh no, Monty..." He said helplessly, "I wish there is some way I could help you..." 
We sat in the room with Monty and both cried. I repeated over and over how sorry I was, and I felt even more sorry because I was no help in this situation. 
The doctor came back in and Uncle Brian and I were both stroking Monty. My uncle wanted the remains for burial. I stroked underneath Monty's chin and he purred lowly against my hand; I knew that that was his favorite spot. His green eyes looked happy somehow, as if he knew he would no longer be in pain. 
"Wow," The doctor repeated. I wish he would stop using that word, "I can't find his veins." He was poking around Monty's leg with the needle. Monty's veins were shutting down. 
And when he was finally able to find Monty's veins, the injection was done. 
I had seen animals die before. I watched my dog get hit by a car when I was a kid; my mom once accidentally ran the dryer with my cat in it the day before Christmas. But I had never seen an animal get put to sleep. 
It was so peaceful and quick, I didn't even know that Monty was gone until the doctor said; 
"He's gone now." 
My uncle and I were both still sobbing, and the woman handed us a box of tissues. 
The drive home was quiet. My uncle was the first to speak; something light about how beautiful of a day it was. 
Once we got home, my father, my uncle and I went to bury Monty out back in one of the fields. My dad had to do most of the digging because my uncle's legs were in a lot of pain. We picked a spot under a tree that my uncle could see from his window. 
So he would always know where he was. 
We covered the grave with rocks and the sun was high in the sky; it lit up Monty's spot. 
"He always loved to sit next to the window and look out at the field," My uncle muttered and placed more rocks on top of his grave, "Goodbye, old friend."