You would think that after 21 years the memories would dim some, lose some of the pain...but that doesn't seem to be so.  Every now and then the eyes still come...and they are with me again.  I can see Maria's dead eyes...and I knew she was dead before I touched her body because there was no life in her eyes...wide open yes, but the light of life was gone.  I can see them before me now, every bit as vivid as I could 21 years ago.

Jellybean's eyes haunt me as well...hers more often than Maria's.  Sometimes they show up for no reason at all that I can discern.  I was a child of 11, mature for my age mentally in many ways, but I knew the truth, the hidden emotions I let no one except my bunnies see, how lonely I was and how frightened I was to be living in a new state, far away from the old and familiar.  I may have endured emotional abuse but at least I knew to expect my peers and even some of my teachers to taunt or abuse a strange new place I had no idea what to expect from anybody.  But while Maria had passed and I mourned her  loss at least Jellybean was still with me...until she developed diabetes.  I was told the disease was treatable, the same way as it would in a human, but the vet couldn't give me odds as to her chance of recovery and to see her on the stainless steel examining table, dwindled to naught but bones barely covered by dull fur, to see the suffering in her eyes...that evening I made the choice to have her put to sleep and it was my choice alone.  I struggled for a long time with the decision...I wanted to keep her with me and I was willing to do whatever that took...but I couldn't get her pain-wracked eyes out of my mind.  So I made my choice...and I still end up in tears talking about it more times than not.  But I wonder if I made the right choice...if I should have tried treatment for a brief time before making the final decision.  I hope Jelly is not angry with me...her eyes are haunting me now and they return irregularly, though I know I can always expect to have them with me on  the anniversary of her death, a death I caused.  Sometimes I feel like I murdered Jelly, eventhough I was nowhere near the vet's office at the time of her death.  And now I am hounded by two pairs of chocolate-brown-with-gold-flecked eyes...Maria's glassy, lifeless ones and Jellybean's living but pain-filled ones.

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