My life with little Joe Graydark

I have found that life can be very difficult but if you are able to share it with someone who gives unconditional love and is just happy you love them back then you can be very happy no matter what is happening in your life.

I have found my comfort in a wonderful, furry friend, my little cat Joe. He is so important to my life I wanted to share our story with you. For anyone who has a pet you know how comforting and rewarding it can be to share your life with someone that doesn’t judge you or gives you sadness but only brings a smile to your face.

In 2014 my friend knew Christmas was coming and that I wanted something special for Christmas. I told him I wanted a cat for a pet. He was not happy about my request. He said they take a lot of care and need to be cleaned up after and need to go to the Vet. But, I kept telling him I really wanted a pet. I was going to be alone for Christmas and I knew I would be lonely. Finally, he agreed to take me to the mall in Jakarta that had a lot of pet shops. Oh my, so many stores and so many dogs and cats for sale. It was so much fun going to each store and looking at the babies. All were so cute. Last we went to a store and in the middle of the room was a cage with 7 or 8 little kittens, all brothers and sisters I’m sure. They were yellow and white mixed colors except one and he was Greydark. All were resting but Greydark was jumping up and down when we approached the cage. He was very active and seemed very happy to see us and I felt he was trying to say ‘look at me please, look at me. Pick me, pick me’. We looked around the store but every time we came by the cage the little kitten would jump around to get our attention. I asked the store clerk to take him out and when he was on the floor he ran all over the place. He was so happy. I knew then I had to have this kitten. We bought him and many, many supplies you need for a pet and off to his new home we went.

He needed a name and since Bapak Joe bought him as my Christmas present I decided to name him ‘Little Joe’. I was so excited to welcome him into my life. But, he is still a baby. The store clerk said he was about 3-months old maybe, so he was very tiny and lots of energy.

When we got home he was very nervous because he had always been in a cage and he didn’t know where he was, and everything was new to him. He sniffed everywhere and looked everywhere. I gave him a bath and he hate the water and was very unhappy and wet, but he was clean. One thing I know is if a baby cat is taken away from his mother too soon he doesn’t get to nurse with her enough. Little Joe was like that. He would lay in the bed with me and try to nurse on my arm. It was so funny. He thought I was his Mom and he would push his little feet against my arm while he was trying to nurse. It was so cute. I was told this only lasts for maybe a month but oh my, Joe did that for almost 1-year. He was my little baby. He would sleep with me and if I would take a nap in the afternoon he would crawl up on the bed and sleep with me. He just wanted to be with me all the time.

But since he’s a boy he like to play fight too with Mom. We had so much fun fighting together. I would fight with him and then go hide and he would come slowly searching for me to fight more. And, he like to play with toys. I bought many toys for Joe Joe but he liked mostly for me to just wad up some paper and he would chase it for a long time. And he loved to play with straws. He would chase the paper and the straws all over the apartment. Little kittens are so much fun to watch when they are playing and then all of a sudden, they get tired and find a place to take a nap or come to Mommy for a nap. It was so much fun when Joe was a baby.

And I like to give Joe baths, but cats don’t like water. Every time I take him to the shower he would yell and yell and become very angry with me. And after the bath I would dry him very good and he would smell nice, but he was still mad at me.

Also, little Joe didn’t like to go to the Vet. I would take him for his shots or when he got sick, but he was always very nervous and very sad to see the doctor. One time he was sick, and I had to give him medicine and he hate it. It was very difficult to get him to swallow his medicine. I got a little bottle with an eye dropper for the medicine and that helped and sometimes I would feed him with the eye dropper and he loved it. He was just like a real baby with a bottle.

Every year I have a nice birthday party for little Joe. He gets toys and special candy and his favorite…catnip. When he was a baby I gave him catnip and he didn’t know what it was and didn’t like it but when he was about 1 year old I tried again and, oh my, he went crazy for it. He rolled in it and got it all over his body and he always wanted more. Now, catnip is his favorite treat and he wants it all the time.

My mother came to stay with me and she really likes Joe and he likes her so much. They are together all the time and she takes him for walks and they play and sleep together when I am not home. Joe is very funny when my Mother or I take him for a walk. We put a body lease on him like he is a dog and he likes it. He is a normal boy cat because he always wants to go out and play but he can only go if he wears the lease. So, when he sees the lease he is just like a dog and goes crazy to go for a walk. He is scared of people though and one time we went for a walk and there was a lot of people. Joe got scared and ran to me and crawled up my leg and I had to pick him up and he hugged my neck so tight. It was very funny.

Joe is almost 4 years old now and full grown, but he will always be my baby Joe. He has brought so much happiness to my life and I love him like a child.

Learnings from My Life with Joe

There are many challenges in life and you cannot always depend on or expect other people to make your life happy. I have found people even friends can disappoint you and let you down. You have to be able to take care of yourself and give yourself encouragement to keep going when life gives you challenges and trouble. It is comforting however to have a pet that will always love you regardless of what is happening to you. A pet can cheer you up when you are depressed, they can make you laugh when you are sad, and they can make you forget the problems life is throwing at you just by being by your side and not judging you or criticizing you. They just love you for who you are, and my Joe is exactly like that. He brings joy and happiness to me.

childhood, inspiration, kehidupan, love, motivation, my painful childhood, truestory

Learning’s from my earliest.

The Story of my Childhood     #books #longreads #truestory #childhood #motivation #life I was born in a small village called Sengon Kerep. I was born without a father as my mother and father married with ‘Kawin Lari’ which means married without an agreement. My mother is Javanese while my father is Padang (Sumatra Barat). Every man who is Padang should marry only Padang woman. No other ethnicity. However, because they love each other they married in secret. They lived in Jakarta, the capitol of Indonesia and planned on having a wonderful life. Unfortunately, tragedy struck, when my mother was four months pregnant with me. My father was killed in a terrible motorbike accident.My mother was all alone in Jakarta with no one to help her. Word got back to my village about what had happened, and my grandparents were very angry as my mother had no job and no way to take care of a baby. My grandparents could not help as they had no money. They only grew rice and vegetables for their food. My grandparents borrowed jewelry from a neighbor to sell in order to buy tickets to Jakarta to go get my mother and bring her home to the village. A neighbor and my grandparents went to Jakarta to get my mother and brought her back. It is very hard to get my village. It was a one-hour motorbike ride from the train station to Sengon Kerep. My mother and the family were so very sad what had happened and the difficult situation for my mother and everyone. Finally, I was born and everyone in the family was very happy. Unfortunately, in the small village most people were speaking negatively about my mother having a baby but no husband. It was a very difficult time for her and my family. When I was 5 months old my mother decided to go back to Jakarta to find work. She asked my grandparents to raise me and she would send money back to the village for my expenses.It was a confusing time for me as a little girl. My mother not with me and my grandparents taking care of me. I became a naughty little girl when I was around 4 or 5 years old. Always climbing the mango and guava trees. I also was rude and talk bad to people. I had a bad temper and cry when I don’t like something. When I was 6 years old my grandmother registered me in pre-school and paid my tuition. The problem I experienced was that the other children did not like me and teased me because I had no father. Their parents said I was ‘Anak Haram’ which, in Muslim, means born without father. After school I would always cry and be angry with my mother for having a child without a husband. I asked my family why my mother just not kill me, so all these bad things would not happen to me. To make matters worse, my grandparents tell me I have no father and even no mother as she left me and went away. This made me so angry and resentful to my mother. No one in the village really likes me and this makes my life so bad when I am young.When I am 9 years old I have to wake up at 4am and walk 2km to a small creek with a 15-liter bottle. I have to brush my teeth and bath in the creek. Then fill the large water bottle and carry back home on my back for the family to have water for the day. It was a very difficult time to be a child in a small village with little water and electricity and little food. The villagers just grow rice and maybe have a couple of cows or goats for their investment. No one makes any money, just cut trees or try to sell what they grow to make a little money.So, when I am old enough my grandparents and auntie teach me how to fetch water from the creek and also how to cut the grass for the cows and the goats. Also, they teach me how to plant the rice paddy and how to take care of it. The garden is very far from the house, so it takes time to go there and the road is bad. I also have to take care of things at home while doing my other chores. I began working hard helping my family when I am just 6 years old. I was also physically abused by my grandparents and auntie when I made mistakes or didn’t listen.Here is a list of my chores every day when I am little and lived in the village:

  • Wake up and bring 15-liter water from the creek
  • Boil water and help prepare breakfast
  • Wash dishes
  • Go to school
  • Back from school and help prepare lunch
  • Fill the water tank from the creek (could be 10 x 15-liter bottles). Back and forth from the creek with the water on my back… or…
  • Cut the grass in the garden which is 2km from the house to feed the cows …or…
  • Separate the padi to become white rice… or…
  • Cut the trees to sell as fire wood and put on my back and walk 3km’s to the village to sell…or…
  • Packing up the banana leaf or spinach and take 3km’s to the store to trade for money
  • Cook dinner and wash the dishes
  • Then sleep and start over next day

This was my daily activity when I was young. Not the way you would like your life to start. My next disappointment was when I was ready to go to Junior High School. My grandparents had no money to send me and even though my mother promised, she never sent money back to the village for my expenses. During this time my grandparents became very angry with me and would hit me with the small branches from the tree. My auntie would also hit me when she was angry. I was just 10 years old when I thought, ‘I want to be grown up now and get a job and make money and move to the USA. That was my dream from an early age. Although my family treated me badly, they are basically good people. They are very religious and good to their neighbors. We always go to the Catholic church and never miss going. I always pray to the Lord to hear my prayers and help me with my life and my dream for the future.After Primary school my grandparents decide I should not go back to school and should get a job as a maid. I was fine to do that if there was an opportunity. Shortly after that I was offered a job to be a nanny for the school teacher’s children. Right before starting my Auntie in Jakarta disagreed with me working and wanted me to continue my education. She offered to pay my expenses for Junior High School. A week later my grandparents registered me for school and I was accepted. I was very thankful to my auntie and Jesus for helping me with my education.I am happy to be in school, but my school is Muslim, not Catholic. I must follow their rules and become Muslim during my study. I have to wear Hijab uniform and follow their teachings for my 3 years there. I learned how to read in Arabic/Quran language. I memorize some of the Quran content and I know how to pray/shalat. I am happy that I graduated Junior High School in SMP Muhammadiyah Sampang Gedangsari Gunungkidul. This was in 2002 but I am still struggling to continue my education as my Grandparents have no money and there is no one to take me to the school.In August 2002 when I finish my Junior High School my Auntie in Jakarta ask me to come to Jakarta to help her with her family and taking care of my niece. She sent me the money and I went to Jakarta. My Auntie is living with her In-Laws and she told me she cannot take me to a school as she is busy being a housewife and taking care of her Mother-in-Law who had a stroke. I am ok to not attend High School as I want to work but my Auntie does not approve as she thinks I am too young. I attend church every Sunday with my Auntie’s family and I pray every day for help in going to school or finding a job. During this time, I am helping the family and taking care of my niece.In 2003 I met a friend through church and she asked why I am not going to school. She explained I could go to the private packet C which is the same as High School but not expensive and the classes are in the evening. Finally, after one year I told my Auntie I wanted to go to school and again she told me she had no money or any way to take me to school. I told her my friend would help me to register and she would help me find donations from other people to pay my tuition.Now I have managed to go back to school and my classes are from 6-9pm. This is good as it allows me to help my family during the day. I make many friends at the school and most are working and going to school at the same time. Every week I meet with my friend from the church who is studying at the Catholic University of Jakarta. She tells me that her university has a program to partner with companies in Indonesia where they seek their financial support to assist low income children who are trying to get an education.In 2004 there is an insurance company that is interested in helping with a donation. My friend spoke with the leader of the company and he is very generous and would like to help financially but he wants to meet the person and their family. My friend introduced me to the insurance company executive and he also flew to meet my family in the village. Bapak Joe met with my family and my grandparents in my small village (unfortunately I have no photos to share as I didn’t expect to be sharing my story). Bapak joe was such a kind man and he helped my family with money during his visit. They were so thankful.After the visit he was very happy to help me with my expenses and even moved me to a regular school and I didn’t have to worry about the payments. He paid all my expenses. I was so thankful to Jesus that he sent my friend and Bapak Joe to my life to help me. In 2006 I graduated from High School in Jakarta.In 2006 I applied for work with a Travel Agent in Jakarta. I worked for 3 months in the Hotel Bintang Raden Shaleh. After that I said I was very interested in work in Batam Island.  And I flew to Batam and I work in the Hotel in housekeeping Department. I was in training for a month and then I worked there until 2007.At this point my life was good as I was able to send money to my village to help my family. I still do not speak with my mother though. When I was in Jakarta we met but we would fight and argue as I was still very angry that she never took care of me or supported me financially. Bapak Joe still stayed in contact with me to see how I am doing through email and he would help me financially at times if I needed help. This was in 2007.At the end of 2007 I went to Bintan Island and was looking for work and found it and  I was trained and worked in a 5-star hotel in Bintan from 2007-2008. In 2008 I had a boyfriend that worked in the hotel as well. Although I was just 22 years old we decided to get married. After just a few months of marriage my company sent me to work overseas. We were working in different countries and were not able to see each other. Unfortunately, my husband cheated on me during this period as I was able to see his emails and Facebook messages. This was very painful, and we separated and divorced shortly after I found out. So, in 2009 I am free and single again, so I extend my contract to continue working in another country till 2012.

Learnings from my Childhood as I reflect on my early years I faced many challenges and difficulties. It would be easy to blame my circumstances on just being born to the wrong person at the wrong time and in the wrong place. But what do you learn from that…nothing. These were things I had no control over. I struggled as a child with the life that God gave me, and I resented who I was, but I truly believe that God will never give you a challenge that you cannot handle. Especially if you keep your faith and focus on making tomorrow better than yesterday. In many ways I was lucky that good people came into my life, but I am proud that I took advantage of the opportunities when they presented themselves. What I would say to anyone facing challenges in their life is NEVER give up! Don’t worry about the things you have no control over and focus on the things you can influence. Have a dream and every day think about your dream and things you can do to make your dream happen. I still face many challenges in my life as it is not perfect, but I have confidence that with a strong faith in the Lord, praying daily for guidance and having a plan to achieve my dream anything and everything is possible. I will focus on what things I control and not worry about the things that I don’t.

I will share more about Peri Will in my next blog…