Tag Archives: moving on

2.

Two months today. For over half of my life – dates have stuck with me. Anniversaries of silly things such as a first kiss, first date, first day of college. I remember those things without needing to be prompted.

When I met Sam – I somehow lost that ability. I can’t tell you when we had our first kiss. Or when we were “official” (well Facebook told me that a few months ago with the whole timeline thing but otherwise I couldn’t tell you…) first I love you. I didn’t keep up. And it turned out better than any relationship I’ve had prior. We finally decided on an “anniversary” for the sake of having one – the day we met. I can’t even tell you what day we got engaged. It’s amazing really. 5 years of my life without keeping up with dates.

But the day I can tell you is August 30th. It’s burned into my brain. I cried on the way to work this morning. How is it possible that she’s only been gone two months but it feels like years since I saw her sweet face? Physical absence is painful. I don’t expect her to greet me anymore. I don’t call out for her when I go to bring Miles in. But I’m keenly aware every single day that something is missing. She is gone.

I’ve had a few dreams in which she’s licking my face. I don’t ever really see her but it’s such a sweet familiar sensation. I don’t wake up with a heavy heart after those dreams. I wake up feeling like something isn’t missing as much. Those days are nice. Part of me wishes it really is her coming to check in. Last week I found one single strand of fur on a dress I bought after she died. I know her fur is probably all over the house but sitting in a pew at court waiting on a hearing it was a nice reminder that she’s always with me.

We’ve adjusted to being a one dog family. It’s strange after being a two dog family for so long. Some days I feel an ache that we need to rescue another dog and other days I can’t imagine bringing one into our lives. Maybe some day.

Thursday is the beginning of a new month. The most hectic month of the year. National Adoption Day is rushing upon me and my already stressful job becomes much more stressful for a few weeks. I’ll be glad once it’s over. And then it’s birthday. And I’m not excited at all.

Last year, my best friend’s father passed away on my birthday. And I know this first anniversary will be painful for him, his family and for me. I loved his dad. He was quirky and sarcastic. I flew to Houston once and his family picked me up at the airport and his dad hugged me. I’ll never forget that moment. They readily accepted me into their family and I’m always grateful for that.

It will be a rough month. And like the past two rough months we will get through it.

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Hope.

I woke up feeling hopeful this morning which was a really nice change from the past few weeks. Though I should clarify I initially woke up thinking of all of the crap I will have to do tomorrow when I get back to work. But that subsided and peace set in.

These 5 days off have been nothing short of a miracle. Being an emotional mess while trying to do an emotionally challenging job is not a good mix.

I typically don’t see myself as the stay at home mom type – probably because I never did it. But we baked banana nut bread this morning and it all felt very domestic.

Katelyn did tell me she missed her friends today so I’m sure she’ll be ready to head back to school tomorrow. I am 50/50 on returning to work.

My phone has rang non-stop the past few days (as it does every day) and I had 88 e-mails in my inbox this morning. I think my next job will be as a Wal-Mart greeter. I can leave work at work. Or you know maybe crunching numbers so I don’t have to feel like lives are at stake every day.

Because they are – and that’s reality.

A friend and I went to see a tarot card reader when we were 17. A few of the things I remember: I have met my soul-mate (not true), I’m a nurturing person (mostly true) and that I would work with children (well at least that one was right.)

I applied for a job at Texas Tech for a new pilot program focusing on first generation and low-income incoming freshmen. It’s designed to catch these kids before college and show them that higher education is possible. I’m already dealing with several of these kiddos right now and I felt like I could really contribute to the cause when I read through the posting.

Sam and I went to a game this weekend. Our first Tech game since Katelyn was 6 weeks old and I literally fell asleep on his shoulder. It made me sad that I rushed through college. I was in and out in 4 years. Some days I wish I would have enjoyed it more. The last two years I was in school, I worked on game days because those were decent days to make money. I should have been tailgating and yelling my head off at the games. Being back on campus and seeing the spirit and infectious nature of college made me realize it probably wasn’t as bad as it felt then.

Regrets are fun!

I used to say I had no regrets. And really I don’t. Life has ended up pretty good for me even with all of the stupid decisions and mistakes along the way. I’ve been blessed even when I probably didn’t deserve it.

The next few months will be hectic at work preparing for the one big event we have each year. And after that I am hopeful we will be able to move on.

Hope is good and sometimes that’s all you need.

 

 

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Empty.

I stood by your bed last night, 
I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, 
You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly 
as you brushed away a tear,
“It’s me, I haven’t left you, 
I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

I was close to you at breakfast, 
I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times, 
your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today, 
Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, 
I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, 
You tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you, 
that I’m not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, 
as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, 
I smiled and said ” it’s me.”

You looked so very tired, 
and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, 
that I was standing there.

It’s possible for me, 
to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, 
“I never went away.”

You sat there very quietly, 
then smiled, I think you knew…
In the stillness of that evening, 
I was very close to you.

The day is over… 
I smile and watch you yawning
and say “good-night, God bless, 
I’ll see you in the morning.”

And when the time is right for you 
to cross the brief divide,
I’ll rush across to greet you 
and we’ll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, 
there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out…
then come home to be with me.

~Author Unknown 

 

 

The tears are coming freely today. I ordered a book a few nights ago called Dog Heaven. It was on the front porch this morning. It’s a children’s book but had a lot of good reviews. It was very sweet and helped me paint a nice picture of Penny peacefully there. I’ve seen this poem before and right now it’s offering even more comfort than the Rainbow Bridge. I want so badly to feel her with me. To hear her toes clicking on the hardwood floor. Or her tags jingle as she runs. Today is a “too soon” day. I have days when I feel at peace with our decision to put her to sleep. Other days, like today, I feel like I should have tried harder. I should have fought harder for Penny. But then I remember her eyes looking up at me after the seizure. She looked so sad, so lost. I had prayed for a sign to know it was “time” and that morning, on the floor in the dark her eyes told me she was tired. When I think about her eyes, sometimes I feel like I waited “too long.”

It’s always amazed me that after someone close to me dies, life goes on. Even when you feel like your world has totally stopped – you still wake up, go to work, take care of children, eat, sleep – though poorly, function. All with a heart in pieces. I am grieving for her more than I have for people that I’ve lost. Maybe because she was a constant and here. You learn to love people in your life from far away. Grandparents you don’t see every day. Miles between you but the love is still there. It was different with Penny. There weren’t many times in our 8 years that we were apart for long. Maybe that’s why the emptiness is so profound.

When I take Miles for a walk, my other hand instinctively still grips a leash that is not there. I’ve stopped expecting to see Penny when I get home. But the emptiness is still here.

Part of me feels like her death was a signal that it’s time for serious changes. Home is not home anymore. We’ve wanted to move for awhile but now I have this primal urge to empty out this house and be done with it. Change has an awful lot going for it – even when it seems scary at times. A new house won’t make me miss her any less but I think mentally I will be in a better place at that point.

Before she got sick – I couldn’t imagine life without her. And now that life without her is a reality – I hate it. I hate life without Penny.

I miss my girl.

 

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Enough is enough is enough.

Miles started throwing up last night. I sat up with him until about 1 when I couldn’t fight to keep my eyes open any longer.

This morning, same thing. Throwing up. I called the vet in a panic because I cannot lose him too.

It was so hard going back there. The first thing I saw when we got to the desk were gift bags from Pets at Peace. Gift. Bags.

I felt my blood boiling. My dog is dead and being returned to me in a gift bag with gold and green paper. Seriously.

Except after checking – MY dog isn’t even there yet. 10 bags. 10 dogs all put to sleep last week. And my girl isn’t even ready.

The vet checked a few things and declared that Miles is suffering from grief induced Colitis. No food or water and a re-check tomorrow.

He is sad. My boy is grieving. And it’s making him sick.

He’s thrown up most of the day despite having any more food or water. I’m trying to not go crazy and call the vet for every sigh and gag but it’s so hard.

I had this horrible thought in the back of my mind that maybe they had been poisoned and that he was just starting on the road Penny was on. Or that he would grieve himself to death.

The vet’s advice? Take him to pick out another pack member. Since he was a puppy when Penny came the vet said he likely will never adjust to being a “one dog pack.”

My heart sunk. As much as I know we’ll get another dog some day I can’t imagine it happening any time soon.

He’s spent the evening either hiding in the bathroom or falling over at my feet. I really don’t know how to help him. I mean reasoning with him isn’t helping. Telling him he can bark at Penny in Heaven (Katelyn) isn’t helping.

I suppose time will heal all wounds.

It did give me a chance to really talk to the vet. Thursday all happened so fast. After Penny was gone and I had managed to drag my sobbing self out – she had a post-mortem exam. Her head had visible swelling. He advised that something had ruptured or she had brain swelling. She could have lived several miserable days at home before her body gave out. I was able to spare my girl some pain.

And that helped.

I also found one single Penny hair on my desk when I got to work. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost my mind and signs are everywhere.

Now if only Sam would get home and I could actually prepare for a long drive and yucky morning.

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Feathers.

It’s been a rough few days. Each morning around 11 my heart sinks all over again. But today I think I finally realized that the seizure Penny had was horrific. In the 30 minutes that I watched her going through it I was terrified. When she came out her eyes were so sad. 

And I did what I did out of love. I put aside my selfishness of wanting her to live forever and did what I had to do to give my girl some peace. I let go of my expectations and realized she did not deserve to suffer. I really think she held on because of me.  I never dreamed I would lose her so soon. 

Today Katelyn and I took Miles to the park. Miles, Penny and I used to go to the park in Lubbock a lot when I was stressed or worried and we would walk forever. It was the one time I felt I could truly think. 

And today, with just one dog and my other hand clenched like I was holding two – we walked. 

There is a huge void here and one I’m not sure will ever go away. I’ve prayed and prayed to God for a sign that she is happy and knows that I love her. I think they’ve been all around me but I’ve been too grief stricken to notice until tonight. 

Katelyn and I took Miles for another walk tonight around the block and about two houses down from ours we started watching a feather that floated gently by us to the end of the block. It then fell at my feet. I scooped it up and said a prayer.

If you’ve met Miles then you know he hates birds. They cannot land on the deck near his water or food without him going crazy.

I found it very fitting that my “sign” was a feather and perhaps my girl wanting to annoy Miles just a little. 

And at times the tears feel like they will never stop coming. But other times I think of her and smile. 

Penny was my soul mate. She stuck by me through some of the hardest times in my life. And somewhere deep inside I know she’s still sticking with me whether that be in spirit or in my heart.

 

That will have to be enough for me tonight.

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