If you looked in on my life today as an errant bystander you wouldn't see anything extraordinary. My husband packed up and headed out for a business trip, I took a shower, got dressed and went to the local mall to run a few errands, I snagged a couple items from the grocery store and I made my way home. Sounds like a pretty typical Sunday afternoon.
What you wouldn't see are the hidden meanings and heart-wrought emotion I'm barely holding back from the surface.
Today was a day of firsts.
first full day on my own since I returned from the hospital
first time leaving the house alone
first time driving my car since September 13th
...it's also the first time I have spent an entire day looking for you.
Yesterday I said goodbye to you, my best friend. I knew that your time with me was growing short, you were almost 12 and we have spent the last eleven and a half years adventuring side by side in this life. You were not feeling well, it had been a steady decline for the last month or so but, I wasn't going to give up hope. You sat with me through tears and pain, never leaving my side when I needed you and I promised you that I would always do the same. I just wasn't prepared to let you go so fast. I took our time for granted and I thought for sure we had more... at least another day. Always, at least one more day.
When the doctor told me how sick you were, my heart broke. You had been trying so hard to be yourself, always loving and gentle. I had no idea how bad it was for you. I guess we were the same in that way; never letting anyone know just how bad things felt. All I wanted in that moment was to hold you, tell you how much I loved you and never let you go. I had to make the impossible choice to ease your pain and I hope you knew just how much I loved you. I thought we had more time. I never thought I would come home without you.
I'm grateful for the kind and gentle heart of the doctor. Her eyes watered and her voice cracked as we discussed letting you go. She barely knew you and yet; she loved you. This was your effect on people. your beautiful warm eyes and sweet smile won over even the most adverse people. I loved you the instant I saw you and I'm so grateful that I got to be your person.
As you fell asleep one last time, your head resting on my hand and our foreheads together. I hope you heard me telling you that I loved you. I hope you knew how much joy you have brought to my life. I hope you knew you did everything right and you will always be with me. I hope you felt safe and like it was ok for you to finally rest. You were my soulmate, my best friend and the best companion I could ever ask for. You came both in and out of my life unexpectedly, but while you were by my side you were trustworthy and dependable and you never hesitated to show your full heart.
I work up several times last night, listening for the sound of you breathing; just like I have done every night for the last week. When I moved I was careful to not disturb you, your spot was still safe. Each time I realized you we'rent there my heart broke again and again. When I started my shower this morning I walked back into the living room to see if you were coming into the bathroom. When I got out you weren't there lying on the rug with your silly smile. When I was leaving the house I walked into the kitchen to get you a cookie. When I'd realized what I had done it brought me to my knees. I sat in your spot on the rug by the oven and cried.
When I got home from my errands I was exhausted. I opened the door and walked into the living room; I half expected you to be perched in your corner of the couch; making a nest out of the pillows, the way you always did. In that moment, it really hit me. You're gone.
I know that my heart will heal, that new routines will come and the pain of your loss will lessen. A day will come when it doesn't hurt to think of you and how much I loved you. Eventually, I will pack up your things, donating them to another dog that needs love.
Today is a day of firsts and it's my first day without you. I bought flowers, you used to love to smell them. I chose yellow because you we're sweet and bright; always friendly to everyone. As, I begin to sift through the aftermath of this month I will miss you. You were my confidant, I could tell you anything and you would snuggle up next to me, put your head on my lap and look up at me; reassuring me that it would all be ok. I don't know how I will move forward without you, but I will.
I love you my sweet boy. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to be your mama, thank you for picking to spend your life with me.