Ever take note of how many times a day someone asks you how you are doing? When a customer comes in, most of the time they inquire, "How are you?" Usually we automatically say fine. Or ok. Perhaps utter a quick tired. They assume you are fine and sometimes don't even wait for you to say it, you might repeat the question and get the same answer. I guess fine would have been the truth most of the time. Not this week.
When someone asked me how I was this week, I would mutter fine and move the conversation along. Don't look at my eyes, don't notice how I'm trying not to cry every second, or notice how tired I am, how weary of body and soul.
I found out that my dog, my furry soul mate and faithful friend, was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor. It is aggressive, inoperable, and already making it difficult for her to breathe. She has been my beloved and perfect companion for over 12 of the most glorious and beautiful years of my life. She has enriched me in so many ways, added to my joy in countless ways and kept me sane during the roller coaster we call life. No matter what is going on, she keeps me grounded, keeps me anchored to reality.
I may have had the worst day at work, done everything wrong or had an awful day but when I come home I am the most important person in Abbie's world. She loves me the mostest, the greatest and NO MATTER WHAT. I could be having the worst hair day, she doesn't notice, my gut is sticking out and having a particularly chubby fat day and she couldn't care less. I am her mom, her human, her soul mate and she needs me as much as I need her. We are a pair, we are the perfection of human matched to canine.
If I am gone, she won't eat until I get back home to her. She will sleep on my pillow until I walk back in that door. She won't touch her toys or have any fun either until I throw that toy for her to fetch. When she is away from me, I wonder how she is, if she is safe, warm, cozy. I miss her, as my heart is a little bit nervous when she is not right there with me. When I see her again, my heart warms and settles back into my chest with a happy sigh.
I cannot contemplate coming home and she isn't here. I cannot even let myself wonder how I will cope with that gaping hole in my world, my heart, my soul, my being. I know her spirit will ALWAYS be in my heart, with me wherever I am, but I selfishly want her physical body with me as well, I want to reach out and touch her, caress her soft and beautiful coat, feel her tongue caress my fingers, watch her perky ears flop over and feel her poky little feet on my leg as she walks across my leg.
She will be in Heaven, awaiting my arrival, but I will miss her desperately until then. There is NO WAY THAT GOD WOULD ALLOW US TO GET SO ATTACHED TO OUR ANIMALS and NOT let us meet up with them again in Heaven. You also cannot tell me they don't have souls, feelings, and thoughts. Over and over you see them experience life with feeling, meaning and true love. They grieve when they lose a loved one just as we do, they hurt with us when we are in pain, they know evil when they see it. Most of them are far smarter than half the humans I know. She has taught me sooo much. Her wisdom is far beyond mine, her closeness to God greater than most of us.
You cannot tell me they don't love us as much as we love them, perhaps more as they are so pure and innocent. They know the true meaning of selfless and unconditional love. We SAY we will love someone no matter what, but we hold grudges, impose conditions, and harbor unspoken expectations to be met. Abbie does NOT. She will love me unconditionally even I were to hurt her, leave her, or break a promise. She doesn't expect anything of me, nor does she make me live up to certain standards. If I disappoint her, she forgives me as quick as a snuggle and a kiss.
Every day we have together is a precious gift, a bonus dose of love and joy...another memory to treasure in my soul, another picture to store in my mind, to pull out and hold and turn over in my minds eye when the pain is intense, when the ache is raw and unbearable. I want to live in this moment right now, and not worry about the next. This is sooo hard for me. I want to not worry about how many more tomorrows we have together, but I can only hold off these thoughts for so long...
So when someone casually asks how I am, I say fine and choke back the wave of tears I have been holding in for the last hour and soldier on until I can get back home to continue memorizing every little hair on my baby girl's body, the curl of her tail, the gleam in her eyes, the feel of her tongue on my finger, the way her head fits into the crook of my elbow just right...
When we love someone completely and totally, we also hurt completely and totally when they leave us...my Abbie, my heart, my baby....please don't leave me....