These last couple of weeks have been hard, to see what happen to our family, happen to another family just down the street. In the span of about a half mile, we have three families who in just over a year lost their husband and father. The myriad of feelings that I’ve experienced is overwhelming. This is the kind of thing where you need that person you talk to, you confide in. The person that you don’t even have to say anything to for them to know that there’s something wrong and they get you through it with just one word, just one hug. The only person who knows you even better than you know yourself, who loves you more than he loves himself. The only person who understands you even when you don’t understand yourself. The only person who is not here to be all those things, to say all those things, to do all those things. And nobody else will do, you need that one person.
This morning I went for a walk, I had to let out some energy, and these were the kinds of thoughts in my mind, like I said, I’ve needed Aires here to talk to, somehow conversations inside my head are not the same… As I started out all the songs on the playlist somehow meant something, until when I was about half way through the walk, our song played. Love of a Lifetime. As I silently moved my lips along with the song, the tears just came rolling down. Once the song was over, not even half way through the next song, I ran into a lady with a puppy, a seven month old full of energy puppy. I stopped, I pet the dog and the lady and I talked about dogs and puppies and too much energy. I told her about OffLeash K9, she was happy to have the information and we said goodbye. I left that conversation and puppy interaction with a smile on my face. And all of the sudden all the songs were uplifting and I had a smile on my face and I had a feeling that Aires had done that. He had told me that he missed me, he had told me that he was still here with me, he had told me that we had the love of a lifetime, and then he sent a puppy my way to make me happy again.
As I continued to walk, more and more things kept coming to my head, like how once the butterflies were gone because of the cold, I started to see more Cardinals than I’ve ever seen in my life. I had one almost charge the windshield of the car, it was coming straight at me and pulled up at the last minute, as if it get my attention. Usually it happens when I’m driving, Cardinals just cross in front of my car all the time, several have come towards the car. Then I thought of how the other day, when I went to drop off some items for the family who just lost their husband/father, I stopped and talked to their good friend and neighbor for a few minutes. As we sat there talking on the sidewalk, behind her a butterfly showed up. It kept flying around, flying low, not going away, not landing, just being there for me to see.
And the most comforting of them all, Apollo. Since the beginning, he’s always slept in bed with me. Rocky starts off on the floor next to my side of the bed, and most nights will come up to the bed when it’s almost time to get up, but she sleeps on the floor most of the time. Apollo however, is my bed bug. I’m usually cold when I get into bed, but if I keep the pajama bottoms on, then I’ll wake up hot and have to take them off. So I go to bed, freeze for a while and then I feel better. Aires used to always start off on my side of the bed, he would warm it up, then he’d wait for me to get into bed, wrap his arms around me and wait for me to be warm before moving to his side of the bed, and I’d be all warm and cozy. It took me a while to realize what Apollo was doing (or maybe it’s just wishful thinking, or a comforting thought to keep me going without falling apart). Apollo will jump on to the bed as soon as we get upstairs. He lays down on my side of the bed, and lays there until I get into bed. Then he moves over, leaving the spot where he was warm, I get into bed and the bed is warm. He lays next to me, he puts his head on Aires’ pillow and we fall asleep. Apollo also snores and makes weird breathing noises that will wake me up and I have to wake him up and make him move so the noises stop, I used to push Aires on to his side all the time so he’d stop snoring and wake him up and move him so he’d stop with the weird breathing. Apollo is more than just my bed bug, he is his daddy.
By the time I got home, I felt a little better, I’ll never feel great about any of this, about him being gone, but every once in a while he comes through for me and tells me to quit it and get on with it! I need a good kick in the behind sometimes, he’s usually there when I’m at my lowest to bring me back up. I think I will need another one of those beat me up massages soon.
As always, at the end of the day, at the end of every thought, every feeling, every lonely moment, every crying, missing, desperation, at the end of it all, I go back to the only thing that keeps me going. My babies, I will keep going for them, I will pick up myself and go forward every day, every moment that I feel like giving up, like giving in, I will continue because they deserve the best of me so they can be the best they can be. Daddy is here with us, sometimes it’s harder to find him, sometimes we go days without “seeing” him, or feeling him. But he’s here with us, the best he can be. It’s not nearly the same, it’s never going to be what it was, we know that, we complain, we say it’s not fair, we hate that he’s not here, but we can’t change it. So after we blow off some steam, we keep going, and we try to keep going in a way that we would if he had been here with us. In a way that will make him proud of us. In a way that we will honor his memory.