Don’t tell me

Not to cry

It’s only been 3 months

don’t tell me he’s waiting for me

I don’t want him waiting for me in your heaven, I want him on my front porch

Don’t tell me I should be better because “we have the puppy now.”

Yes, Maverick makes me laugh.  He is a total  bundle of joy and excitement and new and I  LOVE YOU MOMMAH and laughter and bright and smart and funny.

He’s not my Max.   I love this little guy.  I didn’t think I could.   He’s not a replacement.  He’s another.

Some days are easy.  Some days are hard.   Today was hard.

“and all the tomorrows”

 

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Counting Mondays

11 Mondays

11 weeks ago, we let you go.   Much has changed in those 11 weeks.   And every Monday, at 8:30, time stops, and I see your sweet face, and I feel your fur under my hands, and I whisper again, “it’s okay, baby, you’re not gonna hurt anymore.”

Every Monday, for 11 weeks

How many Monday will it be till I stop counting?  I can’t imagine Mondays ever being okay again.

I’ve started counting Fridays.   Two Fridays since Maverick.   His silly antics and puppy nonsense are helping my shattered heart to heal, my heart that isn’t broken but shattered into a million pieces.

Still.  I count the Mondays.

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Love in a bundle of fur

Max was many things, but he was not much of a cuddler.   He loved people, but he was happy to have some distance between himself and anyone but a few.   He would put his head on my lap, push himself between me and other people, but just lay on the floor beside me?  No, that wasn’t really his style.  He preferred the cool space by the front door to my lap.

Maverick wants to be on me all the time.  When he’s playing, when he’s sleeping.   He gets his toy – of which he has many – and gets part of his body on my lap or as close to my leg as possible.   When he sleeps during the day, he wants up on the sofa, curled up between me and a pillow, or beside me on the floor, but some part of him has to be touching some part of me.

I love seeing the similarities between them.  I love seeing the differences.   I love that there ARE differences.   I couldn’t handle a Max but Not Max.   This funny, adorable little guy reminds me of Max in so many good ways.   And I cry while I laugh at him, wishing Max were still here, wishing Max could truly be a big brother to this Tiny Terror.   He’s so full of himself, so confident, so curious and happy and loving.  I know he’d love Max.  I know he’d look up to him and learn from him – I miss him so.

I told the Bear that I want to get a sign made and put on the path to Max’s field.   That field will always be his – as will so many things here.   And my heart will always be his.  I’m grateful that there’s room in this oh so broken heart to love another.   Grateful to Max for showing me that I can love more than one, and to Maverick for giving me Chapter 2.

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Sleep deprived but not love deprived

I really didn’t want to love this little terror.  I didn’t want to open myself up to this pain, this searing, unending pain, this loss that doesn’t get better with time, not again.  And then they put him in my arms and my heart went – oh, wtf, let’s do this.

Little Maverick.  You are the sweetest little tiny terror.

I asked Max to send us a puppy.   I guess he knew we needed laughter in our lives again.  The Tiny Terror has mde me laugh more in the past few days than I have in months.

And still I cry.   I miss my Max so much, and everyone tells me it will get better, and I should be getting over it and Maverick will heal my shattered heart.

That’s an awful big job for a Tiny Terror.   I don’t think he’s gonna make me whole.  I think he’s gonna make me laugh and let me see that I can love again, and that there’s still laughter in my soul.  Max taught me patience.   Good thing, because the tiny one is on the go from the minute he wakes up till the moment he crashes.  And oh, that moment, when he’s almost asleep and so sweet and soft and cuddly – that makes all the biting and tearing up the house worth it.

But it sure would be nice if I could get more than a couple hours of sleep at a time!

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Saying hello without saying goodbye

Almost ten weeks ago, we let Max go.   Tomorrow we bring home Maverick.

I’m still grieving.   I still look for Max everywhere, in the family room on his rug, in the kitchen in front of the sink, where he always loved to be in case a random bit of food should fall.  I think he liked making us step over him, too.    I look for him in the living room, on his sofa, on the landing, everywhere.   He isn’t there.   Sometimes I think I catch a glimpse of him and then the pain shoots through me again.   I still haven’t said goodbye, not completely.   I don’t think I ever will.   He was such a huge part of my life, he will never leave my heart.    Every night I told him – “tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow – and all the tomorrows to come – you will always be in my heart.”   Until the last week, when it changed to “for all the tomorrows we have left, until there are no more, and even then, you will live in my heart.”   He would lay his paw across my arm, and look into my eyes, and I knew he understood.

I miss him so much I can barely breathe.   I’m supposed to be “getting over it,” “moving on,” “looking forward to the puppy.”

The last part is the only true part.   I AM looking forward to the puppy, to puppy breath and goofy silly puppy antics.  I’m even looking forward to chasing him around and keeping him out of stuff, and potty training.

These are not two mutually exclusive emotions.   I thought they might be, I was wrong.   I love Max, always will.   I love Maverick and will love him more as the days go by.    I won’t stop missing Max because Maverick is here.   I just hope I find more reasons to smile and not so many to cry.

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And he’s beautiful

Max will always be first – in my life, in my heart, in my soul.
He will always be my beautiful boy, the one I promised I would never leave.

He didn’t like to share, his toys, his food, his mom and dad.

If we were bringing home an older dog, he would not be happy about it.   A puppy, however, is a baby.   Max loved babies.   I think he’d understand that this little guy needs love and care and that Mom needs to give him that.

And he’ll be okay with it.

And so I present………..Maverick

IMG_1732

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His name is Maverick

And he’ll be coming home in a few weeks.

My empty, aching heart spoke last week, asked a friend where she got her dog.  She gave me the name of the breeder, I called and he has a litter.
We visited the puppies on Sunday.   Little guy crawled into my lap and gave me kisses.   He fell asleep in Bear’s arms, paws wrapped around his arm like Max would do.   And then did the same to me.   It was all over for both of us, we knew he had to be ours.

Later that night we got the confirmation that he was indeed ours.   And I sobbed.    Waves of grief for Max, guilt that he might think we’re replacing him, emotions all over.   It’s been a whirlwind – puppy proofing the house, buying stuff, choosing a name – THAT was crazy! – laughing and smiling one minute, and tears welling up the next.

I opened the peanut butter jar tonight – the first time since Max left us.   A stupid jar of peanut butter had me sobbing.

I’m reading like crazy, things have changed in 10 years!   So much to remember, so much to do, reading Max’s puppy diary to remember what puppies are like, and smiling over the silly things he did – this is the fun, joyful part.   I’m planning the stories I’m going to tell Maverick about his big brother.   That’s the sad, bittersweet part.

So another journey begins.    Another walk down the road of loving a fur ball, watching him grow into a good dog and fighting, once again, to keep him healthy and happy as long as we possibly can.   Max taught me so many things.   Let’s see what Maverick has in store for us next.

And thank you, Maxer – for still taking care of Momma.

 

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When the time is right

When we decided to get a puppy, everything came together in a matter of days.   We brought Max home two weeks after deciding we needed a Golden Retriever in our lives.

Ten years, 8 months and 9 days later, Max went to the Bridge, and left a gaping hole in our lives and in my heart.    Nothing will fill that hole, there will always be an ache and a sadness in my soul, that nothing can heal completely.   I know myself – I know that I suffer mightily from every loss.

My life changed in February, when we learned Max was ill.   Our routine was disrupted, changed forever.   Since Max left us, I’ve been lost.   I wander through the days, not knowing what to do with myself.   Everything revolved around him.   There are too many minutes in a day now.

So the puppy search began.   A new friend, a new bundle of fur to love.   Not to replace Max, he will never be replaced.   He will always be my first dog, the only living creature who loved me unconditionally, other than my Bear.    I told him, before he left, that no dog will ever take his place and that was a promise I would never break.   I asked him to come back to us if he could, and if not, to send us another puppy, one like him, one who would help to make us whole again.

The Bear is suffering as much as I am, he just hides it better.   So I sent it out to the universe that we were ready.

On Tuesday I was given a name.   On Wednesday I made a phone call.   Today I got a call back.   We’re going on Sunday to visit  puppies, who are now 5 weeks old, and to let one choose us.    We’ll be bringing him home when he’s ready.

I pray Max approves.   I need to be Mom again.

 

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A month ago

But it seems like yesterday, and a lifetime, all at the same time.

I’ve learned that I have amazing friends.   I’ve learned that grief has no limits, that tears don’t stop, that the simple act of breathing is enough to set off a wave of sorrow that threatens to engulf me.

Every day is one more day without you.   Every moment is one that bring memories.   Every breath hurts.

My friends bring me gifts – wind chimes that hang on my porch, chimes that are swinging although there’s no breath of a breeze.    Pictures that make me cry.    Poems and plants, memories.

I miss you so much, Monster Boy.

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Two weeks

and I still look for you when I get home

I still find myself thinking, “I don’t need to eat all this chicken, I should save some for Max.”   I called to you to day to come get cheese.   I tell myself that if I didn’t love you so much, it wouldn’t hurt this much – and while that’s true, it doesn’t help.

So many cards, so many messages, so many people loved you too.   But you were mine.   They loved you, and you loved them, but you came home with me, and I was yours.

My beautiful boy.    Heart to heart.

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