Henry The Dog left for training school today. Since Dadda had the day off work he was able to meet with the trainer who deemed Henry "smart and trainable" within about 30 seconds. We now face a whole week without Hank. And, already, we've discovered the house is intolerably quiet. Which made us remember...this is how it felt in the days, the weeks, after you died. Henry came into our home and lives and helped partially fill the giant, painful, quiet void left in the wake of your loss. As he drove off in the trainer's van, the pounding silence descended before we could anticipate or prepare.
In the silence, Momma's brain had the opportunity to think back to exactly one year ago. Veteran's Day 2010. Dadda was off work that day too. He brought you downtown to visit Momma at work, and you guys took me to lunch at one of my favorite places. We had such a nice, fun lunch and marveled over the gorgeous, warm, sunny November weather. After lunch, you and Dadda headed to the St. Louis Zoo where you had a VERY close encounter with a little giraffe and then tried to climb into the lion's den. Peanut, my little lion man!
The memory made me reflect...we had no idea how short our time was with you on that fun, warm November day. The future stretched out before us and it seemed so certain. While I'm so thankful we never had to watch you suffer through a long illness, I also hope we gave you every ounce of love and appreciation we could while you were here rather than take the days and moments for granted. I think we did. I know I am now so much more conscious of telling Dadda, "I love you" every time we part ways. I am so aware of treating my friends as if every interaction might be our last. To loosely quote so many songs, I live every day as if I were dying.
And yet, my heart still breaks. The crying had been unstoppable this evening for both me and Dadda. We have filled the echoing silence with tears, gasps, sobs. While I hate that you have to witness this, I hope you know we cry because we love you so very much. Guess how much. Yep, that's right. To the mooooooooon and back.