This week was supposed to be a very busy week. We are just a few days out from our much planned vacation. The lists were made last night with the help of each member of our family. William's contribution: light sabers, boogie board, & float. That should be a fun week at the beach. Thankfully Mom and Dad remembered swim trunks, swim shirts and sunscreen. The list is something we occasionally do but an absolute necessity for our trips. We have been walking around in a haze since Sunday & would have nothing accomplished without the list. One very important member of our family, our 14 year old Yellow Lab Hunter, left us for heaven Sunday.
I am a child of loss. My father passed when I was 4 years old. I have lost many beloved family members and friends through the years. I know grief as if I wrote the manual. Hunters passing has taken us all for a loop. We anticipated his loss would be less painful because he was old & sick, because he was an animal and not a person. I can tell you none of these things are true. He was our first baby, a big brother and an amazing friend. His loss is tangible, an ache that creeps on us all at unexpected moments.
For me it is all day. Night seems as hard as morning, lunch as hard as dinner. He was my constant companion as I was blessed to be home with him the past few years. The past 14 years he has seen my good and he has weathered my bad. He has pulled me from the depths of darkness on more than one occasion and sat lovingly at my feet as I rocked and nursed my babies. He has licked tears from the kids and acted as the first walker as they clutched his side while learning to toddle. He always earned an "A" in cleaning dishes and could spot a dirty diaper from across the room. The worlds greatest cuddler although he was far from lap dog size. He often forgot there was a mountain of dog beyond his beautiful block head. Smart as a tack in many aspects and blissfully ignorant in others, he never knew his own grace in halting an argument and forgave instantly. Nighttime has been hardest for the boys. Hunter was a special breed of lab as he ate monsters and chased bad dreams from our home. He sensed good and he alerted on bad. I had no fear when my boy was with us. It seems a cruel twist of fate their lives are relatively short for the immense impact they make on your heart. Just yesterday he was eating my windowsill and french doors, in reality it was 12 years ago. The angst of his puppy years long forgotten and the imprint of his remaining years firmly implanted on our hearts.
I have photos now to keep me connected to my boy, his second birthday wearing his blues clues party hat, the picture in Cody's baby book of the day he came home from the hospital, & an old friend curled on the couch with William at nap time. We are going to push through the motions and prepare for our vacation. The kids deserve it and Hunter always wanted to make them happy. I think Daddy & I are going to allow ourselves time to miss our boy. For now I will silently cry myself to sleep each night & hide my daytime tears in the shower.
Thank you to everyone who has shared their support. I know he was just a dog to many, maybe now you will see he was so much more! We will meet you at the end of the rainbow my boy!
Until Beach Time, Keep it Curvy~
Catie, This sucks more than Scoliosis today, D.