The night Muffin left me. The night my heart broke. Ive tried so many times to write but the words don’t come. Losing my Mom and my fuzzy best friend in a four month span gutted me in a way I can’t even explain. Ive been left feeling alone, feeling an urgency of my own passing years. Forced to face my own mortality. Forced to recognize that these events don’t come with complete closure.
The memories play over and over when I close my eyes. Sometimes they bring comfort but more often they make it hard to breathe. The leave me feeling that cold chill you experience when the sun goes down and day creeps into night.
I swore I wasn’t going to get a puppy. I couldn’t. I swore I didn’t have the patience. I didn’t think I could get past the feeling I’d somehow betrayed Muffin. Everyone told me to wait. I met a few rescue pups and it left me feeling like I’d gotten punched in the gut. Those pups were all sweet but they didn’t give me that feeling. I wasn’t ready to commit but the house felt unbearably empty and cold. Coming home in the mornings after taking Jacob to school gutted me day after day. Never in my life had I experienced feeling so alone. Never had I felt such emptiness.
At the urging of one dedicated dog rescue friend I went to meet a pup. A pup with big flappy ears. Special ears as Krista calls them. I didn’t expect this meeting to go much differently then the other pups. Some cuddles, a face lick and me leaving in tears.
But this meeting did go differently. This little long legged flappy eared pup cuddled up to Kevin. She ignored the other pups and took cover in my lap. She looked at me with the saddest eyes. Her eyes held the same alone feeling I was feeling. Her eyes held a story. A story that in her short life she’d been through so much fear and confusion. For this lil pup had been born in the streets of Mexico and thankfully rescued by amazing people and nursed back to health before being brought to Canada. With that gift of a new life came her losing her “Mom” multiple times in her short life. She lost her birth Momma, she lost he foster Mom in Mexico to come to Canada and on the day I met her she was about to lose her Canadian foster Mom. In that moment with those big sad eyes looking at me I couldn’t let her keep losing her “Mom’s” because I know exactly how it feels.
Now she’s ours and we are hers. Now she feels safe enough to not cry and panic when I go to work. Now she knows this is her home. She’s learned all the people in this crazy full house love her. She has learned that Emma brings her home chicken nuggets and French fries after work. She’s learned Ella is the littlest but makes her feel safe. She’s learned uncle will take kisses when no one is looking. She’s learned Ej gives the best ear scratches. She’s learned Grandpa’s bedroom door is easy to push open for a quick visit. She’s learned there is nothing like have a fuzzy cousin to wrestle with. Shes learned that somehow in this life the stars aligned and her fur brother lives a few blocks away and she gets to play with him! Shes learned Auntie gives great cuddles and usually has treats handy! She’s learned the green grass in the backyard is an amazing place to lay and watch your world. She’s learned that Jacob is the most loving big brother she could of gotten. She’s learned that Dad gives the best tummy rubs and is an absolute lover of puppy cuddles. She’s learned that this house has a box of toys that are all hers and a basket of treats that is never empty. She’s learned this house has the most amazing collection of blankets and she’s welcome to every single one of them!
And she’s learned that this Mom is her forever Mom. That this Mom needs her love. That this Mom wants to give her all the treats, all the toys, all the cuddles. She’s learned this Mom cries sometimes and holds on to another pups collar. She’s learned that those are the best times to quietly position herself next to Momma and offer quiet support. This pup has learned what it’s like to feel love and to give love.
She has learned she’s home.
Bandit is the fuzzy twine that wrapped all the pieces of my broken heart back together and is helping me through the darkness. The question really is who rescued who?
With Mother’s Day fast approaching and all the love and fun that comes with it there is also sadness. Sadness for those who have lost their Mom, for those who never knew their Mom, for those who long to be a Mom, for those who long to feel the way they did before they were a Mom. Sadness for those who experienced pain at the hands of the one they call(ed) Mom. For those Dad’s who also have to act as Mom. For those Mom’s that suffered loss and long to hold their babies one more time.
Motherhood changes a person. It made me both stronger and softer. It made me both ferocious and timid. It made me feel love in a way I didn’t know existed and it made me feel anger in ways I wish I didn’t know existed. Motherhood has made me feel both full of love and full of terror. It’s made me marvel at my ability and long for a taste of the freedom I once knew. Losing my own Momma recently has made face my own mortality. It’s made me see things I missed my entire life. It’s made me wish for 5 more minutes to tell her things I should of said years ago. It’s made me understand the demons she was fighting and see the fears she faced. I spent my whole life near her and only truly saw some things for what they were once she was gone.
Being a Mom is hard. Being a Mom is exhausting. Being a Mom means giving up part of who you are so you can help your kids be who they are. Being a Mom is an amazing journey. Losing your Mom is a journey of a different sort.
To all the Mom’s out there…. I see you. I walk beside you! I’m here to help hold you up. I’m here to tell you those feelings and frustrations are ok. To all those who lost their Mom…. I am you, I hold a membership card to that club we didn’t ask to join and I cry with you.
To all the Aunts, Grandmas, friends, sisters, Dads that help stand in for us Mommas when we are sick, tired, drained, broken, or when we just need a minute…. Thank you.
Two moments…forever etched on my heart. The moment we met and the moment you took your last breath. 💔
12.5 short years we had together. I’d give everything for another year. I’m so thankful to have had your love tiny sweet girl.
I’m so thankful that she got to live a life in which she was with us as much as possible. I’m so glad she got to come to work with me all those days back when. I’m so relieved to know she stayed by Kevin’s side for the 7 long years he was dealing with the worst of his injury. I’m thankful she didn’t spend her days waiting for us to come home from work. I’m so glad she knew we loved her.
But most of all I marvel at the bond she had with Jacob. Muffin knew I was pregnant before I knew I was pregnant. In the days prior to me finding out she kept laying her head against my belly. I asked the doctor once and he said dogs have much better hearing than humans do and she could hear Jacob’s heartbeat. When I learned I was pregnant I was terrified how she would react to a baby…evidently I had nothing to worry about! When I got sick during pregnancy she would gag and throw up too. That’s solidarity. When Jacob arrived on the scene it took her a hot minute to claim him as hers and snuggle right in for the long haul. When he’d cry she’d become distraught. I think her favourite thing was when he learned to walk! She was amazed! I was amazed she never destroyed a single one of his toys despite them living on the floor and her being the queen of making it snow with stuffie innards!
I’m going to miss the kisses, the snuggles, hearing your collar tags jingle as you ran down the hallway! I’m going to miss the way you’d stand on my chest and stare at me when I tried to sleep in! I’m going to have to fight the urge to “accidentally” drop your favourite human foods on the ground. I’m going to cry a lot. I’m going to hurt. I’m going to have to find a way to calm myself because you were my sanity.
This world feels a little darker today. This house feels colder and empty. It’s missing it’s heart. I’m missing part of my heart. My tiny best friend has left my earthly side and it hurts in a way I could not have even imagined prior to 8 pm last night. My heart is shattered but I had the honor of knowing true, unconditional love.
Muffin thank you for the love, the knowledge and for the way you let me know I could get through the hard things. Thank you for dedicating your life to loving us. I pray you knew just how much we loved you.
Look… parenting is hard and I’m the first one to stand up and admit all too frequently I get it wrong. This morning tho, I got it right!
I’m a huge advocate for mental health and treating ourselves with grace. So this morning when Jacob woke up and called me into his room to make a case for missing school today I didn’t skip a beat. As soon as this usually excited for school seven year old told me he was tired and a bit sad I said ok. He continued to plead his case that he’s not sick he’s just tired/sad and I sat down on his bed and said “J you don’t need to convince me you need a mental health day” .
Let’s be real here…we could all benefit from the odd mental health day here and there and because I’ve realized the importance of this in my own life I 100% support it in my child’s life! I was so thankful this morning when even J’s teacher was enthusiastic and supportive of him having a mental health day!
I grew up with parents from a generation that all too frequently ignored mental health. A generation that championed pushing themselves to physical and mental exhaustion. Don’t get me wrong I have the utmost respect for work ethic but I also have mad respect for anyone willing to set boundaries to respect/protect their health, both physical and mental! The past two years have been hard but I’ve learned so much and I know what’s important to me. Nurturing my child’s mental health is just as important as vaccinating him, feeding him well, and keeping his body healthy!
Feeling safe, loved, and heard is so important. Today I got it right and J definitely felt all those things.
We called it a mental health day…Now he’s in great spirits. We just got home! We walked, talked, had breakfast, played at the skate park, watched the ducks, practiced our dance moves on the stage at the amphitheater, laughed, and his favourite part was when I gave him a $5 bill to hide at the skate park for someone else to find and help brighten their day! Side note…it’s actually international Random act of kindness day!
During our morning adventure we talked about the importance of filling our cup and the importance of doing little things to help others fill theirs when we can! We talked about how it’s important to feel our feelings, how it’s ok to be sad sometimes. We talked about making sure we rest, play, work hard, and honor our feelings!
Now we’re cuddling on the couch and he just paused his screen time to tell me this was the best morning he’s ever had! And with that he made my cup overflow. I got it right this morning friends 💙💙💙
Everything went wrong today that could of went wrong!
Our day was rough. My Dad’s memory/dementia was giving us all hell. Kevin is still really under the weather, I’m still coughing so much I’m physically sore. Important paperwork went missing (thanks dementia). I realized I’m dangerously close to missing a very important deadline. Amazon lost Jacob’s birthday gift. My lunch order was full of chicken not the tofu I ordered. Purdys is having a peanut butter daisy shortage. I could go on.
But I’m not going to dwell on it. Im going to look on the bright side! Today I managed to get out and find Jacob an amazing birthday gift, bought him a huge Pokémon balloon bouquet, then the best thing happened… Jacob came to me excited to spend tomorrow together for his birthday. I reminded him he has school tomorrow and he adamantly informed me his birthday would be a family day just as it has been every year since he was born! And in that moment I realized how right he is and how much we both need the day together. It made me happy that this sweet child realizes that I’ve made sure to take the day off work for his birthday every year. It makes my heart full to know that he wants that tradition to continue.
Make some coffee Light a candle Pay the bills Grieve it all one at a time. Feed the birds Prep a greek dinner Sob when the snow starts falling Make the best of a bad deal Try to convince yourself that soon it will get better.