As much as those memories may sting….for all the memories that quietly replay in our minds. For all the nights it hits a little harder than you expected….for what it’s worth it was worth all the while. ❤️
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.
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.
This morning we as a family laid Mom to rest in a beautiful, simple ceremony. We got to say our earthly goodbyes and send her off with love and beautiful flowers. We shared donuts and coffee at home and once again held each other up.
What will stick with me forever about today is something that could be seen as unimportant to some but I am almost 40 years old and spent the better part of my life trying to convince my hard working mother to join me for a manicure. As a child I desperately wanted to paint her nails! She always had an excuse and said no because she wasn’t into that sort of thing! We lived on a farm, It wasn’t practical! She painted mine as a child but never hers! This morning as I got to say my last earthly goodbye to my Mom I was drawn her her beautiful hands, the hands that raised me, that tended our home and farm, the hands that cared for our pets and horses. The hands that cooked our meals, grew our food, baked treats, and held us up when life was hard.
This morning her beautiful hard working, well lived hands had the sweetest shade of pale peach nail polish applied to them. Very faint almost easy to miss but my heart noticed right away.
Today a stranger who cared for my Mom in her last earthly moments gave me the gift of seeing my mothers well lived hands look peaceful and beautiful. A stranger gave me a gift they have no idea I’ll carry the rest of my life.
For that I thank every one of you in the death care industry.
You would of been 77 today. You would of told us you wanted nothing for your birthday but then been thrilled with the gifts and cake. You would of snuck a second helping over the kitchen sink leaving nothing but crumbs and a frosting covered knife to give you away. I wish you were here. But as you spend your first heavenly birthday please know we are honouring your special day down here too. Nancy got the most beautiful delicious cake and together we ate and said your name. We will always remember your birthday and continue to say your name because you still walk beside us even if we can’t see you. Happy heavenly Birthday Mom 🌹
I asked my Mom for a white Christmas just an hour or so before she left us 2 weeks ago. She delivered today. I cried and laughed simultaneously. I can’t explain the way I felt today. I can tell you I’m not ready to pack Christmas away. At dinner we left an empty chair between my Father and my husband. This too made me both smile & feel empty and sad at the same time. Navigating the holiday season through this season of grief has been hard. And so know my journey has only just begun. I’m thankful to be surrounded by an amazing group of friends who continue to check on me, who continue to do little things to raise my spirits. I’m thankful Christmas Day was white and snowy. Im thankful for the memories of Christmases past with my Mom. I’m thankful and I’m sad. In the words of the Grinch “Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand. ❤️❄️❄️❄️🎄🎄🎄💔