Because there are too many memorable dates for me to remember, I add them to my calendar. These include appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, death dates, and others. I know I am not the only one who does this. Sometimes a happy reminder pops up and I smile, sometimes one pops up that brings me to tears. Today is May 5th and I am in tears.
Some of you remember and loved Buddy, the precious chow mix that we rescued. He was abandoned in a back yard when his owner was admitted to an Alzheimer’s unit of a care home. He spent nine miserable years of his life in that yard with no shelter from the elements. The only contact he had with a human was when his owner came outside to dump food into a bucket from time to time. Buddy came to us broken, frightened, lonely, and to make matters worse, he had heartworm. Buddy was dying. Four years ago today we began a long journey with a dear friend.
I vividly remember the events of that happy day. One might ask if it was such a happy day, why am I in tears? Because today not only do I remember the day that Buddy came to live with us, I remember the horrendous, upsetting nose bleeds when he was being treated for heartworm. I remember the day he cried because he fell in love with Annie and she rebuffed his advances. I remember his sassy swagger when we walked the yard. I remember putting a party hat on him and singing happy birthday. I remember the last time I dragged his failing body on a tarp into the front yard to give him a bath. He seemed to enjoy that day so very much. I remember looking into his weary eyes for the last time, kissing him on his sweet head and telling him that we love him. Great joy and great sorrow are waves in the same ocean upon which we sail. Today my Anchor holds, but my sails are torn.
It was our great honor and pleasure to care for one of God’s sweetest creatures. The experience was indescribably satisfying and in the end, heart-breaking to watch him leave. I so wish we’d had more time together but Buddy’s enlarged and damaged heart could take him no further. For a season we were able to give Buddy the good life he deserved and in turn, he filled ours with joy.
All our furbabies bring us joy and we love them so much but there was something very special about Buddy. He got way deep inside of my heart. Way deep…and now I am stuck. I can’t get over his passing. Every day for me since he left is like the day he left. They say there is no timeline for grief but it’s been exactly eight months today since Buddy passed and I am still stuck on day one. I don’t know what to do. There is nothing I can do. I know it pains my wife to see me in such a state knowing there is nothing she can do to help except to hold me sometimes and pray for me always.
I suppose I could delete certain dates from my calendar to keep from remembering but those dates are sacred. Deleting them would be like deleting someone from my life as if they never happened. Buddy deserves so much more than dates on my calendar. Happy or sad, those dates will remain there for as long as I will live. I wonder if when my time comes I might live on as a date on someone’s calendar?
I will always love you, Buddy, and I miss you so very much.
Buddy knew me as Dad. Others call me Rod Ellis
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