I want to say, "this has been a heck of a year." But really, what year isn't? "It's been such a crazy holiday season." Are the holidays ever NOT crazy? Mine always are.
So I'm just going to start over.
I'm so happy you're here. I'm happy I'm here. I love to write. I love it so much that I tend to look at it as a luxury, one that I can't always afford. You know, I'm a mom. There's laundry to do. Bills to pay. Meals to plan (note I didn't say "cook"). Rooms to clean. On and on.
"I'll write when I have time."
I never have time.
So damnit, I'm taking the time. Selfishly, I am letting the laundry sit. I'm ignoring the kids. Pretending the mess isn't there. Because writing is good for me. It's therapeutic. I feel best when I do it every day. I wish I felt the same way about exercising! I'd be in such great shape. Although then I might find some clothes that need folding or a dishwasher that needs emptying...
My precious Freddy died November 30. There, I said it.
It's hard to feel like it's acceptable to write about it, to be so horribly devastated by it. He's a dog. Just a dog, right? I have a dear friend who lost her mom over the holiday season. I know in my head my loss cannot compare. I have lost my dad. My mother-in-law. Many dear family members.
Right around the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook, I was snapped back into reality for a little while--things were put into perspective for me. These families were surviving the loss of their babies, stolen from them in such a violent way. Did I really have a right to feel so lost because my dog died?
But I did. I do.
I feel guilty about how bad it hurts and continues to hurt. I hold myself together for my husband and my boys.
My Freddy was my baby. I'm done having babies. My kids are now 11 and 12, and the way they need me has changed over the years. Maybe it was filling a hole in me to have a creature so dependent on me and so purely in love with us. Maybe it was the first time I fell that deeply in love with an animal. I don't know. Maybe every person who loses a pet goes through loss this severe. Or I'm just a mess, which would not be shocking.
The kids and I were on our way back into town when it happened. We had been gone on our annual Thanksgiving getaway trip. Hubby came back a day earlier, and was home when it happened. Sweet Freddy had been acting out of sorts since Hubby picked him up at the kennel the previous day. I'm sure he was wondering where the rest of his family was. He ended up running out onto our road--recently paved--and got hit by a car. It was quick, likely that he felt no pain.
So the last time I saw him was when I dropped him off at the kennel, gave him a squeeze and told him I would miss him. I saw him bound in to play with the other dogs, and off I went. It's good that the kids and I did not have to see him hurt. Poor Hubby has to live with that image. He took care of everything for us, like he always does, and now we have Freddy's ashes in a beautiful box, and a great big canvas photo of him on our dining room wall.
We also have a new dog.
VERY soon after we lost Freddy, the men in my life were making noise about wanting a dog. I felt like it was too soon, I wasn't ready. But they really were, and we made the decision to go ahead and adopt another one, hoping it would help fill the void in our hearts, and make us, well, almost whole.
After searching and reading, Hubby fell in love with the picture and description of this Shar Pei/Shepherd mix. About a year and a half old. We adopted him and Hubby brought him home December 17. Seventeen days after Freddy died.
He's very sweet. He's handsome and funny-looking at the same time. He's quite a bit bigger than Freddy, and much calmer.
We named him Happy.
Hubby is madly in love with him. The kids are so resilient, I can tell he his healing them.
And I think I am falling in love with him too. I hope I am. I want to bond with him. I want to love him as much as I loved Freddy. I want to miss him when I'm not home. I want him to fill the hole in my heart. Even though I still feel an ache when I look at pictures of Freddy. Even though, after a whole week of crying, I want to cry every time I think of him. I'm just better at controlling it now.
Happy doesn't know I am broken. He's just a sweetie that needed a home and a loving family. We are giving him that. My three men love him to pieces. I will too.
I still feel silly sometimes about the depth of my grief for Freddy, so I don't talk about it much anymore. I know he was a pet, and that we will pretty much always outlive our pets. I'm just in shock about the pure physical pain I felt, how it knocked me off my feet. I try to look at it like it's a positive thing, like I hurt so much because I loved him so much, which is a good thing. It's good to love that deep. People and pets. It's not silly. Loss is never silly.
Freddy and Happy would have been good friends. I know it. And the way Happy instantly seemed comfortable with the level of affection we give him made it seem like Freddy was whispering to him, telling him all about us before we met.
So that's some of the big news from the farm this year. I think it's changed me a bit. It feels good to sit here and write this, even though I'm super rusty. I have much to say, much to purge, and lots that I'm pondering, that I would LOVE your feedback on. Thanks for giving me some time, and I hope to see you back often!