I didn't realize how bad you were that day/that weekend. I didn't realize until the full day lingered and you hadn't moved. And then when dad came home, you were still just laying there. You had peed but hadn't moved. That's when I knew. You couldn't stand, you wouldn't eat, I knew.
We set the appointment and dad wouldn't come to grips with it, but I knew. It was a Friday late afternoon of a long weekend and they were closed that Monday. They said we could bring you back after the weekend if we wanted more time, but ultimately, this was the decision. He begged to take you home, but I looked at you and I couldn't let you suffer for three more days, it was time.
I put on my protective coat. The one I feel slipping over my skin when hard decisions are needed. It's the coat that separates me from my body and my feelings. It actually makes me feel colder, but it also allows me to make really hard decisions I can't make. I felt it slip over my body and I knew. You had lived your purpose sweet love, I knew it was time.
We had our closest friends coming into town that weekend. I think you knew how much I needed that. I remember how much it hurt to breathe, how loud the quiet was. How empty a full house felt.
For the next several months, you could find us falling apart here and there. It would hit us both differently and at different times. It was early March and he was cleaning the backyard and realized it was the last Mia cleanup he would ever do and he cried. It was November and I went to a yoga class that asked me to bring you wanted to love and something you wanted to release and I brought your paw print and cried. It was a warm spring day when we placed your ashes under a tree and the kids lost it. It was December when my brother-in-law made me a book of my goodnight note and I read it over and over and over again. It was April that we brought home our new puppy. The one that made us smile, laugh, snuggle in, our lover of love. Our little bundle. Our little little girl. We called her Mia here and there and would cry. We tried nicknames that we gave you and cried. We were ready but still missing you so hard we were losing it all over again.
It's been five years now. Four of them we spent with Pearl. We still spend so much time talking about you but we are better. I see pictures of you and I don't cry. I can talk about you without pain. I don't reach for you in bed anymore. I don't shuffle my feet when I get out to avoid stepping on you. I don't hear you. So, I guess that's all better.
It's been five years without you. You lived the longest life, inching out every single year, knowing how much we all needed you. How much I still needed to be raised by you. You were my reason. Time protects us from moving farther away from the pain and heals. Time keeps life moving forward. Time is what we needed.
It's been five years without you peanut.