On December 13 we sadly had to put the pet we shared space with for 14 years down. Our beautiful Princess woke each morning barking her demands at us despite the weight of huge tumors on her leg. She was a trooper who went through surgeries and illnesses and at times we thought she had nine lives as she always bounced back. In November she developed congestive heart failure and once again was a trooper until the day she fainted. In the typical Princess fashion she bounced back from the spells but while she was out it was very upsetting to watch. To be honest, Princess was giving us signs she did not want to share space with us anymore as she would go into our bathroom and lay on the rug to be alone. She entered a room she had never gone into before in attempt to tell us it was time to go.
Life goes full circle as suddenly Kevin and I return to where we started August 23, 1980. We had no idea those many years ago what the future would be and who we would share our space with but we were young and enjoyed our time together for seven years.
In 1987 we learned we were going to happily share our space with our son Sean and it was the best chapters of our story. It was not long after he was grown and gone in 2006 we opened the door to my Aunt Hilda. We had no idea when we decided to share space that she was going to be diagnosed with leukemia shortly after arriving with us. That is when we invited Princess to share space with us. We heard pets were comfort for those who are ill and Aunt Hilda loved dogs. Sadly, three weeks after Princess arrived Aunt Hilda passed away and the sweet dog was officially ours.
In 2007 we shared space with my Mom who lived with us for 5 years after having a heart attack at the age of 83. Princess welcomed her and Mom, who by the way claimed she never liked pets, loved her and they both enjoyed afternoon naps in the recliner chair. In 2012 Mom passed away and it was then just myself, Kevin and Princess.
Princess is now also gone!
Many people suggested we get another dog and I am sure if I said YES Kevin would jump on it tomorrow but I am not saying YES. I am getting older and time is becoming precious. I personally cannot imagine going through the pain of losing a pet at the age of 75. The longer we live the more goodbyes there are to say. Things get a bit harder as we grow older and who knows how long Kevin and I will have together to share space. I feel we did what we needed and while it feels strange it is time for us to once again pick up and go and live life as we did when we started.
I will say that out of all I have shared space with Princess taught me the importance of unconditional love. She was forgiving of mistakes, cherished hugs, loved hearing her name when someone called to say hello, was grateful for food and a warm bed. She didn't have a job, money, or any stuff but had people she loved sharing space with her. At the end all we really cherish are the people we love and we made sure she knew how adored she was as we gave her hugs, kisses and kind words of love the day we said goodbye.
Cooking dinner tonight felt so strange as there was no one for me to say "go by the door and wait for daddy". Oh how she loved hearing the key in the lock. Tonight hearing that key had a whole new meaning for me. Life gets hectic and through the years I don't know if I fully realized how grateful I am to have someone come into the door. It took me spending hours in the eerily quiet to fully grasp how grateful I am Kevin is home.
Kevin and I experienced a lot in almost 40 years of marriage. We are back to where we started sharing space just us two once again. Just like all those years ago we had no idea what the future would be and we still don't. All I know for sure is I have been blessed to have the life I see spinning by me on the digital picture frame on a shelf in this quiet room. While there were sad times there were many beautiful moments as well. I pray our shared space together will continue for a long time but we are only guaranteed today and it took the eerily quiet living room for me to realize that.
Princess taught us little things are the most important and we will forever be humbly grateful she was here to share space with us.
To quote good old Dr. Seuss, "Don't Cry Because it is Over, Smile because it happened"
Rest sweet girl. You will be forever missed and always remember you will have a shared space in mine and daddy's hearts until the day we meet again.