We all have those friends. You know, that friend who is always there for you….
That friend who welcomes you with enthusiasm into their day as if you’re the only person there right then at that moment….
That friend who listens with out judgement and no matter what you tell them, they love….
That friend who will stay by your side thru thick and thin, never wavering….
That friend who wants nothing in return, ever….
That friend who will see you coming and be ready to shower you with excitement, all because they’re seeing you again….
That friend who knows when you’re mad, upset or sad without you even having to hear a word. And when they know this, they just want to support you and be there for you.
That friend who looks up to you as if you’re the one who brings light to everything you do.
That friend who will sit there in silence while you in turn sit there in silence, no matter the length of time.
That friend…… You know… That friend. We all have those friends. Or maybe we all know of that friend. You know… That friend who, when given the chance will rub their wet nose on your cheek and lick your face… That friend………..
Today…… I lost that friend. In a matter of about 24 hours, my family went from having that friend there for all of us. To, well…. not. One moment, she’s fine, right there looking for any scrap or crumb that may drop (or be handed to her)…. To another moment where she’s unable to walk.
Yesterday morning, waking up to her, that friend, looking up at me with a sadness in her eyes, unable to lift her hind quarters up. Visiting the ER, a disc problem in her back. Our friend, she continued to slip down that slope becoming worse with the hours that passed. Back to the ER, then to another ER for an MRI and emergency back surgery. Completely paralyzed from the mid section down. And then….. At 3:47 AM, then the phone rings. A call that you were waiting for. But NOT the call you were waiting for. Hearing that her conditions have worsened and even with the $7000 surgery, her current chances of walking again are extremely low. EXTREMELY low….. Forcing her to a life full of pain, anxiety, and not being able to fully be that friend she longs to be…. I guess that’s when the moment comes. When you know you’re put in a position of having to say good bye to that friend you saw so many more years with.
And that’s what the morning consisted of. Taking every minute possible, holding that friend, loving that friend, trying to bring an ounce of peace to that friend. The kisses, her fur touching my lips, her body laying on my chest, my daughters finders finding that soft fur behind her ears, the kisses she would place down on that friends forehead, tears leaving our eyes and being absorbed into her fur.
I can only hope, a smallest bit of hope, that in those moments, in those fleeting minutes that having us there, having our hands, our souls, our hearts all intertwined together, alleviated even a small piece of her fear, her pain, her anguish. Her body on my chest and feeling her last breath escape from her lungs… While I will never forget any one of those minutes. God, please don’t let me ever forget those minutes, I will also never forget the minutes and hours spent on the porch with her laying at my feet, or in the grass chasing bees as the summer sun went down. I will never forget “Penny in the middle” with the lacrosse game. I will never forget her head on my shoulder, knowing exactly what I needed. I will never forget any moment. God, please don’t let me forget any of the moments that I had with her. Because Penny… Penny you will always be that friend….. And fuck, I’m going to miss you………