Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sweet Dreams, Bailey Grace

Early Morning Thoughts on the First Day After

Walking back to our car was first worst thing.
No tugging on your leash
No jumping to the seat
My lap was empty with only your collar.
The rain mimicked our tears.
Pulling into the driveway,
I couldn’t help but look through the window
To see that you weren’t perched on the couch
I swore we heard your "woof woof woof"
And the jingle of your collar when we stepped inside
You’re nowhere
And everywhere.
Your leash hangs silently on its hook
Your dish disheveled on the floor
Your food, untouched.
The indentation of your withered body
Still caves your favorite spot on the sofa
Your favorite toy lays lonely on the floor
Your last treat remains, half enjoyed.
It was time, sweet girl.
But not enough time.
At nighttime, you were part of our routine
One last trip outside
One last sip of water
Last night’s lasts were the last lasts.
You didn’t bound up the steps
Brushing my leg in your rush to our room.
How can our big bed suddenly feel so small?
How can our thick comforter lack any warmth?
You didn’t lick my husband’s ears.
You didn’t cuddle into my side.
How can I possibly sleep?
I woke up early and often
And you weren’t there to coax me back to slumber.
My husband slumbers
Because you weren’t there to wake him with a nuzzle
And request to go outside.
I sit here
still feeling the tremor of your last days
And thanking God for all of our good days.
I peek in on our young son
And wonder how we’ll make him understand
That our vet couldn’t “fix it.”
Couldn’t heal you.
How will I answer when he looks for you?
No more shared meals with a toddler.
I’ll have to start sweeping the floor.
You were my helpful shadow,
And the reflection of my life doesn’t look right now.
Who will tell me when the mail is here?
Or the garbage is being picked up?
That company has come?
Or that Daddy is home?
I have no wild barking to calm.
No tummy to rub.
No four-footed observer in my kitchen.
An empty space under
—and empty chair at—our dinner table.
Our laps will remain empty
Our hands won’t know what to do.
No more 8 o’clock bursts of energy.
White flashes around the room.
No more smiles of pure joy.
No more paws upon our hands.
No more thump-thump as you jump to the floor.
In the coming days,
We’ll remember what we forgot.
All the sounds you made as the symphony of our home.
Your stage is silent.
How can one who cannot speak say so much?
You’ve been so much more than a dog.
You were my heart on training wheels.
And you taught me how to love.
You’ve been a mile marker in my life.
You’ve been with me from single to married to mommy.
You’re part of all my important moments.
I don’t know why I thought if I lost you now,
It would be easier somehow.
What is ever easy about a final goodbye?
I miss you, sweet girl.
Thank you for being part of my life.
Thank you for a good life.
Thank you.

In memory of Bailey Grace with a Silly Face
April 14, 2001 – March 5, 2011


Sherri Lavender said...


Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

I have so many things to say...but my tears are holding me back :(

Jen @ de Jong Dream House said...

I totally understand, Kristin. I'm so sorry for the loss of your Bailey.