Another year passes by and even though the hurt has been dulled, it never goes completely away. Every year I read what I originally wrote and every time I realize exactly how powerful those words are.
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 1:00 PM
Subject: (This) Man’s Best Friend
It’s very difficult to put into words exactly how someone who was close to you changes your life. And it’s not until they are gone, that you fully appreciate how they’ve affected you.
I’ve spent the last week or so watching my best friend slowly die of natural causes. I now fight through the sadness to put these words down so that you can also enjoy the wonderful impact she had on me and my family.
She came into my life only 14 years ago, though it seems like a lifetime to me. It was for her.
Born with a heart murmur, the doctors thought she’d lead a slow life, but every day she proved them wrong. I was privileged to see her as she grew up, went through motherhood, and then grew old.
About a year ago, she suffered a stroke, and I thought for certain she was a goner then. But she fought back, recovered, and continued to fill my life (and my family’s) with joy and love in ways that no one else ever had. She was an adopted part of my family, being the daughter I never had.
A few months back, I noticed that her teeth were getting ground down to nubs. One at a time, they faded down to her jaw line. She still had the prettiest smile and showed it every time I came home.
2 months ago, her hearing started to fade. She still got around OK, but she would miss the UPS man pulling in the driveway. If you made a sharp noise, such as clapping your hands, she’d hear you and then come running, happy that you were home once again.
A few weeks ago, she slowly stopped speaking. I guess if you can’t hear yourself, then what’s the use in speaking up?
A week ago, she stopped eating. I tried and tried, but she’d only nibble. 2 days later, she stopped drinking water. She’d get up, walk around the outside of the house, then plop down for a rest. It looked like she was lost, but truthfully, I think she was just tired and could not move any further.
3 days ago, she could only make short walks. That’s OK, who needs to go all the way around the house anyway? That night I carried her back to her house and tucked her in for the night. She looked a little embarrassed, but I didn’t mind.
Yesterday she moved only 3 times, each time only 20 feet. Again I carried her to her bed, and she was as limp as a rag doll. Her eyes were droopy but open. They looked at me, and for the ump-teenth time, I broke down in tears.
Today I buried my best friend.
My house is painfully empty, as I am never more to be awakened by the sound of her begging for breakfast. She’s in a quiet corner of my yard now, with a good view of the house, the driveway, my shop, and that pesky chicken next door. If intruders approach from any direction, I know she’ll have them cornered.
I think though all the years and I realize that she’s always been there for me (and my family) and had asked little in return for her kindness. She didn’t have any friends of her own nor did she like some of my friends, but she would let me (and them) know her thoughts right up front. And that was fine with me.
I sat with her time and time again and it was at the end of her life that I realized just how much of a friend to her I could be. I can only hope that someday when I’m in that condition, there is someone there to sit with me.
From my wife, Mona:
My love to my husband and his best friend, I love you both, and our boys that don’t deserve to have their hearts broken, (nor mine). I’m trying to think of the best times with our Katiebug, Whirliegirl, little shit, when she was sitting at the back door watching us eat breakfast, asking “Where is my bacon?”, or being a tomato-eating booger. Even though she has been in my life only 4-5 years, I can’t think what it is going to be like without her. I will be by my husband’s side as I love him as much as he has loved Katie! If you should like to print this with your eulogy I would be honored.
Love your wife Mona (The ice cream feeding dog person).
I would also like to let our children know that I will try my best to be there for them thru these trying times, I love you all.
Ryan & Billy have the same feelings as their Parents and Step parents’ feelings. (Ryan would like to have Katie say Hello to Beethoven).
Love to all.
Mona, Ryan & Billy
Hope to all!