How to say what I have to say?
It is nearing the time when we have to say goodbye to our first baby, Cassidy.
I can look back and see some of the signs now, in hindsight.
In August we took her on an easy hike. Before we even got started I had to go back to the car for something. She clawed her way up into the front seat and didn't want to come back out.
We took her to the Platte this fall, on a warm day, to paddle in the shallow areas. She stepped in, stumbled a bit, and looked to us to see if she (our water dog) could get out and sit quietly by the side of the river.
She growled at Ariam this fall when she came too close to her dog bed.
I've been finding little last bites of food uneaten in her dog dish.
Over Christmas she began to gag and cough. It didn't go away. I pretended she had a cold and was clearing her throat while quietly googling and denying.
This is Cassidy. This is our special girl.
Yesterday the vet confirmed that she has a large tumor growing in her chest and pressing on her bronchii. Thus the coughing/gagging.
I feel like we are stepping off the road of happiness and onto this awful little detour. We know where it will take us but not quite when we'll get there or how to navigate the way.
I am waffling between grief and denial.
Cassidy's bed is moving into our room. Dinners are being served with sides of homecooked goodies. Jeremy, the vegetarian, bought her a Wen.dy's double stack burger yesterday.
A future life without Cassidy. I can't imagine it. She's been quieter and quieter but she's still a huge presence in our lives and whenever I need to feel young or need a reminder of our best days I just put my arm around her and it all comes rushing back. Where will I find that? Where will she go? Where will our memories be?
I'm choking on the pit in my stomach. The knowing. The not knowing. It is terrible. When she is gone she will take a part of me with her.