…as Opal sits at Walker’s feet begging for his food…
W: Opal, I don’t have anything. I’m just chewing on my beard hair.
I’d like to think the reason behind my month long hiatus from this space was due to my confession of having toe fungus in my last post, but the truth revealed probably lies more in the month of January itself. The first month of 2014 has been an inexplicable blend of emotions. The kind where laughter or tears strike in any moment. In the same moment.
But as I sit here and write very late thank-you cards to some freaking awesome people, I’ve realized it’s February 1. We made it. And so now I’ll blog about that month I didn’t want to blog about, if not only because it’s a part of our story.
Before Walker and I left Tucson the four of us felt our hearts break as we put our 13-year old dog, Yoda, to sleep. Minutes later I took one last look at the the house I grew up in before my parents move across town. We found ourselves back in Lufkin only being forced to buy a new washer and dryer but how trivial the stress of appliance shopping would soon seem.
On January 14, Walker kissed Lizzie on her forehead and I stroked her cheek as we left her hospice room that night. In the early morning hours of January 15, Lizzie passed away. And as thankful as we are that her suffering is no more, we miss her. Through the many times as I’ve written and erased my thoughts about her, I’ve come to accept that although I know they will return, right now my words have been stolen by grief.
But this is where it feels confusing. Because we look back on January and remember such wonderful times, too. The Fiesta Bowl followed by a day with friends in Ft. Worth was a pretty decent way to start the year. Opal turned 2 and my dad made it to SIXTY! I was able to attend Danielle’s shower for soon to be baby Evie all while getting to see a bunch of friends. Baby Landon made his 6 lb. appearance in this world and we spent most of our days with Jared. I caught bronchitis and not the flu, so that’s a Super Bowl win in my opinion.
So many emotions unexpectedly given life in 31 days left us feeling exhausted and constantly trying to catch up. But as we move into February, our heartbeats grow steadier and our breaths more relaxed. We can look back at January knowing that if we have lost, it means we have loved. And for us, that’s enough.
It’s Thanksgiving breaaaaaaaaakkkkk!!!! And we just said bye to baby Opal for a whole week. Anybody else miss their dog-child a lot while apart? Like, a lot? But too many good things are happening to be sad. We saw Walker’s parents today, will see two sets of good friends tomorrow, and Monday brings us a trip home to Tucson. Raise. That. Roof. Plus, I think these 9 full days away from work (thank you public schools) will help relieve this freaking eye-twitch I’ve been putting up with for a week or so. Missing you baby Opes, but between now and our next big hug, we’ve got a lot of fun in store. Happy Thanksgiving!
We were passing through Waco Saturday night when we needed to grab a quick dinner with Opal in tow. We picked up a Chicago-style pizza and swung by Baylor for a spontaneous little date. Well, one thing led to another and we gave Opal a whole campus tour. At least as much as her smushed nose and absent endurance could handle. By the end of it, we had some really great laughs but also an overheated pup for whom we quickly went to buy a water bottle. Yes, our love of Baylor almost killed our dog. But as most Baylor grads would say, you gotta start ’em early, right? Hopefully next time these pictures will include a green and gold cheerleading outfit. We all have to move on from Baylor at some point or another, but isn’t it the best place to go back and visit?!“You’re telling me this makes me keep barking even after I stop?!”Practicing for her future graduation picture. “SQUIRRELS!!!!!!!!!!”She couldn’t believe she was standing in the same place where her godparents got engaged. Pro-Texana. Pro Ecclesia. She ran everywhere with this much excitement. Or she was in squirrel-chasing heaven. She wasn’t so much a fan of the fountain. Please notice her skid marks. Sometimes we still stand in awe, too, Opal. “Ruff, ruff, ruuuuuuuuff!” Aggressively barking at Judge Baylor as a real tour walked by made for two really embarrassed parents. But she started to warm up to him. And knew they’d be friends forever. As long as stars shall shine.
And there you have it. One of our absolute funniest memories with this dog of ours. So glad to have her back. Sic ’em bears! Shoot!! We never made it over to the bears.
Just wanting to remember what it felt like to see Opal after a month. Her cankles and snorts and sweet little sighs. We’ve missed her sassy self. Some might say too much. They might base this on our date to PetSmart the night before so we could inconspicuously find random dogs to love on. We looked through bulldog magazines and found her some cute little rain booties she might get next time we feel we deserve a treat…because they sure aren’t a treat to her. I can’t wait to video those first few steps. She’s ours again. All ours. And I say we’ve missed her just enough.
Blog Every Day in May: A Day in the life
Yesterday’s Blog Everyday prompt: What do you miss?
Right now I could list of a lot of things I miss. People especially. Some no longer here and others so far away. Places like Tucson and Madrid. Or things like innocence and naiveté. But my posts have been heavy lately, so I’d rather stay positive with this one! I miss … BABY OPAL! I have to limit myself to one picture, because I seriously just found around 30 I wanted to post. We love big Opal just as much, but man, I do miss all those wrinkles!
Warning: We’re obsessed with our dog.
Every day when Walker gets home, Opal meets him in the driveway with the heartiest of greetings. Yesterday was no different, except Walker strapped a Go Pro camera to her back for a glance into her perspective on life. And as he said, her worldview is a little bouncy. Here’s a sneak peak into our Tuesday afternoon entertainment.
By Friday afternoon I had lost a lot of faith in the teenagers of today. I think I’m allowed to say that, considering between work and church I spend the majority of my time surrounded by those still unable to vote for a few years. By the following evening my hope had been restored, and I think the simple joy of an unassuming Saturday was the cure. Plus that whole absence makes the heart grow fonder thing. Grateful for a day of eating sweets, working outside, playing with the pup and reuniting with friends–all with the husband by my side. And cacti, thankful for cacti.
Welcome home! I know you aren’t getting back until tomorrow night, but I just thought I would tell you that not much has changed. Mom tried to take some pictures of us after church so we could send a few to say we miss you, but per my usual self, I refused to look at the camera. I’ve also continued to find random panties to chew on. No matter where you put them, I will find them. And your black sock, sorry about your black sock. I’ve been sleeping most of the days, but don’t worry, I still wake up long enough to snort snot all over mom’s computer/face/book. I think she thinks it’s cute. I need you to come home. When I bite and scratch mom she yells at me. She doesn’t think playtime is fun. All she wants to do is cuddle and squish my face. Please come home so I can have somebody to wrestle with again. Oooh, gotta go, I just ate a bug, and mom is probably going to try and pull it out of my mouth. Drive safe! I wish I was in your passenger’s seat!