Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Ultimate Finisher's Medal

Sunday, April 26th at 1:45pm I had to put Roxy down. It was the most surreal and amazing experience, and yet somehow, it was one of the sweetest moments I have ever experienced...

The tumor began bleeding Saturday night and by Sunday morning it was uncontrollable. I called my friend, Donna, who is a veterinarian and local triathlete, in hysterics. Donna is one of those people who prances right into your life, fills you with joy, and lets you know what friendship is all about. She is an admirable athlete, a spunky woman, an amazing veterinarian and absolutely adorable at 8 months pregnant. I could hate her if I didn't love her to pieces! I am not a person to ask for help and it took me hours to decide to make the call. Donna was in Bradenton and without question packed up her stuff and headed home, texting me for comfort the whole way.

I knew when I made the call it was the beginning of the end. I knew my minutes with my best friend were numbered and precious. Roxy and I went out under the tree in the front yard and sat together and "talked." Her fur was matted with blood and my clothes weren't much better. It's funny to me that in moments like that it always seems like things around you are sensationally clear. The sun is brighter, the wind is perfect, the sounds are thunderous and the colors are magnified. As we sat under the tree, Roxy let her head fall back and the breeze tugged at her ears. She leaned into me and sighed. It was a big sigh- contentment, peace, happiness, satisfaction- but it was a tired sigh. We lay under the tree just letting the memories and moments of our life together swirl around us and then, like a single body moving together, we got up and headed to the truck. It was time.

Roxy was never afraid.
She licked my hand until her last breath, reassuring me, giving of herself even in her last moments.

I feel a little lost this week. There is a warmth in my home that is missing and a bit of a struggle within to know that I am ready to travel the road without my sidekick. I seem to be floundering for something to prove my own vitality and longevity. Roxy never held a grudge, she never pointed out my flaws, and there was never a question of forgiveness. She was what I only hope I can become. I want to love my friends unconditionally and accept them even with their flaws. I want to be patient and kind and leave behind a wake of reassurance and hope. I want to explore and play, but always remember how to get home.

It is almost exactly eleven years ago that Roxy forced herself into my life and now I am on my own. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little apprehensive...

"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind"
Job 12: 7-10

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely beautiful - you, Roxy, your words.