I was waiting.
I whispered to you.
Happy Birthday my love.
Today you are 3.
You are everything to me.
Why do I put everything into a 49 pound, black and white, 4 legged, low to the ground, sharp whisker girl? Because I was lost and alone like never before and she saved me, and continues to save me every.single.day of my life.
If I look back over the course of these last years, there has been a whole lot of rough. When the accident happened, I knew I could handle it, at least that's what I kept telling myself. From day 1, I had it in my head that I was going to fight for everyone, and with every fiber of my being - for my Mom and Gary, for my marriage and especially for Aviana.
I don't know if you know this about me, but in my family I have been known to be the glue that holds everyone together. Well, when everything went sideways, someone needed to hold me together, so when Dave was at work, Kama was by my side - doing just that. She was my rock while he was away. When things were beyond comprehension and nothing made one bit of sense, I had Kama as a welcomed escape. When no one was around to provide any answers about the mysterious brain, as there are none...Kama was there doing something goofy to break the seriousness of our situation. She was there for me to cuddle up to, to laugh at, to cry on. She was there for every ounce of everything, and I always felt I couldn't survive this...without her.
So when she got sick and died. I died too. Grief on top of grief is no place to be. I always felt strong enough to barely handle one. I thought losing another would surely break me in two. I didn't want to be here without her. The house was too silent. I was much too alone with my thoughts. I had to face this very difficult reality without any distraction. I didn't know how I was going to care for Aviana through the good and bad without Kama. And worse, I didn't think I was capable of loving another dog the way I loved her...ever!
You might remember we left for Pennsylvania right after though. I was dead set against another dog, but when we returned, I almost immediately realized - I couldn't be without. We called about a sibling set we had been looking at as a 2nd dog for Kama, and due to a case of kennel cough, one was being released that day for adoption at the SPCA, 3 hours away. We were on our way.
A little unnamed sweetheart came tottling out, licked Aviana's feet and calmly sat down next to us. We could immediately tell she had a gentle, loving spirit. Within minutes, I told the woman we would take her. I had to tell her 3 times before she believed me.
Rainey fills every imaginable space within me. While my heart breaks repeatedly for Kama, I love Rainey just as much as I love Kama. Had you told me prior this would happen, I would have said, "with all due respect - you lie."
Rainey is pure joy, love, happiness, and life. I say this with a strangely heavy heart - she is able to fill us with everything I suppose we are missing in a well child. She is able to provide all of the silliness, goofiness, and laughs we so desperately need. Again with a heaviness - I must say, the love we share is also devoid of any conflicted feelings. I feel somewhat guilty at times, because as much as we play musical everything with Aviana - by moving her all around the house with us, Rainey - by default - gets more attention as she follows us all over and is able to run, jump, and interact as most of us can. As always, it's all part of accepting the way it is, the realities of this life. That we can, and Aviana can't. We know we try to make the most and best for Aviana every step of her life. As hard as it sometimes feels, we have to find peace in that...
I'm thankful to Rainey for creating a balance and harmony within our home, which makes caring for a severely brain injured child a lot easier and more enjoyable. She brings an ease and life to everything. She lightens the mood. We don't have any other children, but I suppose I would venture to guess that's what well children do in other households with severely disabled children? Lighten the mood? Break the seriousness of the tough parts? Make the happy parts, even happier?
I am beyond grateful that we took a chance on another dog and so soon after. I can't imagine living one day without Rainey. I tell her all the time. Today, and everyday...we celebrate her!
I have the best friends and neighbors ever. They have been calling and delivering cards and presents for Rainey today. I butchered some homemade dog treats (in a bad way), and my friend Jen delivered some perfectly baked beautiful ones for her ; )
We are so lucky.
I was given one of the greatest gifts at a time when I needed her most in my life. I know there are no coincidences.
The FedEx man came today and dropped a box by. I had no idea what it was. I looked at the return label, still nothing jarred my memory. I opened the box and it was then the tears spilled over. I had completely forgotten. My two cross similar, unexplainable paths all the time. I could.not.believe my eyes, and could not believe that on this day, Rainey's birthday - this had arrived...