A Letter to Misty
They say you don't know what you have till it's gone, but that was never true for you. We knew exactly what we had, and somehow that makes it so much harder.
Choosing one memory with you feels herculean to say the least, but I suppose the best place to start has to be the day we met. After all, without that first memory of you stamped on my heart, much like your paw print now enshrined on my bookshelf, I'd have no story to tell.
It began with famous last words: let's go to the shelter just to look. A silly notion, I know, but we were young and had time to kill. But as we admired the youngsters bouncing around in their kennels, oblivious to the crowds fawning over them as they wrestled and played, I felt no spark, no overwhelming sense of urgency, no immediate sense that this would be the one.
Until I walked around the corner.
Seeing me approach, you instantly leaned against the bars and looked back at me, head tilted slightly and big brown eyes watching carefully, a not so subtle bid for attention that, let's face it, worked like a charm.
And just like that, I was smitten. We asked to meet with you, spend some time away from the confines of your cage, and brushed the dust from your coat until the time came for us to leave. We came back a few hours later, eager to bring you into our family and into our hearts.
Six years wasn't nearly enough, but we made the most of them, didn't we? From the moment we brought you home, you meshed so perfectly into our lives as though you'd been there the whole time, playing an integral part in so many great memories. You were our Ring Bear; walking down the aisle, you eagerly greeted each and every guest seated before the alter, a big bow tied around your neck. You were our comfort; a big, fluffy shoulder to snuggle into during the rocky times. You were our hundred pound lapdog who dug in harder any time we tried to wriggle out from underneath your massive bulk, unable to breathe.
You loved unconditionally no matter what. Everyone who stepped through our door, you greeted with a slobbery smile and rooted them to the spot while you leaned against their legs and batted your eyes for attention. And when we brought our son home, you proved beyond a doubt your love and patience knew no boundaries. Like Nana from Peter Pan, you showered him with love- and a little drool- and cared for him with nothing short of perfection.
The news of your cancer hit us like a wrecking ball to the gut, smashing our world to pieces in an already volatile time. A pandemic. A new home. Another baby on the way. And yet you still loved. When everything else seemed to unravel, you still loved. When your body hurt and the effort to pick yourself up off the floor grew tremendously, you still loved. Until the time came to say goodbye.
Now time has ticked away, a year come and gone, but the flood of tears still flow freely at the memory of you. No amount of time can dam that. Nor should it. Because you were more than just a memory, you were a part of our family, and the lessons you taught us will forever be ingrained in our hearts and minds.
You taught us what perfect love feels like, to remember life is too short to care whether you're 10lbs or 110lbs- you have to climb in that lap and cuddle no matter what! You showed us slobber is just an extra wet kiss and that tufts of dog hair everywhere can actually be missed.
Memento mori, Remember we die,
Ita memento vivere. So remember to live.
Memento tempus fugit, Remember time flies,
Ita memento amare. So remember to love.
About the author
Although writing professionally for a few years now, fantasy has always been Kelly's passion. The greater the world building, the better to get lost in. Here's the hoping you'll want to get lost in her worlds, too.
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