It’s taken me quite a while to put together my thoughts because every time I think of her I start to cry. I knew this day was coming, and I knew I wouldn’t be near here when it happened. On February 12, my family lost our family pet, Lily. For the past few years she has had various health problems, and every time I would come home, she would look skinnier, grayer, and less likely to want to be handled or pet. However, something in her eyes always lit up whenever she knew everyone had come back home and she got to be around all five of us.
When I moved away from college, of course I would miss my parents, but the hardest thing and the most that I missed was Lily. She couldn’t talk on the phone like my mom or come to visit like my dad would. Whenever I did go home during vacation times, I always felt that Lily held some kind of grudge over me like I had abandoned her. I was arguably the most attached to her whenever she was a puppy and was always eager to take care of her and do the “doggie” chores. I’m sure I probably over-state how she treated me when I got home because I am not sure dogs have resentment or complex feelings like that, and it was more likely it was my own guilt of leaving her behind. After a few days, she would likely come and cuddle back up with me and we’d be best friends again.
I’ll never forget the way she was always there for me whenever I went through my most trying times growing up, like heartbreak and my paralyzing loneliness that no human could have healed. Even with Isabella, my new dog, even though we’re best friends, I still don’t have that level of understanding and uncompromising loyalty that Lily displayed to me.
While I was home over Christmas, there was an evening where the whole family sat in the family and watched the movie “Inception.” For more reasons than one, that night was the nicest for me. We had a low-key Christmas and it wasn’t about the presents or whatever we were eating for dinner. We all had tough 2010s and needed to spend and do less over the vacation. That night Isabella was especially restless and was cranky over not being able to sit with me and Adam on the couch. I then relented and snuggled up on the floor on a blanket with her. Slowly Lily made a rare entrance and plopped herself down on the blanket on my other side and let me hold her. I wish I would have had someone take a quick snapshot of the setting because I’ll never forget this moment and when it happened I told myself to hold on to it because it might be the last time I saw Lily. It turned out that I was right.
When I got a message on my cell phone and then a message left for me on my work phone from my mother for me to call her right away, I knew immediately it was pertaining to Lily. She had been especially sick the past week and had stopped moving and eating. When my mom told me they had made the decision to put her to sleep, I started to bawl right in the office. Obviously, I knew it was coming, it was hard to not see what was coming, it just weighed on me so heavily that my best friend was leaving me and I couldn’t be with her to help her on her way and see her through.
So here’s to Lily, the best friend a woman could have, made of endless love.
I’ll see you at the Rainbow Bridge.