I have one heck of a guy sitting in front of me, helping me through the most difficult grief I've felt in a long time. I feel he deserves a proper intro, though it's sometimes difficult to recap the past 8 months without drifting into Breakfast territory. There are things between us that take me back in time, while of course this is an entirely new experience. I laugh, I sigh, I sometimes cry, we carry on. He sits with me and listens, often seated in front of me, like he's there to protect or keep watch. He's doing his job, healing some wounds, working on filling some big shoes. This is my Birdie. My hero.
I don't really know how to explain where the name Birdie came from, because I was set on calling him Sprout. I still introduce him as such, but the word may as well have been equal to silence, since he hardly responded to it. Birdie, he took to in an instant. I suppose it was his little mask, which has always reminded me of a chickadee; or how his ears used to bend so sweetly in that floppy puppy sort of way. Not to mention Birdie (The Early Bird) was the mascot for McDonald's breakfasts. That part makes me smile. Still, he grew SO fast, and SO big. Sprout. I can't deny it.
I'd say, since losing Breakfast, Birdie and I have really gotten to know one another. There was so much stress in the house before, surrounding Breakfast's blindness, it was difficult to give Birdie the attention that I wanted to supply. There was a lot of juggling my focus, time, and energy, it wasn't an ideal lifestyle. I was exhausted, and sad, and frustrated; knowing my best friend was making his exit in front of me, while the other needed me in a different way. I did my best to be present. I really did. I know there is some form of relief behind all of it, but it stings to say so. I also hate to admit how much of myself got lost along the way. I was just scrambling to hang on to every moment while they lasted. Both the old, and the new.
I love having one dog, though. There's just a certain bond I appreciate, that is focused and centred, and special; in that no one knows what it looks like but the two of you. I'd say, over the past 50 days (that's how long it has been?!) we've had some really wonderful moments together; as I've been introducing him to things that he has never seen before. It's his first summer, right now. There's fun behind that newness, and I'm being reminded all over again, of where my life started 9 years ago, when Breakfast and I first moved here. I love reflecting on such a life changing adventure. Yet, I'm ready to take on this new one, sitting in front of me. It'll be interesting to see where we go.
It's the familiar that makes and breaks me. Every corner of this city has some sort of memory attached. It's bittersweet, thinking of all the fun Breakfast and I had here; but it reminds me too often that he's gone forever. It's so messed up, I have a really hard time accepting it still. I knew this time in our lives had to come, and I'm just letting myself process it one day at a time. I shake my head a lot, in disbelief, in amazement, in shock, that it finally arrived. It's like, there's a great big hole in my heart, waiting to be filled again. Day by day, step by step. We're doing it together. Everything is new.
I'm just grateful I have Birdie with me through all of this. He keeps me laughing, he keeps me present, and he just reminds me that I have so much love to continue to give. I don't think I could ever live my life without a dog beside me; for the joy and security it provides. I've come out of a very thick (afraid) shell over the years, and while I so often say that Breakfast taught me how to be brave... we did it together. I'm still here. And as much as it sucks to lose my best friend, I'm happy to get the chance to continue on and fill my heart all over again. I'm one lucky girl to have him... and I know, and Breakfast would agree, he's one lucky guy to have me.
This is my Birdie. My hero.