It’s going on a week that I have been up until midnight for this reason or that and I have to say burning the wick at both ends has caught up with me. Sitting here I’ve realized that I took no pictures of Parker for the 4th of July. With the twins I didn’t miss a holiday. I’m hard on myself like many moms are, and I hate feeling like I’ve failed-even in the smallest way.
I’ve heard people talk about their second or third child and how the baby books don’t get completed like the first and I have made a conscious effort to fill Parker’s out so that we all can remember him as a baby. So maybe there won’t be a Fourth of July picture in it…I guess it could be worse.
You know, I often think about how good our days are as a family and I ache for those who are dealing with some really tough stuff. But in the back of my mind I know things can change in an instant and our world could be turned upside down. This past weekend could have certainly been worse when looking at the lives of those in our great big world, but for us we experienced the loss of our chocolate lab, Riley, followed by Landen becoming ill with a stomach bug late Sunday night that he has yet to recover from.
Being a parent is tough and it’s not an easy task holding it together so your children feel comfort and security when all you want to do is mourn the loss of your fur baby. Sure I know it’s healthy to express feelings and for your children to see it, but there is a point in which you have to be strong for them too. Now whether that is right or not, that’s how I have been tackling the passing of Ry.
It’s strange not having him in our home. I already miss stepping over him when he was sound asleep, I miss hearing his tail wack the wall, and yesterday I have to say I missed him greeting me on my side of the bed because he was hungry. He’d blow down the stairs past me leading me to his bowl…needless to say it was a lonely walk down stairs the past two mornings.
Riley had been fighting cancer since last September. We thought he had been stung by a bee but found it was a tumor on his head. He went through 6 surgeries and started chemo 7 weeks ago..this would have been his last week of treatment. Through it all he was a champ. He was strong, tolerable, and his same ol sweet self.
The night he passed was unexpected he had been acting himself all day. Right before our neighbors were coming for dinner I noticed he was laying funny. I ran up to tell Aaron he needed to hurry out of the shower. I came back downstairs and found Ry in the kitchen laying with his haunches up his face on the floor. I assured Ry I’d be right back and ran up again to Aaron and told him he really needed to come and when I got back downstairs he had moved again between a wall and our kitchen table. Aaron tried to get Ry to move back into the kitchen and at that point he could no longer walk. We helped him to a comfortable spot loved on him and then he passed.
This situation was bittersweet. Knowing the inevitable, I had been asking God that when it was time that he would just pass at home with us and sure enough that’s exactly how it happened. We were lucky enough to be right by his side loving on him and telling him what an amazing guy he’d been to our family. I count my lucky stars for that ask coming true and while I usually try to hold on to the positive, the passing of Ry leaves me aching inside.
With all the hub bub between Ry and Landen, I finally felt like today I had a chance to feel something, to cry, eat my feelings and just be upset. It helps to stop and grieve. I feel better just letting it out rather than literally feeling it inside. But as a parent you still have to find the healthy balance.
I would have loved to have stayed home and just laid on the couch tonight but Caroline had been looking forward to going to the Fourth of July fireworks. So I loaded her up got her a special treat to take with us and met up with our neighbors. It was fun and listening to Caroline have fun reminded me that life has to go on. Had we not went tonight, we would have missed out on making those memories. So while I know it’s important for me to take the time I need to grieve, I am cautious that I remain present for our children…
I might not have gotten Parker’s picture in some red, white, and blue, But I can say I did give my little girl a night she will remember for the rest of her life…and finding that balance certainly helped with a little healing from the loss of Ry.
I hope that no matter what you are facing in life, whether it’s a great day or not, that you are able to find perspective that is helpful to you so that you can tackle the issue at hand.
Cheers to the 🌈rainbow bridge in the sky…