I'd thought, at first, that I might just honor this day and not make mention of it. At all.
Turns out, I'm just not wired that way.
Rather than fighting it, I have decided, this 'late' in the day, to say what I need to say, without angel trumpets or glorious song or even a hint of grandeur. You can be sure all these things happened anyway...but I'm not going to even attempt to paint that picture. No need. I'm offering this up for any and all who may have experienced the passing of a beloved friend. Because I know as well as the next person that the missing part doesn't go away. It just morphs into something else. So then...
The short of it is that on this day, one year ago, my beloved Chella decided to give a very hungry coyote the best breakfast he'd had in months. To my great, deep despair. She made this choice (and yes, I know it was a choice because this crazy cat had outsmarted those coyotes for more than 8 years. It was her choice. And I had to honor it. But that's a whole 'nother story.) and it was a day that will forever remain clear in my memory. I was...devastated. I blamed myself. I went out in that miserable storm for hours on end, calling and hoping. I put up posters. And ads in all the papers. And on CraigsList. I called everyone I knew within a 10 mile range. I prayed. I sobbed. I cursed the gods. And then....
I remembered that she knew me better than I did. I remembered just how much she loved me. I remembered that she had saved me from death (and I do NOT kid when I say this) when Raja left. I remembered the many talks we'd had about how everything changes and that change is GOOD. I remembered that she was the biggest lover of life and she had shared her secrets about all that with me. I got to that place where I just knew she'd made her choice so that I might move onward to more of ME.
When I think back on it now, I can tell you that they were the longest 10 days of my life. When Raja left, I had Chella to comfort me. When Chella left...I had NO ONE. As bizarre as it may sound, I had never spent more than a day in my whole entire life without a Critter. So when I say "the longest 10 days", I am not exaggerating. They were freakin' B-R-U-T-A-L.
I can live without a man. And I can do it happily. I can live without a best friend in close proximity (geographically speaking). I can live without my mother and my father and my sisters and my brother. Living witihout a Critter....??? Not so much.
From that day forward, my Chella continued to show up. She came at very odd times, but she showed up. In so many weird and marvelous ways. Her voice. Her thump-thump-thumping up the stairs. Her pouncing on the bed in the midst of my deep sleep. In the shower. In my office. Out on the GaZenbo. She was (and still is) there. She never really left. All she did was make room for me to have Bruzer cruise on into my life.
I like to think she did it because she knew I needed to m-o-v-e. By that I mean...get off my sorry-assed pity-pot and WALK. We could not do that together (for all kinds of reasons that are stupidly logistical). It was the ONLY thing we could not do together. And she knew I needed that. She also knew that as long as she was around I wasn't going to even consider another dog. What for? I had her and she filled me so well that I would never have considered another dog. At least now while I clamored around in my "less-than" state. I was perfectly happy having my Chella and NOT having to worry over whether or not I could go out for walks. Yep. She knew all that. Quite the clever gal.
And so...she took her leave to make room for the BruzerBoy. The little curly fella who has inspired me, from DAY ONE, to just try. He was (and is) so happy to go for the shortest little strolls that I couldn't bear to disappoint him. He doesn't yank or pull or ignore my stride. He seems to know exactly how I'm feeling at every moment...and is happy to go with the flow, no matter how slow that flow might be. He just wants for us to be out there, taking in the sights and the smells and the glorious moments that we get to share as we walk.
Had it not been for Chella's Choice...this would not be.
I honor the Chella Queen. I honor her many gifts. I honor the time she gave me and the timely choice of her departure.
I honor and love and THANK