I knew something was different that day. I wasn’t sure what it was, perhaps the weather was about to change again, perhaps there would be snow. Yes, that would be a welcome change from this hot and sticky air. All day I went to the window and looked out and waited for the dark skies to come and bring the fantastic feathers of cold down and soon the green sticky grass would be covered in heavenly frozen snow. I would certainly prefer this to the uncertainty of the day, even napping didn’t seem to make any difference. Something wasn’t right.
When I looked at my Mother she seemed far away in her eyes. She looked as if she too knew something was in the air and kept moving from place to place. When I came to sit next to her, her hands would softly stroke down my neck and she would look at me. I wonder now if I should have tried harder to distract her from the things she was doing. But everything seemed to frustrate her and it was usually better to give her some space when she was like this. I wouldn’t be far, close if she needed.
Bedtime came early and I was thankful that we would end this day and start a new one that must be better, perhaps when we woke the snow would have come and we would spend the day exploring and playing. My brother doesn’t like the snow as much as I. Though he will venture out for a bit if I ask and wait for him to get ready, I know he doesn’t enjoy it. I curled up in my bed and sleep came quickly. I barely noticed when the phone rang and my Mother’s voice broke the quiet of the night.
Her voice was quiet at first, but it changed. Fear ran down my spine as I got up and went to her. I reached out to calm her and understand what was going on. At first, she was only talking quietly and calm, then it was as her emotions burst and everything came pouring out all at once. I was so confused and looked at my Father who was up and at her side trying to calm her. She was so upset and I worried she couldn’t catch her breath.
That night I stayed with her and did all I could to keep the tears away. But they came in waves just like at the sea, some soft and quiet and others harsh and washing up over us both. When the morning light came I hoped that at least she would be comforted by the cold soothing air and beauty of the sparkling snowy morning. I went to the window and looked out, excited still for that moment I loved the most when I would see the yard covered in newness and waiting to be explored.
I sat down and looked out, the snow had not come. There was nothing out there but the same as it had been every day for so long. Still, I would go out and take some time for myself to try getting a fresh thought about what to do next. The answers were always easier when I could just get outside and think.
After a bit, I came back in and found my Mother and Father were getting themselves ready to leave. She was still upset and said she needed to go for a bit. I knew she didn’t want to leave and I wanted to go with her. I didn’t, I had to stay with the others and wait for them to tell us what we could do to help.
I didn’t mention to her that she’d forgotten to give me my breakfast. I’d have to go discover what I’d have on my own. Perhaps leftovers, I didn’t care for leftovers. But today wasn’t about me.
When they returned I let my Mother know that I would be there for her, whatever she needed I wanted to help… I needed to help. She seemed so sad as she explained that she had lost someone close to her and she was so upset at this. I tried to help take away her pain, make her see that not everyone in the world was gone. I kissed her tears, curled around her and waited out the storm. Each day was different. Some days I thought that she was better; she smiled more and looked as if she had finished with her tears. Then I would find her sitting alone and again she looked so lost and cold.
One day she surprised me with an adventure just for us. We went out into the woods and explored the running creek and watched for a long time as the tiny fish swam so wild and free. They were beautiful as they swished through the clear water and I wished I were down there swimming with them. I stayed close to my Mother however, she seemed happier than I had seen her in a few days. She was telling me about when she was a kid and the life she had before I came into it. I loved the sound of her voice and listened to each word carefully. Even when I wanted to keep exploring, I was still listening. She cried a little and I realized that it was ok for this to happen because it didn’t feel so terrible anymore… it was just as if she needed to wash away the sadness.
The days are starting to feel more like they were before. I’m still watching her to see if she needs anything and now she smiles back at me and tells me I am doing a great job. A great job… I wasn’t sure that was ever going to be true. I knew coming into this family that I was going to have a lot to prove before I was going to be doing a “great job” and even more I was sure my Mother wasn’t going to be as sure about trusting me with her secrets as she did the one who crossed over before I came Home.
I couldn’t believe it when she told me that I had actually made her feel better and I felt my whole body laugh with delight. I wanted to lick her face, show her that was all I ever wanted. But we don’t do that… that is for puppies and the uncivilized breeds… or my brother who does it just because it makes people scream.
Today I’ve let her put her things away and given her some space. She doesn’t seem to need me as close as she did last week. I am still waiting for her to reach out her hand. I’ll be there to comfort her. Little by little I know I am teaching her that she is strong and everything will be ok. She is a good mother and I am her “Best Girl” and when she needs me she sits on the floor and holds my head against hers… and I never want to move from that place. I know now that not every day can be what you wished for, some days are better. I look out the window and sigh a heavy sigh as my eyes close and I think…
The snow will come, just not today.
( These are the actual photos taken from that day. Wynter was not only my best friend, my Good Girl, but my lifesaver as I wandered through the worst grief I have ever had. She continues to be my best friend and since that day we have grown closer and more in sync with each other. Wynter continued her training, went into serious task work, and went on to become my service dog for my late stage Lyme Disease. She is my lifesaver in so many ways. And I am blessed to have her in my life. – Crysta )
First Written September 2012