February 16, 2019, my husband Jim went to be with the Lord. To say we were inseparable through our long, successful albeit stressful marriage is an understatement. Jim was a faithful husband, a good dad, and a hard-working business owner. He sternly in some cases helped me raise our four children to be loving, kind, respectful, and responsible adults. When they all married we were there standing proudly to watch them embark on their new and exciting journeys. When they had their children we were as happy as if those babies were our own children. They were ours, but now we had to call them grandchildren!
“It’s been a good ride mom; I’ve done everything I was supposed to do in life I don’t think dying would be so bad, it’s not going to be long,” Jim told me a few months before he passed away. I could tell he was slowing down, he had difficulty walking, his balance was off, and he had begun to need a wall, a table or the sofa to hang-on to just to get around. He refused to use a cane. I was in denial and wouldn’t hear of that kind of talk. Granted he slept a lot and after twelve years of dealing with strokes, cancer, and dementia I could understand him being tired, but not wanting to die. I didn’t realize how soon the end would come. I will always miss him. I loved him, he was my guy, but incredible as it may sound now, somehow I have learned to survive without him, but it hasn’t been easy carving out this new life I’m living.
Along the way, Jim and I had a multitude of pets-mostly dogs. Our kids always had a dog or cat to sleep with and so did we; at one time we had eight Yorkshire Terriers! We loved and adored all of our critters and cried when each crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We would always end up buying another dog to replace the one we lost. That’s how we acquired Emily a Yorkie, now 13, who became Jim’s special dog, and has been lost without him until recently, and then there’s Gracie, a four-year-old Chihuahua, who loves all people-but hates dogs and especially Emily; at night though they sleep side-by-side at the bottom of my bed.
Today as I write this bit of family history for Thanksgiving 2020, I would be remiss if I did not mention how much my two dogs have helped me get through the sorrow of losing my husband, and the lonely endurance of this terrible pandemic. In so many ways, those sweet doggies have calmed me and comforted me through many a long dark night, and sad rainy day. I want to give a special thank you this Thanksgiving to these precious little treasures, as we go bravely and happily into each new day all three of us thankful for each other.