Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Trace. — Souvenirs of His Soul.

on November 12, 2013

Three years ago, last night, goes on my list of the top 10, maybe top 5, of the hardest nights ever.

Felix was out of town on a business trip. I was single Momma-ing, and juggling all that goes along with having a 5 year old and a 2 year old.

We came home to discover that our beloved 10 year old Cayman had thrown up in several places on the living room rug. This was so unlike him. He never had accidents in the house. He never made a mess. He never tore anything up. He could be home by himself in the house, all day long, and would just sleep on my couch.

So, immediately, I knew something was wrong. I took the best care of him that I could. I hurried the kiddos through their routines, got them tucked in early, and then turned my full attention to Cayman.

He was miserable. He was pacing. He clearly did not feel well. He needed to go outside every 30 minutes or so. I stayed with him downstairs all night long. He couldn’t get comfortable. At one point, he went outside and wouldn’t come back to me. I was so worried that I headed out with a flashlight and was relieved when I found him laying in the mulch bed. I coaxed him back inside. He finally crawled under the coffee table and we slept for minutes, here and there, with my hand on his back.

I knew something was terribly wrong.  The next morning, three years ago today, I hurried the kiddos through the morning routines to get Cayman to our local Veterinarian as soon as they opened at 7:00 a.m. We were at the door when they unlocked it.

A few hours later, I got a call that said they needed to do surgery. I asked them to please wait until I could get there. I rushed out of the conference I was attending and flew back to the Vet’s office. I spent a few minutes with him, looking into his eyes, reassuring him, loving on him. I’ll never forget how he looked at me. Never. His eyes were tired. He was hurting. He was sad. And his eyes seemed to say, “I’m sorry” too. 

Poor Felix was five hours away and was already on his way home, leaving the business behind. Just trying to get home. I felt so bad for him. To be so far away. Rushing, desperately to get home.

But there was nothing that anyone could do. The doctors couldn’t do anything. Felix couldn’t get home fast enough. Cayman couldn’t continue with that pain anymore.

And just like that. I found myself sitting on the kitchen floor, sobbing. Wailing and sobbing.

The rest of the story is just punctuated by what we did and what we had to do. Felix came home. We went to see Cayman one more time. We hugged. We cried. We made calls. We made arrangements. We had to tell the boy and girl-childs the terrible news. We held them while they cried. And we all cried together.

Then it was the next day. It was tomorrow.

Three years ago, tomorrow.

And we started to see the signs.

Signs of Cayman. Or signs from Cayman.

The very next day, we had the adventure with Cleo. Cayman was already on the job as a Guardian Angelcleo

lightThe very next week, I came home to find the sun hitting his picture, spotlighting it in a way that made me stop and smile.

We had a memorial service, invited everyone who loved Cayman over for a time to share stories and have some snacks.

We planted a tree and sprinkled some of his ashes under the tree.

A few days later, it snowed.

And in the snow, randomly or not, one morning, we discovered doggy paw prints. They led from Cayman’s tree. To our back door. And then around the house. snow

This was Cayman’s gig. He did what we called, “Perimeter Checks”. He walked our property everyday. He kept an eye on things. He made sure every thing was in its place.

He was still on the job.

A few months later, we took his ashes to the beach and to the pier on the York River. He loved the water and the ocean.

pawprintAnd randomly in the sand, we found a single perfect paw print.

Another sign.

And as I look around my house tonight, even three years later, there are still so many signs of Cayman. So many traces of his time with us. So many souvenirs of his soul.

His picture is everywhere. Right there beside X and Y when you come in the door.  On the kitchen counter. In the office. On the bookshelf in the living room.

His flashing light collar is still hanging on the coat closet door.  collar

His ball, leash and collar still sit in a place of honor on Felix’s dresser.  leash

His ashes sit in the kitchen windowsill. Looking out, looking in. In the middle of the family action.

boxThe words are faded. comfort

But we always keep a candle light in the window.

Signs…so he can always trace his way home.

cayman signs

Today’s Action Challenge (courtesy of WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge):  Look around. Find three objects around you that most represent you. Objects that could serve as traces and souvenirs of you.  Describe them and tell why these are important to your story. How do these reflect your personality and who you are?


8 responses to “Trace. — Souvenirs of His Soul.

  1. ♡eM says:

    We miss our animal friends when they go. But we love them still.

  2. Swoosieque says:

    Touching. Your recollection of Cayman brought back many memories of all of my favorite four-legged-family members from years past.

  3. Lead Our Lives says:

    Beautiful. Could not contain my tears. Our companions do in fact leave more than footprints on our hearts. These precious little souls give us so much more. Lovely, heartfelt…and touched my heart. Thank you. ❤

  4. Selene Zuni says:

    Where is the love button? I love this. Warms my heart! I am so glad you didnt miss any of those signs, most people fail to see the connection life throws at us, but you saw those signs and thats just beautiful. Thank you for the lovely post.

  5. […] Trace. — Souvenirs of His Soul. | mommyverbs […]

  6. Jan says:

    Of course Cayman’s Nana is crying. But as you said he is watching over and guarding. I think Chapin is watching him and learning. Love you.

  7. So sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful tribute.

  8. […] Trace. — Souvenirs of His Soul. | mommyverbs […]

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