"If I dropped a tear in the ocean,
the day they found it,
would be the day I'd stop loving you."
would be the day I'd stop loving you."
As I return from a visit with Dr. Leslie, and news that wasn't what I wanted to hear, I find I would not be fulfilling my promises to you, and what you've meant to me, if I didn't take time to write to you, as I wrote to Ty toward the end of his life.
Why has it been so hard to write to you? I don't know, really. I've tried several times. I think the short answer is you are my heart. I've never given my heart out easily, and doing it now is difficult, but without writing to you here, now, I wouldn't be honoring who you are, who you've been, and what my life has been like because of you. I have never dishonored you, and I won't start now, so here goes.
Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I write, knowing it won't be long before you leave me, with wings upon your shoulders, knowing, as I always have, that this time would eventually find us.
The day I first saw you, I knew you were mine. Three puppies were put in my lap. Two blues, and you. The two blues wouldn't settle, and wanted down, but you turned yourself around, scooted up my chest, and set your head down under my chin, with a big sigh. I say I didn't pick you, that you picked me, and you did, though I knew it the moment I saw you, you were the one I wanted. There was something there, in that moment.
You would take me down paths I never knew were even available to me. You took to training and performance like you'd been born to do it. You loved it, and tolerated my clumsy training and guidance in the early days. As I look back, I can see just how driven you were. With me in your way most of the time, you found a way, and lead us along the path to success. For us, it was never really about the wins, it was about the time together. It was about walking to the line together, looking into each other's eyes, and doing what we loved so much.
Sometimes I would catch myself, and think, "gosh, what will I ever do without you," then I would push the thought out of my mind. We had so many years ahead, I would tell myself, and we did. But no matter the number of years ahead, we were slowly marching toward the day I dreaded more than any other.
You were wise when you were just a baby. You seemed to know things, like you'd been here before. Calm and smart, you faced every challenge with a deep knowing, like you'd experienced it before. Even as we get close to the end, you have a calm about you that makes me wonder, "have you done this before?"
We have been, for the last 5310 days, each other's hearts, in every way. Performance, long walks, trips hither and yon, raising puppies together. No matter what we did, always together. Poppa calls you my sentinel, and you are. I know, even when you leave this life, you will continue to be exactly that. I know you will watch over me, as you always have. I hope your days aren't over yet, but my eyes see you losing ground every day, and I know you can't stay here forever.
You have never really loved anyone but me. You have tolerated many, but your love has been mine, entirely, and I've always known it. I never encouraged you to love anyone else, because I wanted you all to myself...I wanted my heart to myself, and you, my sweet boy, are, forever, my heart.
How do I say 'good-bye' to my heart? How do I say farewell to the one thing I have loved more than any other? I don't know, but I imagine you will guide me there, as you always have, with an understanding only you have.
So, here we are, stepping forward, together, inching toward the moment we have to say "good bye", and I'm powerless to stop the momentum. Even as you begin to weaken, I hear you, telling me to be strong, to believe in the power of the love we have, and share, and to trust you, as I always have.
I love you, Jet...I never learned how to fully love until you came into my life. I know it was the lesson you came to share. It was your job. You did it so well, almost too well, and even as you weaken slowly, you are still doing it, with every breath you take.
I don't know if I will write to you again, as our language is so intensely personal, as you know, but even if I don't, look into my heart, my baby boy. I will speak to you there, as I always have.
You are my everything, Jet...forever and ever, my heart.