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Memories of Carmen
This is the day I knew would eventually come, but now that it has, I cannot stop crying. I hate myself for being out of town. I hate myself for not saying one more time to her just how much I loved her and thanking her for giving me so very much happiness and teaching me so much about life and about myself. I miss her so much my heart aches and my head screams and she's only been gone less than 10 hours. I'm wondering how life goes on without my Carmen. She would dance and her eyes would sparkle when I sang to her in my old off key voice "I love my Carmen, oh yes I do, I love my Carmen, and I'll be true. When she's not with me, I'm blue, Oh, Carmen, I love you". Now I sing the song to myself and wonder how the sun can possibly rise tomorrow without my Carmen in this world. I want so desperately for Carmen to come to me in my dreams tonight. I need to see her and feel her against me. I need to tell her what a profound difference she made in my life. But here I am, in a strange town, in an empty cold hotel room, surrounded by people I don't even know, and all I can think of is my precious baby, cold and alone, without me to protect her. Please tell me it not's true. Please tell me she will dance for me one more time on the deck when I get back to Bacliff. Please tell me that she will fuss at the other dogs, warning them to back off, so she can get the attention first from me. She knows she is the Princess!

December 21,2009
Daddy took you to a very wonderful place today to help us with your earthly body. He drove many miles to find just the right people who would treat you with the love and respect you so well deserve. Carmen, even though he can be a little grouchy at times, I want you to know he stayed there with you because he didn't feel it was right for you to be left with strangers. I think you and I knew all along he was just a big softy.

Baby girl, I cant stop crying. I have received such heartfelt and wonderful greetings from earthly moms and dads who have also lost their furbabies. I cling to their words - to their spirit - to their experience of losing someone so very special it seems they might not never recover. It would be so easy for me to just give way to the grief Carmen. I could have never fathomed how hard this would be.

I so want to believe you are happy and healthy again, and I suppose I do believe that, but it's just so hard facing one more minute of one more day without you. If anyone heard me last night, they would have surely thought I was a crazy woman. I helped you into bed, just like always. I lifted the covers for you so you could snuggle under them and I even patted your tiny little bottom, to let you know I knew exactly where you were and wouldn't roll over on you. Then, baby girl, mommy cried, long hard sobs. I prayed that you would come to me in a dream so I would know you were safe, and warm, and had a full tummy. You haven't yet, but I've read other mommies say their little ones visited them. I'm thinking you are still finding your way around Rainbow Bridge and that when you get settled in, you will.

Look down tonight Carmen. Mommy will be lighting a candle for you just as a lot of other mommies and daddies will be lighting candles for their little ones. You will know my candle though. It's the one that has a special Carmen hug and kiss and it is to let you know I am down here, missing you. It is to let you know you will never ever be forgotten and that you hold a place in my heart that is reserved for only the truest of the true. Let the other furbabies love you until we can be together again. I only hope it is soon because mommy's heart is breaking and I just don't know how long I can go on. I miss you so much. I love you Carmen.

December 23,2009
I'm still in Amarillo baby girl. Tomorrow I fly back to Houston to see Daddy, Gigi, Chuy and Cheeto. I'm afraid to walk into the house. I don't know how I'll handle you not being there to meet me. I loved -still love- the way you would dance when you saw my face. Your hearing was slowly fading, and we both know your eyesight wasn't what it used to be, but you always knew my face - no matter how far away I was. I would walk up the stairs and you would run out the door, dancing and squealing and happy to see me but at the same time snarling at the other dogs to stay back, until I greeted you first. And you always knew I would. You were my first Carmen. And in some ways, you will be my last. Yes, I love your sister Chuy and Gigi, but you and I both know that the bond we shared for so many years was unbreakable. We shared so many experiences in so many places. I still have your passport I made for you. Anahuac, Bloomington, Gainesville, Micanopy, Temple, Ocean Ridge, Houston, etc. And the miles we drove together! You sitting on the console in the jeep! What a wonderful navigator you were and you didn't even mind my singing!
Daddy will not understand how emotional I will be tomorrow when I get home. He will want to understand but I don't think he has ever had the type of bond that you and I had. He will be confused when he can't console me - I wish he wouldn't even try. I wish he would just let me cry and grieve and not try to fix it. It's not fixable Carmen. At least not in the short term. I still sob for you. I have no idea what stage of grief I'm in - I don't even care - I'm not logical yet. My heart has so many tears yet to cry for you. My body physically aches for you. I want to knock holes in the wall, throw things, act stupid. I question how my life can go on without you. I suppose I'll question that until the day I see you again. And we can sing, and play, and laugh ,,,just like we used to before December 19,2009 at 2:00 pm. I hate that day,,,,,,

December 24,2009
After a long flight, I made it back to our house Carmen. I sat downstairs in the car for a long time. I didn't know how,,,didn't want to walk up the stairs, knowing you wouldn't be there to greet me. Daddy made me get out of the car.

When I got to the door, I saw Chuy and Gigi waiting at the french doors. I had been gone so long, I wasn't sure they really recognized me. Then I saw the look in Chuy's eyes. She knew it was me, but she kept looking away, almost as if she knew something was wrong and she knew I would be upset. Sweet little Chuy had been so used to deferring to you when I got home. She would patiently wait for you to get your share of the attention before she would come up to me. She was so confused.

Daddy brought me directly to the kitchen table and gave me a beautiful gift bag. Inside the gift bag, there was the most gorgeous mahogany mausoleum I had ever seen (not that I would ever want to see one). On the outside, there was a plaque that read Princess Carmen. Baby girl, I broke down. I held your little box for what must have been hours. I stroked up, I held it to my heart, I laid my head on it, I held it to my cheek, I couldn't put it down.

I know your not in the box Carmen - only what is left of your earthly remains is there. But for right now, it's the only thing I have left that I can touch, see, feel. The nice people who helped Daddy did give me a beautiful piece of paper with your little puppy paws imprinted in brown ink and a very small plastic bag of your beautiful fur. Daddy was very understanding last night and didn't try to guide me on what to do. He just let me deal with my grief in my own way, in my own time. I'm sure he knew that me walking into the house the first time without you would be beyond anything he could ever help with.

December 25,2009
It was strange this morning, Christmas morning, waking up without you here. The first thing I saw was your mahogany box. Chuy and Gigi stayed close to me last night and I love them for that. Matter of fact, Chuy has not left my side today. She grieves with me Princess Carmen. She misses you. I'm still waiting for you to come to me in my dreams. No pressure on you baby girl. I know when you feel the time is right, when you feel that I can handle seeing you once again, you will bless me with your presence. I've trusted you with my mental well being all your life, I certainly won't stop now. I love you baby girl. Merry Christmas - stay warm, be happy, and please look down on me when you can. If you see other owners coming for their furbabies, don't despair. Mommy will be there for you just as soon as she can.

December 29, 2009
Hi baby girl. Momma is back in Amarillo. It is so cold here. It reminds me of when we were in Bloomington, Illinois and you and I both froze to death! I can remember us walking in the snow, you wrapped up tightly in my coat but still trying to stick your little head out my coat as if you knew the right direction we were supposed to be going! But we sure did a good job of keeping each other warm. I think the smartest decision we ever made was leaving Illinois and heading to Florida. You sure did enjoy the beach. Remember us hunting for seashells at 5 in the morning. Man did we have a great time and did we ever find some great shells! Particularly after the hurricanes! I just hope you are staying warm where you are - I know how much you hate to be cold! I want you to know I've read Mark Levine's book about his dog Sprite and at times it makes sense to me, but then at times, it doesn't. I'm still trying to come to grips with the events of the past 10 days and I feel like I'm failing miserably. I just need to know you are safe and warm and being well taken care of. Mommy misses you and thinks of you everyday. I love you darling.

January 3,2009
It was less than a happy New Year in our house baby girl. I'm certainly not ready to celebrate anything, much less the thought of another year without you. What I did think about on New Year's Eve was how we came to be. I was working in a very small little town in Texas. Matter of fact the town was so small it didn't even have a stop light, only a yellow flashing light.

Mike and I had formalized our plans to divorce so I moved from Crosby to Anahuac, the small town I spoke of. Those were hard days for me Carmen. I had no reason to go home so I would stay at work for hours upon hours. When I did get home, the house was dark, and cold, and scary. Fortunately I had found a lovely little Victorian house to lease, and when I say little, I mean little! It had a living area, a very small kitchen, one bedroom, and one bathroom. But the craftsmanship of the house was absolute perfection. It also had a white picket fence all the way around it with beds and beds of roses.

One night I was sitting at home, thinking about how life was not what I thought it might have been and I made a decision. I thought to myself, you are living in a small town, in a very small house, and by golly, you need a small dog. The smallest dog I could think of was a chihuahua.

So I made a trip to the local 7-11 and picked up a newspaper. I hurriedly turned to the pet section, and found several listings for chihuahuas. Some of the listings went as high as $2000 and some of the pups were free. But I spotted one that said, three chihuahua pups, $100 each.

I called the number quickly, made a connection with the woman on the other end of the line, and begged her to let me come that very night to see her pups. She reluctantly said yes and off I went. I was so lucky to even find her house because I was very unfamiliar with that particular section of town.

After driving what seemed to be forever, I finally pulled up in her driveway. I knocked on the door and walked into one of the warmest, most loved filled homes I have ever been in. And there, in the corner, was a small pen, and I saw you. Oh my, you were the most beautiful pup I had ever seen in my whole life. You were all white, with black markings, and the marking on your head looked somewhat like a hat that had slid off to the side. When I saw that, I immediately knew you were my Carmen Miranda!

So off we went. And baby girl, my life was changed forever. Where there was coldness, there was now warmth. Where there was sadness, you filled the void with laughter and giggles. When you were with me, nothing scared me. We were a formidable force! When people would talk about their rescue dogs, I would tell them I had one also. But it was not that I had rescued you, it was that, you my Princess Carmen, had rescued me.

I was so lucky to be able to take you to work with me, so we had plenty of time to share. When I took you outside you were so fearless and that lack of fear scared me to death. I mean, after all, we lived in Anahuac, the alligator capitol of the world! But you always came back to where I was standing, and if there were more than two of us humans standing together, you would smell everyone's feet until you smelled my familiar scent. Then you would promptly sit down because you knew I was there. That always amazed me.

So here we are in the year 2010. Me with the same stinky feet and you away on what I hope is some remarkable adventure. I will be lighting another candle for you on Monday, January 4, 2010. Please look down and smile Princess. And please know that mommy's heart is still broken and she just cant quite figure out how to put it back together again. Between you and me, I don't think it's possible. Always remember I love you Carmen.

January 14,2009
I haven't forgotten you baby girl. I have your picture as the screen saver on my computer. It's almost life size. Every time I turn on the computer, there you are, smiling that sweet smile. I play like I'm petting your head, just the way you liked it petted. I sit frozen in time when I see that picture.

I'm still in Amarillo. I had the opportunity to go home this weekend, but why would I want to? It's almost like it was before we met. I had no reason to go home then and I'm finding I have no reason to go home now. You are not there. Sure, there are others there to keep the home fires burning now, but it's not the same. It will never be the same.

We were the perfect pair Carmen. I miss saying your name,I miss seeing those bright bright eyes, I miss holding you on my lap, oh my there are so many things I miss about you and the times we had together. Daddy brought up getting another Carmen and I just can't. There will never be another Carmen. So much of my life was shared with you - so many good times. And now there is only sadness and heart break. There is always that dull nagging sadness in my heart. I try to play happy but it's so hard. I will always hate December 19,2009 and what happened. I miss you Princess so very much its almost too much to bear. I can't wait until I can see you again. Play nice Carmen - Mommy will be there soon to be with you.

January 15,2010
I love you, I miss you. The birds don't sing, the sun doesn't shine, the music doesn't play, the joy is gone. My heart is hopelessly broke. I just want us to be together again. Nite Nite baby girl. Talk to you in the morning.

January 16,2010
The pain is unbearable Carmen. I just can't get past it - I don't think I can ever get past it. I feel sometimes like I'm losing my mind. I just need to hold you then I know everything is okay, just like before. I'm so confused. I love you - my Princess. Mommy

January 19,2010
Don't forget to look for me Carmen! Mommy will be there soon and will be so very happy when she sees your face again! Keep playing with your friends but listen for that off key voice singing our song, "I love my Carmen, oh yes I do, I love my Carmen and I'll be true, when you're not with me, I'm blue, Oh Carmen I love you!" I love you baby girl, always. Love, me

January 24,2010
Hi baby girl. Dad scanned some pictures and I wanted to put them on your memorial site. It is so hard seeing you, remembering that smile of yours, remembering how pretty you were when you pranced around, remembering how we loved to cuddle up no matter where we were! You were such a girly girl!! I'm still here Carmen. I think about you every day and remember how good we were for each other. I just hope you are safe, and happy, and that someone up there knows you only like Eukanuba for puppies. I love you and will always. love, me.

April 2, 2010
It's been so long since I have held you, sang with you, stroked your beautiful fur. I had such a horrible nightmare last night. I had been out and when I came back someone had left the gate open. I walked miles and miles calling your name but yet I couldn't find you. I was panic stricken. You were out in the world, exposed, all by yourself, with no one to protect you. I suppose that's the way I feel right now. You were the one, the only one, who understood me and comforted me when I was upset and by myself. I think of you every day, hoping that you are okay and are well protected. That there is someone who loves you just as I did. I have taken to sleeping on your pillow and I still look at the place where you chose to lay each night. I can feel your eyes on me and hate myself for not understanding that when you chose to not sleep in the bed, that you were telling me something was wrong. God I miss you. A river of tears has been cried and an ocean full is still left in me to cry for you. Please know that your were loved as no other Carmen and the love still remains as strong today as it did when we first met. My regret last night in my dream is that I did not get to see you before you left. I suppose that it correlates to the fact that I was not home when you left to go to Rainbow Bridge. I miss you, my heart aches for you, and I can't visualize myself ever being whole again until we are together in the afterlife. Thank you Carmen for all you gave me and for what I'm sure I still have left to learn. You are my Princess and I am your momma and we will always be together. I will wait for you forever. I love you so much - mommy

April 23, 2010
I went back to a horrible dark place last night baby girl. Gigi jumped into bed and I said, there you go, lay down in Carmen's place. The words choked me. The grieving started as before. Its amazing the memories I have of you and how those memories can make me smile and laugh but just as easily take me to a deep dark hell on earth. As I laid there I conjured up every memory I could in my sadness and despair - and each memory made me miss you even more. But how is that possible? How could I miss you more? It's just not possible. One day we will be together again. I have to believe that to keep my sanity. Please don't be afraid and never think I have forgotten you. I'm waiting here just as you are waiting there,,,just like in the beginning,,,waiting for the time that we find each other again. Mommy

November 27, 2010
My baby girl, the hurt is as strong as ever. I don't think the pain will ever abate. I still cry for you, I think I always will. A good friend of mine gave me a psychic's name that she has used and I'm so tempted to call the psychic. I know, I know, this is not like me. I'm not one to believe in things such as that, but at this point, I would do ANYTHING to know you are okay and that you are safe and warm and happy. Even as I write this, I feel the knife in my heart that stays day after day reminding me of my constant, unrelenting mourning. Chuy is not doing well. She has gained even more weight - can you believe it?!! But she is still as sweet as ever and my little one, she remembers your name when I call out for you. She will wag her little tail and snuggle close, at first I thought it was to comfort me, but I think she need's comfort also. She misses you. The neighbor children brought a scraggly long hair poor little mess of a puppy to our house the other day. They didn't know what to do with it and they knew how I loved animals. He was promptly shuffled off to the shower and after much debate, he was named Buddy. Yes, it is a boy dog! He is so full of energy and mischief!! He makes us all laugh with his antics. I miss you Carmen. I sing your song, I love my Carmen, oh yes I do, I love my Carmen, and I'll be true, when you're not with me, I'm blue, Oh Carmen I love you. I can only pray that I will see you again soon. How I will hold you, never to let you go again. Love Mommy

December 25, 2010
The second lonely Christmas without you,,,,You know, it seemed we had our own pace, our own rhythm. There was a predictability to our lives that I cant seem to find anymore. Everything just seems so different - so out of kilter. Little girl, I love you just as much today as the first day I saw you. And I miss you horribly. Stay safe, play nice and wait for me. I cant be there soon enough to meet you. Love Mommy

June 8, 2011
Hi baby girl! I know you have been so busy!! So many of your friends have come to join you - Aunt Mary's Emerald, Martha's Joey and Beast, and now, tonight comes Pepper. Carmen, you never met Pepper. Pepper belonged to a friend of mine Carmen and she will be joining you tonight. She was a fine dog Carmen and one that I know you would enjoy spending time with. Carmen, she's going to be scared and lonely tonight and will need someone just like you to help her. Help her like you helped me baby girl. Always remember I love you just as much today as the day I first laid eyes upon you. I miss you so much my heart hurts - until we see each . I love my Carmen, oh yes I do, I love my Carmen, and I'll be true. When you're not with me, I'm blue, Oh Carmen, I love you. Love Mommy

December 13, 2011
Oh Carmen, I miss you so much! So much has happened this year - Mommy has not been well. My knee surgery became infected and I have had 3 operations. I had strange feelings about the last surgery in November but I wasn't even scared. I knew that if something went wrong, I would be with you again and on so many levels, that is exactly what I want. It's coming up on 2 years since you've been gone and the pain has yet to ease. Matter of fact, I've given up on it ever going away. It's something I will live with every day until I can be with you again. There is nothing or no one that will ever take your place my little Princess. Stay safe and warm - Momma will be there soon.
Love you Carmen girl - Mommy

December 19, 2011

Oh my Precious Carmen - how I miss you. It can't be two years that you've been gone. My heart feels like it was yesterday. I received a beautiful tribute card from the keepers of the Rainbow Bridge web site early this morning. And although I believe everything they say, my heart is still broken and I know can never be fixed. You were the only thing I ever did right in my long life. And we were so right together! Our days started and ended with each other. I can't get over you not being here with me. Please don't give up on Mommy. She will be there soon baby girl. I love you sweet Princess - Mommy

December 19, 2011

Baby girl, I am going to try to re-post what they sent me today -

Carmen's Anniversary at Rainbow Bridge
Dear Alicia,

Prayers are with you on this anniversary of your Carmen's passing onto the Rainbow Bridge ahead of you. May you find comfort in knowing our Creator would never allow the innocence and unconditional love you shared with Carmen to just be taken away from you forever.

Each baby's life has meaning and purpose and the love we shared is sacred. A bond of love too strong to ever be broken, even when the physical body leaves us, the spirit remains. Hold onto to your Carmen's love and spirit and use that special love for the good of others.

In Tribute to Carmen's Life
Alicia, know that grief is not measured in time, but when the heart is dry of tears and your mind comes to acceptance, you will you begin to heal. Meanwhile, it is my hope this note let's you know you are not alone.

Sending many prayers that you will continue to find comfort and heal.

Wasn't that sweet Carmen? Stay dry and warm and keep your tummy full until we meet again.
All my love - Mommy

November 29, 2012
My sweetest baby girl,
Although I haven't been here, you have been with me - every minute every day. The void that was left when you left is still there and aches just as strong as the day you went to Rainbow Bridge. Sometimes I feel so lost. I rejoice when I think about us being reunited, I hope it's sooner rather than later. Stay warm, stay dry, eat and drink to stay strong. Mommy will be there soon. I love you sweet girl. Mommy

November 15, 2013
My heart has not healed baby girl. I still weep and hurt so intensely I think I will go insane. I love you. Mommy

November 28, 2013
Today is Thanksgiving and all I can think of is how much i miss you. Daddy is in a particularly ugly mood today so I think I will just go to work. You were my reason for coming home, being home, even having a home. I found a bright shiny penny the other day and smiled because I just knew you had sent it to me. It's the first time I remember smiling in a long time. I pray you are safe, warm, and that your little tummy is full. Love you always and eternally,Mommy

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