Welcome to Murphy's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
Murphy's Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Memorial Residency Image
Memories of Murphy
You taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. For 15 years you were my life. You were by my side through all of the good times as well as the many bad times. You licked the tears away when I was sad and slept beside me, never moving, when I was sick. We shared a bond that not many people understood. After all, how could I possibly love such a temperamental pup the way I did? Well I did and do, and I know you loved me so much too. You had your special ways of showing me. I hope you know how much you are loved and how grateful I am for the life we shared. Because I love you so much, I had to let you go so that you wouldn't suffer anymore. This was my last birthday gift to you. I miss you so much and look for you everywhere. I can still hear your footsteps and I still see you snuggled in your bed. You will be with me always my precious baby.

by Susan A. Jackson

May I go now? Do you think the time is right?
May I say goodbye to pain filled days and endless lonely nights?
I've lived my life and done my best, an example tried to be.
So can I take that step beyond and set my spirit free?
I didn't want to go at first, I fought with all my might.
But something seems to draw me now to a warm and loving light.
I want to go. I really do. It's difficult to stay.
But I will try as best I can to live just one more day.
To give you time to care for me and share your love and fears.
I know you're sad and afraid, because I see your tears.
I'll not be far, I promise that, and hope you'll always know
that my spirit will be close to you wherever you may go.
Thank you so for loving me. You know I love you, too.
That's why it's hard to say goodbye and end this life with you.
So hold me now just one more time and let me hear you say,
because you care so much for me, you'll let me go today.

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep. I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep. I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear, "It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea, You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore. I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care. I want to reassure you, that I'm not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key. I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said "it's me."
You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair. I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It's possible for me to be so near you everyday. To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew, in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning and say "good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide, I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see. Be patient, live your journey out ... then come home to be with me

12/30/11 Hello my sweet boy. It's been almost 4 weeks that you've been gone now and I still look for you everywhere. Christmas just wasn't the same without you. I stayed with Aunt Carla for the weekend and she decorated our room for us. She gave us a little Christmas tree and hung your special ornaments on it because I didn't have the heart to put up our tree this year. She also put a framed picture of you and I from our last day together beside the tree so that I could see your precious face before I closed my eyes each night. Your cousin Riley slept on the floor beside the bed and kept me company. But when I woke up each morning, I still expected to see you. :-( I miss you so much my baby boy, the house is so empty without you. I hope that you are having fun with all of your new friends and are happy now because you are well again. Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and it's hard to believe that I'll be starting this new year without you. I love you so much!!!

5/15/12 Hi baby boy. It's been a while since I've visited but I think about you everyday. I've been fostering dogs for the shelters since the middle of January. At first I felt guilty bringing other pups into your home, but everyone told me that you would be proud of me for helping out those that aren't as lucky as you were. I let them sleep on your beds but I can't bare to let them play with your favorite toys. In fact I keep your favorite stuffed dogs near me at all times. One is on my bed, the other on the couch. I hold them close when I'm missing you most. I'm on my third foster and he is the most needy so far. He reminds me of you in the sense that he is misunderstood. He's really blossoming in my care now and although I've loved all the foster pups so far, none will ever take your place. I still miss you so much that if I think about it for too long, I can't breathe. I finally broke down and ordered your paw print charm for my bracelet and the collar box to put your collar and tags in. I can't wait to see them. I'll post pics when they arrive. I love you my little bunny! xoxoxo

11/19/12 Hi my little muffin man. You've been on my mind a lot lately, as the one year anniversary of our goodbye approaches. It still feels like it was only yesterday. I still miss you so much and think of you daily. I've been keeping very busy but I always have time to think of my little boy. I adopted a very special pup that really needed me, back in August. His name is Tucker and he's a beautiful, sweet, gentle soul. He started out as a foster, but something told me he was my next one. I'd like to think that you were helping me along to make that decision. It's strange because even though I love him with my whole heart, it's such a different love than I have for you. You will always be my heart dog. As the day gets closer, I find myself feeling sadder. I guess it doesn't help that it's so close to Christmas. My memories of you keep me going, though. I can still feel your soft fur and your little wet nose. You were the most beautiful boy ever and I will love you forever. xoxoxo

12/4/12 Hi baby. Happy Birthday! It's so hard to believe that it's been exactly one year since I held you in my arms for the last time. I slept with your ashes the other night and watched videos of you over and over again. There have been so many times that I wished for just one more day or wished that I had done some things differently. But the simple truth is that I never would have been ready. I'm just grateful that I had the strength to realize that you were. You were such a stoic little boy, I knew you wouldn't give me obvious signs...luckily I knew you so well....You were with me for practically a third of my life; so many experiences and milestones in my life and you were the one constant. For a while you were the only reason for me to get up in the morning and the only reason to brush away the tears and smile when I came home. After all, who was I if I wasn't your mom, taking care of you and your latest ailment? ;-) I feel like you took a huge part of me when you left, like I didn't have an identity anymore. But I took that emptiness and turned it into something good. I saved the lives of six precious souls that never had someone to love them and give them everything they needed, like you did. I hope I've made you proud and know that no matter how many pups come into your home, you will never be forgotten. You're the reason I have the passion that I do for animals. You opened my eyes and set me on the most amazing and rewarding journey; I will always be grateful for that. I miss and love you so much my baby boy! xoxoxo

10/11/13 Hello my sweet boy. Even though it's been a long time since I've written, I still think of you every day. I still talk to you, look at your pictures and watch videos of you. I can't believe another anniversary of our goodbye is quickly approaching. It still feels like yesterday and it still hurts so much. I miss you so much my little bunny and still find myself wishing for one more day. If only I could turn back time....Since I adopted Tucker, there have been a few more fosters that have passed through; ironically, all girls! Cassie has been with us since February and it looks like she may become a permanent family member. If she does, my fostering days will probably be over but I'm still dedicated to helping the shelter dogs in other ways. Cassie is a silly little girl who has some trust issues as well. It's funny, I always said that after years of dealing with such a complicated pup like you, that I would make sure the next one would be easy. Instead, I now have two with their own problems! LOL! I guess that's really my calling. Anyone can handle the easy ones right? It takes someone with a lot of love and understanding to deal with the difficult ones. You don't know how many times people told me I was crazy for the lengths I went to for you. But I have no regrets. I made a commitment to you and I had every intention of keeping it. You were my whole life and at times my only reason for living. I love and miss you so much. xoxoxo

12/4/13 Happy Birthday my baby boy! It's hard to believe another year has gone by already and it's been another year without you. My life is going well; I'm happy, in love....but even with all that is wonderful in my life right now, it still feels so strange without you. I'll never forget my life with you and how you helped me to find the inner strength and independence that I thought I had lost. I think of our life together even more now as it helps to also remind me of happier times with your grandma. You see she's got Alzheimer's and it's slowly taking her from us and she's becoming a shell of her former self. I miss my mom so much and our talks and how she was always there when I needed her. I think of the two of you and how you would beg at the dinner table. I never allowed you to have scraps because of your allergies, but your grandma couldn't resist your charms. She always snuck you a little something when she thought I wasn't looking. ;-) How I wish for just one more meal with the two of you, both healthy, alert & happy........ I ended up adopting Cassie on 11/16/13. I told her about you this morning and how she'd love you and want to play with you, but you probably wouldn't want to. ;-) Tucker is more your speed. You two could have co-existed nicely just like you and Riley always did. They're both sweet babies that really needed me. I love and adore them but you'll always be my heart dog. No matter how much time goes by, I'll never stop loving and missing you! You're a part of me and with me everywhere I go. I love you so much my sweet baby boy! xoxoxo

12/4/14 Hello my precious boy! Can you believe it's been another year already?! Where does the time go? These last three years without you have flown by so fast; it's so hard to believe that today I sit here celebrating another one of your birthdays without you. The last several months have been especially hard on me, which is why I've been away for so long. It's not that you haven't been on my mind, in fact, it's quite the opposite. Ron asked me to move in with him this past summer. It made me happy & I knew it was the right thing to do after being together almost three years, but there was one thing that made the decision very painful for me. The thought of selling the home that you & I shared together for so many years just about ripped my heart out. Every time I would go there to pack, I swear I would see you run by me or feel you beside me. I was afraid that I was leaving you and all of our memories behind and that you wouldn't be with me in my new home. But the truth is that you are with me everywhere I go because you're always in my heart. Not only are you in my heart but you still come to me in my dreams and I still look at your pictures everyday. I keep your ashes on the fireplace mantle. Yes, we finally have a fireplace again! Remember how we used to nap in front of the one in our house in Holly Springs before we moved to the townhouse? That was one of the things I missed most about that house. It's still very chaotic right now and Tucker is having a difficult time adjusting to the new situation. But every once in a while I'm able to find a few quiet moments to sneak away and look through our photos and think about our times together. Once things settle down I made a vow that I would finally work up the courage to start working on your scrapbook. I think 3 years is long enough....I know I can do this without falling apart! ;-)Our home went to a lovely woman and her child who really needed a new start; just like you and I did all those years ago. After meeting Cheri, it made it a little easier to let go. We've stayed in touch, which I think may make things easier as well. It will be nice to always have that connection to our past. So as this Christmas season is approaching, a new chapter in my life is starting and it feels so strange not to have you here with me. But don't you worry, you may not be here physically, but I carry you with me always. Happy Birthday baby boy. I love you so much!!! xoxoxo

11/23/15 Hello my sweet little bunny! It's been a while since my last visit. You're always in my heart, but as always, this time of year makes me even more nostalgic and memories of you weigh even heavier on my heart. The Christmas cactus that your Aunt Carla gave to me a few years ago on the anniversary of your passing is in full bloom. It blooms every year just for you and it always makes me smile and think of you. Oh how I miss you my baby boy. Every time I see a little fluffy dog I think of my Murphy and tell Ron that I want a dog just like you again one day. Not that anyone could ever replace you....there will only ever be one Murphy....but to see a cute fluffy face like yours again would do my heart good. Don't get me wrong, I love & adore our 4 fur kids. We almost lost our sweet Cassie this past summer and it nearly destroyed me. In true form, I went into major debt to save her life (just as I did to give you a great quality of life) and I have no regrets. I'm just grateful every single day that she's alive and greets me with her silly little wiggle butt and sloppy kisses. I never take a single day that I have with her for granted and she's even more spoiled than she was before! Thank you again for opening up my heart and setting me on this incredible, yet often times painful journey of loving animals as much as I do. I have to admit sometimes I get impatient with Tucker because he's so needy. You were such the opposite of him that I got used to you not wanting or needing very much attention. I always said I wished you were more needy, well be careful what you wish for lol! ;-) Last time I wrote, I had just sold our home & moved in with Ron. Well, it's been a very crazy, hectic year, but we have gotten a lot done around the house. It actually feels more like home to me now. Ron also proposed to me and we're getting married 7/1/16! So I've also been busy planning a wedding. Sometimes it makes me sad that you & Ron never got a chance to know each other. I wish he knew more about that part of my life. But I tell him stories all the time and there are lots of pictures, so you are never forgotten. Maybe you've even met his boy Cody who left him way too soon. You both are still very much a part of our blended family and sit on the mantel where we see you everyday. Well, I'll be back on your birthday sweet boy. Just wanted to check in to give you some updates and tell you how much I love and miss you. Love your mommy xoxoxo

12/4/15 Happy Birthday my sweet baby boy!! You would have been 19 years old today! It's so hard to believe when I can still remember the tiny, 4 pound, furry bundle of joy that your daddy & I brought home that fateful Friday night. I put you on a pillow on my lap and held you all night long. It was instant love for me. I can remember not wanting to leave you Monday morning when it was time to go to work & how I almost cried at the thought of you being alone & scared all day. You were such a hit with everyone that met you! The neighborhood kids would knock on the door & ask if you could come out to play! I remember one time, after you had run around with them all day, I picked you up & cradled you in my arms & next thing I heard was the sound of you snoring lol! You were such a smart puppy & learned your basic commands with ease. You just became stubborn as you got older & chose when you would do them. But I'm so glad that we did all that training because it came in handy later when you lost your hearing. I was so grateful that we could still communicate with each other. The years flew by for us, didn't they? It was always just you & me....you were always that one constant in my life & looking back, sometimes I feel guilty because I feel like I should have been there for you more. I know you were such a stoic boy that didn't seek out much affection, but that doesn't mean I should have stayed gone as long as I did at times. If I could go back & change anything, I would have spent more quality time with you. I know I tried so hard to reach you at times; sometimes it worked, sometimes not so much. But I know you loved me and were grateful for all that I had done for you. The most precious gift you gave me was that last week before I let you go. We were in bed one morning & you came up to me and kissed my face. You were always stingy with kisses, so that meant the world to me. I took that as a thank you because you knew what I was about to do for you & to thank me for all that I had done. God how I miss you! I wish I could turn back time...I want to hold you again...I want your grandma to have her memory back...I want your cousin Riley to be young & spry again...yes he's getting on in years & my heart is breaking at the thought of him leaving us too one day soon. My heart aches so much sometimes it's hard to breathe! I just want things the way they were, except I want Ron, Cassie & the boys to all be a part of that too. Is that too much to ask? It hurts me that Ron never knew you or your grandma, before you both got sick. It hurts me that I can't talk about my wedding with her or that I can't dress you up and have you be part of our special day. But you will be there in spirit and in my heart always. Your Aunt Carla brought me flowers, like she does every year, to remember your birthday & to ease my broken heart. She hasn't forgotten you. Neither has Dr. Sands, who misses you very much too. You were very loved my sweet angel; then, now & always. Until next time....run free my love......xoxoxoxo

3/24/16 Hi sweet boy! Some sweet person left me a message the other day in your guestbook & it brought me here today. It's amazing that after all these years, the simple act of a stranger in regards to you can open up the floodgates and have me sobbing as if I just lost you yesterday. I've been thinking about you a lot lately & missing you. I'm usually good at compartmentalizing. It's the only way I can stay sane sometimes. Because when I truly allow myself to think about certain things for too long, you for example, I can't bare the pain & I feel like I can't breathe. This weekend is Easter Sunday & Ron's parents are coming to visit. His mom is going to help me address the wedding invitations. I can't believe the wedding is just a little over 3 months away. I still sometimes feel guilty that I started a whole new chapter without you, but then I know I've done so much good in your honor too. I always think about the poem "A Dog's last Will & Testament". The last line is "I leave to you the love I left behind...it's all that I have to give" Well I made sure I gave that love to lots of doggies along the way and that the 4 babies at home right now receive all that I have to give. All because of you my sweet little bunny. Happy Easter! I love you so much!!! xoxoxo

11/22/16 Hello my sweet baby boy! I'm sorry it's been so long since I've visited. I think about you always and stare at your pictures everyday, it's just that life has been crazier than normal lately. Ron & I had the most beautiful wedding on 7/1/16...it was perfect! Even your grandma was able to come. But a few days later, our house was struck by lightening and caught fire. Since then our lives have been turned upside down! The most upsetting thing to me was that I lost all of your toys, blankets, food bowl & mat that I had saved. I was crushed!!! I kept them all in pristine condition & now they're all gone! I also lost all of the Christmas ornaments that I had bought for you over the years. The picture ones, the bone, your stocking & stocking holder....they're all gone too & if think about it for too long I break down. I started crying in a Christmas ornament store last week while trying to pick a new one out for you. I promise that you will always be represented in our home. You will always be my baby! I find myself crying a lot these days as the holidays approach & the anniversary of you leaving me. Thankfully your ashes, the custom box with your collars & your winter coat were spared, so I still have some things to hold on to physically, even though I hold on to my memories always. Your aunt Carla, as always, has been so sweet and understanding. She knows me too well! She brings me things, like decorations that we made together, just when I need them the most. She knows I'm a sentimental sap that attaches memories to the simplest of things. Your birthday is in less than 2 weeks & I promise that I'll be back. For now I must go, but know you're always in my heart. I love you my sweet little bunny! xoxoxo

12/5/16 Happy Birthday my sweet baby boy! I still find it hard to believe that our journey together started 20 years ago! So much has happened in all those years and it hurts that I have had to go on without you for the last 5. I'm so sorry that I'm a day late....I thought of you all day but I was very sick last week and I had a terrible headache yesterday. I couldn't bring myself to come here sobbing only to make the pain worse. Your Aunt Carla called to check on me, just like she always does. I'm having dinner with her on Wednesday. She gets me....she knows this holiday season is extremely hard for me. Not only am I missing you, but we're still in the rental house & all my precious mementos are gone. Ron & I went out and bought new things, trying to create new memories together. But after we put the tree up & hung the ornaments, I couldn't help staring, thinking this isn't mine. It's just a pretty creation I made for someone else. Maybe in time I'll feel different....Why do I have such a hard time with change & letting go? Sometimes I don't even tell Ron how I'm feeling because I don't want to hurt his feelings or make him feel like our life together isn't enough. Because it is! He is such a wonderful man and I'm so grateful and lucky to share a life with him. I only wish he came along sooner & spared us some of the pain we had to endure to get here. I wish you could have had the time to love him as much as I do. But it's OK because he knows how strong the love I have for you is and he respects the hell out of it. The day we were in the store and I was crying while I picked out an ornament for you, I apologized for being so emotional & silly. He just held me, kissed the top of my head and told me I wasn't silly. I'm going to try to pick out a picture of you tonight to put in the frame of the ornament. It will be nice to look back on all our wonderful memories together. I need that so much. Sadly, your Christmas cactus didn't bloom in time for your birthday. :( I'm not sure if it will. I don't know if the smoke from the fire & the shock of moving has anything to do with it, or if it somehow knows that things just aren't right this year. Well sweetie, I hope you're having fun up there and have made lots of friends. I truly hope we see each other again one day and not just in my dreams. I love you my little bunny!!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

12/4/17 Happy Birthday my sweet angel! You would have been 21 today and legal to drink, lol! I still remember how you would try to grab a sip from Uncle Scott's beer! I've been thinking about you a lot and missing you. This weekend was especially tough. I went to see your grandma & grandpa. It's been a very hard year for dad health wise and taking care of mom. Mom was having a bad day, she slept most of it & was very despondent. When I tried to help her get up and go to the bathroom, she didn't want my help. She kept yelling at me, grabbing my arm and pushing it away. It was an exhausting day, both physically & emotionally, that left me so depressed. I couldn't sleep and just cried yesterday morning. Ron was so sweet, he just held me and never asked what was wrong....he knew. That, along with thinking of the anniversary of another year without you has been too much to bear. I've been out of touch with friends lately and that has me feeling guilty, especially after finding out that my dear friend Dianne recently had surgery to remove a cancerous mass. I just don't feel like talking to anyone because I'm depressed. I've been telling myself to stop this and that I have do much to be grateful for. But sometimes it gets the better of me. We moved back home in March and are all settled in. It took a while to adjust but things have been good. I put the Christmas tree up last weekend and it reminded me of all we lost in the fire. I know being alive and healthy is most important, but thinking about those things that can never be replaced just brings up memories for me. Especially of you at this time of year, which in turn brings back a flood of other memories. The restoration company surprised us when we moved back in. They managed to salvage one box of Christmas ornaments from the attic. In that box were 2 of your ornaments. It meant more than ever this year to hang them on our tree. Well my little man, until next time....I love you and miss you forever!!! xoxoxoxo

12/4/18. Happy birthday my little man! I've been thinking about you all day, but for some reason I was finding it difficult to come here today. My depression hasn't gotten much better since last year, it hurts so much for me to focus on our past together for too long sometimes. Although, the one good thing about me thinking about it all that time, is that it usually makes you come to me in my dreams. I treasure those times so much. They feel so real and I get to hold you and feel you again. Sometimes you're young and healthy, other times you're older and I'm worried about you. There was even one time recently when mom was in the same dream. She was healthy and I was so happy! I could hear her old voice again and how we used to talk. As time goes on, it's hard for me to remember the last time we had a normal conversation and the last time she actually knew who I was. It's scary getting older and sometimes I wonder if the same thing will happen to me. As the years pass, and the longer you're gone, I don't want the memory of you to become distant. I keep you alive in my heart every day. I stare at the pictures on my digital frame at work every day. My favorite one is from my birthday 2009. You and I went to Lake Johnson with aunt Carla, uncle Scott and Riley. The picture is of you standing at the edge of the water looking out. The breeze blew the hair on your ears; you looked so beautiful and peaceful, even though your face can't be seen. I remember how you got so tired and couldn't walk anymore, so I carried you for as long as I could then Aunt Carla went to get the car and rescue us. I put our Christmas tree up last weekend and I was sad because I only have 2 of your original ornaments. But it was a little easier to cope than it had been for the last 2 Christmases. It feels good to be completely settled back into our home after the fire. Around this time last year, we hadn't been back in the house for very long, so I was still a bit unsettled. I have to admit I feel like I have a little PTSD. I can't stop worrying that somehow something bad will happen to us again. I try not to let it consume me. Well my love, it's late and I probably should go to bed. I just couldn't let this day end without letting you know that I still think of you and miss you every day. I love you always my little muffin man! XOXOXO

12/4/19 Hello my little muffin man. Another year has flown by and once again I'm here to let you know you haven't been forgotten. It's been a really tough year for me. I thought the year of the fire was the worst year of my life, but it doesn't compare to the hell that has been 2019. So much loss and sadness. Your cousin Riley passed away on 7/2, he was almost 17 years old. He was as huge a part of my life as you were. I have so many wonderful memories of him staying with us while Aunt Carla and Uncle Scott went on vacations. Or the countless sleepovers we had at their house, when we would come home and find you on a piece of furniture that you shouldn't have been on LOL! You know I loved him as if he were my own and I was crushed when Carla told me after-the-fact that he had passed. I never had a chance to say goodbye to him and I wasn't there with him at the end, like she was with you. Then on 8/20 your grandpa passed away. He was 91 years old. We had finally moved your grandparents into assisted living back in March. Mom needed round the clock care and dad was too weak to do it on his own. Home health care wasn't enough anymore. It seems like the minute they moved in to the assisted living facility, dad just started going downhill fast. Sometimes I think he felt that now that mom was being taken care of, he didn't have to hold on anymore. It was heartbreaking to watch him suffer in the end. You know we didn't always have the best relationship, but he really depended on Carla and I over the last few years and that brought us closer. Now I'm drowning in a sea of emotions and I feel like an orphan. Even though mom is still here with us, she's not mom anymore. It hurts so much to go visit her and see her in the condition she's in and yet it hurts so much to think of her not being here at all. In addition to all this, I was sick for a while which has made everything even more difficult to cope with. I had some sort of autoimmune reaction to a new medication that I was prescribed. I've been struggling to come back from that and I'm doing better but still not perfect. I am praying that 2020 is a better, kinder year. I feel so lost at times and scared. As the years go by and I get older and experience loss, it makes me think of my own mortality and what the future holds for me. I'm terrified that I will wind up like my mom and have no one to look out for me. I long for the days when you and I were together, young, healthy & content. I think back to the days when I would drive home on my lunch hour to take you for a walk and hang out for a little bit before heading back to work. I treasured those quiet walks in the sunshine when it felt like you & I had the neighborhood completely to ourselves. I wish I could turn back time, but sadly I can't. I know I need to focus on the here and now and be grateful for everything that is good in my life, but sometimes I can't help but to be so sad. The other day I was putting up the Christmas tree (I didn't want to but Ron convinced me it would be a good thing) while listening to Christmas music. I was so melancholy and then "You raise me up" came on. It's the song that plays here for you. Well I just broke down and sobbed. Once again Ron was there to hold me and put me back together. I love coming back here and reflecting on all my past visits to you. I am so grateful that you still come to me in my dreams. I'm especially grateful when mom and dad are part of those dreams too. I love you so much and hope and pray that Riley and dad have found you and that you're all together again, healthy and at peace. Happy birthday my little man. Until the next time... xoxoxo ❤️

12/4/23 Happy Birthday my little muffin man! I can't believe I let so much time go by since I last wrote. I honestly didn't realize how long it had been! It's not because I don't think of you, because I do. It's just as the years go by, I struggle more and more with depression. When I last wrote, we had just lost Dad and Riley. Well things just kept getting worse. Bernie suddenly and unexpectedly passed away on 12/27/19. He died at home and it was very traumatic for me to come home and find him and Ron on the living room floor. I felt guilty for not pushing Ron to bring Bernie to the vet days earlier when he wasn't acting right. 2 days later, we rushed Tucker to the emergency vet. The thyroid tumor that the vet finally found, after months of me telling them something was wrong, caused him to go into congestive heart failure. He no longer was a candidate for the surgery to have the tumor removed. All we could do was give him meds and love him for as much time as we had left. On April 14, 2020 we said goodbye to our silly hound. I still have a hard time reliving that day. It brought me back to the day when I had to say goodbye to you. It's so hard making that decision and hoping that you're doing the right thing. Sometimes I feel selfish, like it was easier than dealing with the hardship of taking care of a sick baby. But I also didn't want either of you to suffer, and I truly feel you were suffering. To make matters worse, the Covid pandemic hit and shut everything down. I could only visit your grandma through a window or outside, 6 feet away from her. She was withering away to nothing but skin and bones. Your Aunt Carla and I got permission to bring her presents and cookies for her 89th birthday. A few weeks later, she contracted Covid and we were called and informed she was beginning to transition. Carla and I sat by her bedside for 5 days in hazmat suits, playing Frank Sinatra and talking to her. She passed away in the early hours of Christmas morning. Christmas will never be the same without my parents and without finding you sleeping on the skirt under the Christmas tree. Please know that you still come to me in my dreams, even after all these years. My parents and Tucker come to me also. Sometimes you're all younger and healthy, sometimes you're all older and just like you were before you passed. I'm so grateful for those dreams because for a little while, I'm with you all again. I miss you all so much and love you all so much. If there really is a heaven, I hope you're all together, waiting for me. I love you so much my sweet baby boy. I promise to not wait so long until the next time xoxoxo

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