by Vicki Cheek
Nov. 2, 2016


I miss you, Bandita, so much!!
It has only been a week and the pain is still at the “hard-to-breathe” stage. I hate walking into this house. You are not here to greet me at the door. Your absence is so palpable. This house is just not the same with you gone. It feels as if the life has been sucked out of this house. It is silent and does not even seem like a home anymore just a place where I come to sleep.

When I drive up to the house and pull into the driveway, I sit in the car and start sobbing – dreading to go inside. I get out of the car slowly and reluctantly. When I get to the front porch steps, I am still crying and my pace starts getting slower and slower. I look up at the front door just dreading to go in. When I finally do force myself to walk in, I start sobbing and wailing as the waves of emotion wash over me that you are gone and you are not ever coming back. All the memories of all the times you greeted me at the door or came running when I called you come flooding back. It feels like someone is ripping my heart from my chest. It is so intense. The silence is deafening. A feeling of hopelessness settles in. Sometimes I cannot handle it and I have to leave the house. However, this remedy is short-lived because I have to come back eventually. When I do stay, I try to keep my mind occupied by doing mundane chores or losing myself on the internet. That works to a point until it is time to go to bed. I try to stay awake long into the night to avoid that time, hoping that when I do go to bed, I am so exhausted that I will fall asleep immediately. However, the crying starts again. You always came to bed with me. If you did not beat me in there, I would soon hear the pitter-patter of your paws after I was settled. You had your own bed next to mine. I would always, and still do to this day, tell you “goodnight Bandypants, I love you baby”. I am crying so bad at that point that I ask my guardian angels to help me get through the pain so I can fall asleep. That usually works along with the exhaustion and I fall asleep. When I wake up in the morning and look over to where you are no longer sleeping - the crying starts again.

Dear Lord, it hurts so much – down to the core of my being – down to my very soul. I did not think it would be this bad. It was not as if I did not know this day was coming. I put it off as long as I could. Everyone kept telling me that I was in denial because you would have bad days and then good days. I wanted to give you as much time as I possibly could. I would want someone to do the same for me. I took you riding as much as I was able since I had to work every day without a day off. I hold a lot of resentment because that was my last little bit of time with you and I feel that I was robbed of that time – it is not anything that I can ever get back.

At first, we could ride for hours, only pulling over when you let me know you needed to get out. I could see your nose sticking out the backside window when I looked in my side mirror. I used to get the biggest kick out of that. Then, as time went on, the rides got shorter and shorter. Still, we had our last ride at lunchtime before you had to go that day. I can still see you in the backseat when Larry dropped me off at work. You were sitting up in the back seat with your ears perked up looking at me as if you were thinking, “Where are you going mom?” That is my last memory of you and I see it every single day. Oh God, it hurts so much. I know you wondered why I was not going all the way down to the vet with you and that kills me. I am so sorry but I could not go with you. I was too upset and did not want you to sense that, which you would have instantly. I was a coward and I am so sorry. I will have to live with that guilt for the rest of my life.

I did not want you to get to the point where you were actually hurting. I hope that was not the case. The Lasix was not working anymore and the fluid had built up so much that it looked like you had swallowed two watermelons. The vet told me that it would get to the point where you would drown in your own fluids. When I could see that it was getting close to that time, I bought you steaks, beef tips, chicken breasts, and turkey to eat. Anything you wanted to eat that would not poison you was okay with me.

That last night, I could tell that you were miserable trying so hard to get comfortable. When your breathing became more labored, I knew it was time. I could tell from the look in your eyes that you were over it.

I am supposed to be thankful that I had you for as long as I did and I am thankful. I took you for granted for a long time, which is also something that I will have to live with.

If there is really a Heaven, which I have all my life fully believed with all my heart, then we will see each other and be together once again. I hold on to that hope. That is the only thing that keeps me going. Every once in a while a thought will creep into my mind that I would be much happier in that other existence than the one I am in now. If not, then Heaven, for me, is not real. It would only be Heaven for me if I could see and be with all those I loved who have gone on before me – my furbabies included. This is the only thing that keeps me going because some days, I do not even want to get up and face a new day without those I have lost. One thing I have learned in my old age is that you cannot have anything great in life without the pain that eventually comes with it.

RIP: Bandita, my “Bandypants”
You are sorely missed.
March 2006 - October 27, 2016
Until we are together again …..
Comments would be appreciated by the author, Vicki Cheek
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