Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What Sustains Me.....

It's hard to believe it's already been a week.  How did I make it?  All of these things helped sustain me....

~ THE feather.  I keep it on the dash of the car and, every time I look at it, I feel stronger.  Heaven help me if anything should ever happen to that feather.

~ All of the flowers that were left over from Clara's party.  They're spread throughout the house and they definitely lift my spirits!

~ The calls and emails and concern from our family members.

~ Last Thursday I decided to start a small memorial garden for Hubbell.  I have this run-down little flower garden by our back gate (when I tried to find a photo, I noticed that Hubbell was in  the background of this one!!!!).  I moved the girls' umbrella over to shield the sun. I kneeled down, started weeding and cried my tears into the dirt.   I cleaned and refilled the birdbath. I researched how to deadhead the few Coreopsis plants that are left so that maybe some new growth will appear.  I researched some flowering plants.  I know this will be therapeutic for me.  It already is.  It will be a long-term project because I am terrible at growing flowers but I'll hopefully post a follow-up in the near future.

~ The documentary, "Animal Odd Couples" (available on Netflix and/or preview available here).  Alain put it on one night and I thought my heart would literally burst watching it.  I couldn't stop laughing, smiling or crying.  While we were watching, Alain even said to me, "You and Hubbell were an animal odd couple."  Yes, I suppose we were.  Thank you, Alain.  That show cheered me up immensely ~ you must've known it would!

~ Scout is our lone pet now, at least in this house.  She sometimes chirps at me, sometimes flies around my head and still watches me from the back door when I'm out in the yard/garden.  She makes me smile!  (I will post on Atticus soon.)

~ My other "resident birds" come to the window feeder and sometimes they hang out for a while, even when I'm standing there.  I love to watch them ~ they warm my heart.

~ I stopped telling myself that I should temper my emotions, tears, etc out of fear that people will judge me over being this upset about "just a dog".  I don't really care if people think or say that.  Hubbell was my constant, constant companion and I will mourn him however I see fit.  When I have really hard moments, I light a little memorial candle by his picture.....that is now surrounded by cards from friends.  It's helped me a lot.  Those cards help me a lot!

~ My blogging friends.  Deb, Kay, Louise, Keith, Jan and Rebecca.  Your comments and emails are so precious ~ thank you for caring enough to write, check in on me, etc.

~ Deb sent me this sweet video of her turtle, Rexy (via Instagram). I wish you could have all seen me smiling.  What a sweet gesture!

~ I went to the library and got some new books.  I hadn't read a single page in a single book since May 1st, the day of Hubbell's surgery and the day we learned we'd lose him soon.  If I'm not reading, something is definitely wrong.  Well, I'm now reading "Failure Is Not An Option" by Gene Kranz.  It's amazing.  If you haven't seen the documentary series, "When We Left Earth", please watch it (available on Netflix and/or sometimes replayed on PBS stations).  I also checked out "The Girls of Atomic City" by Denise Kiernan (remember my fixation with the atomic race after reading this book?).   I was so thrilled with I saw this book on the library shelf!  Anyway, I'm reading again so I know I'll be okay! 

~ I wrote a very heartfelt letter to the woman who helped rescue Hubbell and who cared for him until he came to our home.  You can definitely say that she hand-picked him just for me because I was very insistent that I wanted another girl dog.  And she wouldn't back down.  She even tricked me into driving out to her house to meet Hubbell.  Well, of course, once I saw him and spent 30 seconds with him, he was ours!!!! Anyway, Kathy wrote to me all week, sent me a sweet card and then sent me a gardening stone with the words, "If My Love Could've Saved You, You Would Have Lived Forever" (Isn't that the truth?).  She's been an angel and has really looked out for me (just as she once looked out for my guy). She's the only other person I know who has "mothered" Hubbell so I feel a connection with her.  She knows just how special he was!  And she gave me the most precious and wonderful gift.  I feel so thankful.

~ I called the Golden Rescue where Hubbell came from.  I was a board member for several years but fell out of touch during my crazy working years and once I had children.  Well, guess what, I'm back on board to help again and it feels really good to know I might help other Goldens.  I know Hubbell would like that!

~ Last, and maybe most importantly, Alain decided to take some pictures of each of us as we said goodbye on Hubbell's last day.  At the time, I wasn't sure how I felt about this. It seemed a little morbid and I thought I'd never look at such depressing photographs.  Well, I owe a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE thank you to my sweet husband.  It took several days but I did finally look at the pictures.  Wow, it was so damned hard.  They are amazingly beautiful, raw, emotional, and SO FILLED WITH LOVE. I can't share them here out of respect for Hubbell's privacy and I just think they're way too intimate.  But I love these pictures with all of my heart.  I won't look at them often but, when I do, I will always feel thankful to have had a love that strong in my life.  For all of us. This family is so very lucky.


  1. Audrey ~ It is an honor to watch you handle your loss with such grace and dignity. I'm so glad to hear that you are finding comfort in so many different ways - you are really looking for it and then embracing it! I'm also very glad to know that you are not suppressing your emotions. This is an emotional time, and that's what tears are for so feel free to use them!

    I'm also touched to be among those that you feel have helped to lift you up a little during this difficult time! I have thought of you so much over this past week as I look at Lucky and think about how much I love him. Keep taking it a day at a time.

    Gosh, I'm glad we're blog friends! :o) xo

  2. Your posts are beautiful Audrey. You did such a good thing for Hubbell - for his entire life and I know how much he enriched yours and your family's. Please know you are in my thoughts, and I love the idea of a memorial flower garden, it's a very sweet way to keep yourself occupied. I hope you keep on finding things that help you to cope and move forward. I am also really happy to hear you are back on board at the Golden Rescue!
    Sending love and hugs,
    Tia J

  3. I'm glad you stopped yourself from tempering your emotions. there's no such thing as "just a dog" or "just a cat". Our pets become a part of us. They're family and we grieve them as such. My continued thoughts are with you my friend.


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