This past Friday we lost one of our precious family pets. Mr. Mario in retrospect was the head of our household. Although not the bread winner as the IRS would define head of household, he filled our souls and will be greatly missed.
Unlike the relationship I had with my mother who died in February after a 30 year battle with dementia, Mario had not been feeling well on and off for the past three weeks, yet he always seemed to bounce back, prance around and get into mischief. He was always game.. even for the crazy outfits at Halloween and X-Mas!
Although both losses have been and will continue to be a struggle, it is amazing at the differences and yet similarities. The love, joy and comfort each provided in their own was powerful. Due to the fact that my Mother lived in a nursing home for may years, her energy and presence was not embedded in each and every routine we had as a family.
Waking me up two or three times a night to go outside to go potty… I can now sleep through the night.
Sleep with me starting out laying on top of me, then going under the covers until he was too hot and the routine repeated itself throughout the night… I can now sprawl out in my own bed not worrying about bothering Mario or rolling over on him.
Remind me if I forgot to give him his pills as I was rushing out the door… No longer do I have to worry I might forget his medicine.
Grab the toilet paper and run through the livingroom and up the stairs in delight when someone would forget to shut the bathroom door… Now, bathroom doors can now be left open.
Put his tiny paws on the counter as he would stretch, trying hard to pretend he was not begging when food was being prepared… No longer do I have to gently tap them and tell him to get down.
Anxiously await by my feet as I can clean my make up off, hoping I would drop a facial wipe or Q tip as he had a fetish for paper… No longer do I have to worry I might step on him underway or drop something he should not get.
Bark fearlessly at anything outside and would protect us from anyone trying to enter our home…Now there is silence.
Greet each of us at the door when we came home or get nervous when he saw suitcase getting packed, wondering if he would be going with or not… No more will I since the unconditional love Mr. Mario gave freely wanting to be close to us always.
The list is long of all the things that have change overnight.
Here is just a partial list of loving nic names we had for Mario, now to only be heard when reminiscing.
Littles, Stinky, Mitter Mitter, Baby Boy, Little one…
He is not there to rub his neck against our feet or talk in his whiny bark when he wanted to play. He no longer does he sit on our laps and cuddle as us as we work or relax, or nuzzle us when he wanted to be tucked under his blankets. No longer does he lay across from us and just watch us or comfort us when we are down or celebrate with us when we are joyful.
Mario will not be here to greet my daughters first child, but I know he will be watching over her and protecting her with my parents from their glorious seats in heaven.Although the routines Mr. Mario affected and how he touched people he met, were different from my own Mother, they will both be missed equally for the rest of my life. Each triggering tugs of pain over moments of joy now in the past, unable to have a future to create more. Each has taught the true gift of unconditional love and its importance in this world. Each has taught me the true meaning of compassion, the gift of just being present and valuing what you have in your life today, as it may be lost tomorrow. Each has taught me the critical importance of treating all things well and lovingly.
Although this is a journey none of us willing wants to take, it is natural part of life and a road which can not be avoided. In the days ahead I know I will have a hard time framing my loss in this fashion, but over time I pray to get better at it. Right now my mind accepts this philosophy, but my heart and soul are still grieving wishing life had given us a bit more time together.