|Rudy & I|
In truth, an "anniversary" is nothing more than a date... an annual reminder of the specific day that a certain event occurred, in some previous year.
Therefore, the anniversary date itself... holds no power.
Really, it's just another day of the year.
And yet, we give certain dates so much power over us... (for obvious reasons.)
That's because... on that day... however long ago... something happened... and our lives changed forever.
Sometimes... for better.
Sometimes... for worse.
"Happy" anniversaries provide us with the chance to celebrate, to come together, to reminisce.These are the dates that give us something to look forward to, something to smile about, something to be proud of.
Those "good" anniversaries... have their way of making everything else... seem worthwhile.
But then... there are the "other" anniversaries. The tragic anniversaries.
The anniversaries that simply exist... as painful reminders... of the days we'd like to forget.
Often, in our minds, the devastating anniversaries seem to hold even more power than the positive ones.
Because those particular dates have their way...
of bringing the pain of our past...
into our present.
The anniversary of a tragic life event can take us right back to that day... to the very moment it happened.
And no matter how much time has passed...
No matter how hard we've tried to let go...
No matter how much we've worked to move forward...
Each year, on that anniversary date, we're right back there... re-living the worst day of our lives.
We don't want to go back to the pain.
We don't want to remember the loss.
We don't want to accept our reality.
Regardless... that anniversary date says: You have to. It's real. It's time.
Even still... anniversaries are only able to do these things to us, because we allow them to do so...
We give that specific date... so much power over us.
And yet, we just can't help ourselves.
We still wish it wasn't true.
We still hope we'll just wake up.
We still... miss them.
That's why I'm writing today.
In just 2 days, July 8th will be here...
On July 8, 2010, I experienced the sudden, unexpected, devastating loss of my angel pup, Rudy. Two years later, I still mourn his death.
When I saved Rudy, so long ago, he was emaciated, sick, and broken. Further, he was suffering from advanced heartworm disease, due to the neglect of his past.
Soon, he underwent heartworm treatment for his condition. And... because he was so young, I prayed he'd simply bounce right back, and go on to live a long, happy, healthy life... with me, his mom.
Yet, much of the damage to Rudy's heart was irreversible. Therefore, I was always overly-protective of him and insanely-aware of his special needs.
When it came to Rudy, I did everything I could. I gave everything I had. I loved with everything I was.
Even still... God had other plans...
On July 8, 2010, Rudy had a sudden, fatal, heart attack. I came home... to find the dead body of my son. He was just 3 years old.
I never got to say goodbye.
It was the worst day of my life.
It was the fateful, tragic day... that changed all the days after.
Before that day, July had always been my favorite month of the year. It represented summer, and sun, and fun. Plus, it's my birthday month.
So, in years prior, when July rolled around, I was always pretty-darn excited for my upcoming b'day on 7/11.
However, the past 2 years have been much different for me.
July just isn't the same... my birthday just isn't the same... my life just isn't the same.
Instead, when July 1st arrives, I brace myself...
Just seven more days... until July 8th gets here.
While I try to avoid the heartbreaking mental countdown toward that date, I just can't help myself. No matter how much I try to distract my mind, I'm always increasingly-aware of the upcoming anniversary of Rudy's death.
As I sit here today, with yet-another July 8th right around the corner...
I just wish I could hit Rewind.
Or maybe even Stop.
Or at the very least... Pause.
Unfortunately... life just doesn't work that way.
Honestly, the anniversary of Rudy's death is so much more than a heartbreaking reminder of the painful events of that tragic day... the day that broke my heart, changed my life, and changed me... so long ago.
There's also the realization... that yet-another year has passed... without my Rudy.
He's really gone... forever.
He's never coming back.
For me, it's the day that somehow makes his death... even-more official.
The day that makes it... real... all over again.
The day that seems to represent the undeniable truths... of the reality I so desperately wish to deny.
And... worst of all...
It's the day when I have to acknowledge...
that I'm so much farther away...
from the last time I held my baby.
For 2 years now, I've been desperately clinging to every possible memory of my little boy. And yet... each day, I can feel him slipping further away from me.
Today, certain things are a little harder to recall.
Certain memories have become a little foggy.
Certain moments with him... have almost left me altogether.
While these realizations break my heart to pieces... I guess that's just how the mind moves on.
As much as we wish to retrieve every moment, every detail, and every encounter in the past...
We simply can't remember everything.
Because if we held onto every past memory, then there'd be no room for all the present memories...
Thus, our current reality... would cease to exist.
Which means... no matter how much we try to hold on...
At some point... the past begins to slip away from us...
Regardless, my love for Rudy will never waver, never change, and never leave me.
I'll never stop needing him.
I'll never stop missing him.
I'll never stop wishing he was here.
Honestly, even as I write these words today... it's so hard to describe the way I truly feel... about my Rudy, and the loss of my baby. He is, was, and always will be... everything to me.
But... here's my best attempt to explain myself:
I save dogs for a living. That's what I do. Animal rescue is my passion, my drive, my purpose. It's my life. For me, my dogs are my children.
I rescue them; I love them; I provide them with hope, homes, and futures.
In doing these things, my heart breaks, on a daily basis. I'm forced to see things, to experience things, and to overcome things... I'm not quite ready for.
And sometimes... it's just too much.
Through my work, I have to let go of my "children" ... the children I love so deeply, in order to send them off to their new forever families.
Despite the pain, I always sought refuge... from my own son... my angel dog, Rudy.
And yet... no matter how many dogs I tried to save... the one dog I wanted for my very own, was taken from me, at such a young age.
Now... he's gone.
I couldn't save him.
While our time on Earth with our pets is never long enough... most people are blessed to spend many, many years with their beloved dogs.
And even though I was beyond blessed to experience Rudy's love... if even for just one second of my life... I can't help but feel like I was cheated... and like he was cheated, out of all those future years we deserved to have together.
He deserved that.
I deserved that.
For 2 years now, I've been forced to spend each day without my Rudy. If he were still alive today, he'd only be 5 years old.
He was so young.
It was too soon.
There was no warning... no time to prepare... no chance to say goodbye.
It's just insanely unfair.
And yet... as I've said many times before, the void in my heart after Rudy's death... was ultimately the catalyst for change in my life.
I'd always had BIG dreams...
Of saving more lives through rescue,
Of owning my own business,
Of being, doing, changing more...
But... in truth, while Rudy was in my life... I was so happy, so loved, so content. At that point in time, there was no need to reach for more. I had Rudy. I had everything.
Back then... I did my best to rescue as many dogs as I could, with what I had, from my home...
But no matter what I did, or didn't do-- I had my Rudy.
Then... at the moment he left me... everything changed.
I almost had to reach for something else... for something more... just to occupy my time... to distract myself from the pain.
Lucky Dog Retreat, Lucky Dog Rescue, Lucky Dog Rescue Blog, and Pet Pardons.
Almost 2 years later...
As I look back on my life...
I can't ignore the truth...
Any dream I've ever had for myself... has come true...
because Rudy lived,
and because Rudy died.
Because I loved Rudy.
And because Rudy loved me.
Nothing... not even death... could ever take that away from us.
In just 2 days... it'll be 2-full-years... since I last saw your face.
Every day since... I've longed for you.. I've wished for you... I've hoped for you.
For me, those feelings will never, ever go away. No matter how long I live... no matter how much time passes, there will never be a day when I don't need you anymore.
Even still... since your death, SO MANY lives have been saved... simply because you lived. I'm constantly in awe of your impact on my life... and on the lives of so many other deserving rescue dogs.
While there will never be another YOU on this Earth...
I'll always live... through you.
And you'll always live... through me.
Because I'm your mom, and that's what moms do. They love... forever.
I'll be there soon, baby boy.
I can't wait to see you again.
*Check back later for my follow-up to this post!
CLICK HERE to read all of my blogs about Rudy
CLICK HERE to read all of my blogs about Rudy