This is the blog I have been thinking about the last six months. And I’ve been dreading it. Our beloved Taffy died on Sunday, March 15, 2020. After all the struggles to make a decision, she died naturally, on her own terms in our living room. We were all around her as she took her last breath.
Everyone agrees. She was a really sweet, special dog. She was my shadow. I was not her mommy. She was mine. It was clear that her purpose was to watch over me and she never let me forget it.
While my heart hurts every day as I deal with the enormous void that has been left, the worst pain comes from the one I am the mommy to. My 17-year-old son. His loss is the hardest for me to accept.
I can’t really say they grew up together. David was seven when we got her. Taffy was between one and three but no one knows for sure. But I look at this picture which was taken right after we got her. He looks so very little. A young boy, thrilled to have a dog. He had lost his grandma, but he had not known the bitterness yet of losing his father. Or of the five cats in a row that he would lose.
As he got older, the thrill of walking the dog lost its luster as it does for most kids who promise to help with all the extra responsibilities that come with a pet. But he loved her, and Taffy was always very protective of her. Anyone that wrestled with him got an earful from her.
Then came the tragedy that would alter our family forever. Tim designed his headstone. I would bring Taffy here often to walk. The paths were pretty and she liked to roam around. David didn’t accompany us very often. I couldn’t blame him. Frankly, I’m not much of a cemetery person myself.
We stuck together though. Taffy was always part of our Christmas photo. The cat would sadly change often, but Taffy was our steady. She was part of our family, no matter what.
David was absorbed in hockey and was ten-years-old now. His life experiences had aged him far beyond his chronological years. To me, he still looks so young here. Too young to have weathered so much.
Taffy would do things for David that she wouldn’t do for anyone else. The cats were always like that too. He is fun and charismatic with them and they respond to him.
See what I mean?
I never knew what they talked about at times like this, but I imagine you and I would chuckle at their conversations.
Clearly, that chair in front of our window holds a lot of memories.
And then those smart aleck times. This was Mother’s Day when I told him the only thing I wanted was for him to take a walk with Taffy and me. He literally took Taffy for a walk. Taffy doesn’t look like she minded one bit. She was in her favorite place. And she was with her favorite peeps.
And the last Christmas photo we will have together. We will always be a hockey family, but we will no longer have our girl with us. Our steady protector for over ten years.
Watching him grieve over her on our living room was beyond what I could bear as his mother. We knew that it was about our beloved Taffy, but it was also so much more. Whether he knows it or not, I know it is true. Loss after loss. After loss.
I lost my dad when I was 51. He lost his when he was eight. I never saw anyone take their dying breath until I watched my mom pass when I was 40. He watched Taffy die in that manner at age 17. In between, he bravely held his cat while she was euthanized. I just don’t what it is in his head and heart. I don’t imagine he will ever tell me, at least not for a decade or two.
So goodbye my loving, faithful companion. The one who has never left my side, especially during some of the loneliest moments of my life. You will be missed beyond words. But mostly, thank you for loving my boy.