I wrote this the night before last.
Last night was clear, not a cloud in sight to disrupt the evening sky. It was one of those clear nights when airplanes look like fireflies blinking brightly from 35,000 feet up.
"So this is what it feels like to walk pain free," I thought. I breathed in the night air, cool from an unseasonably mild summer day. My back has been in severe pain for weeks now and finally, by some miracle, I am feeling relief. Thank goodness for my heating pad, which has literally been attached at my hip, allowing me to have moments like this, where I get a small glimpse back into the magical world of walking upright.
Last night was one of those lazy summer nights where I battled to keep the warmth from my heating pad from pulling my body into a deep sleep while trying to finish paging through my latest book of choice. In the middle of it all, a sudden movement jerked me back to reality. I looked down to see my phone vibrating, "Dad" showed up on the screen. I don't talk much about my relationship with my parents on here for various reasons, most of all because this is a public space, but I can say that it is somewhat rare for my father to be calling me at 9:30 on a Wednesday night.
"Katie, Odie is acting strange. He is lethargic and just not himself. Can you give me the information for the emergency vet?"
"Sure, of course," I said rolling off the couch cautiously but quickly, as fast as my current condition would allow. I hobbled over to the fridge where our most frequently used magnet hung, waiting to be useful again. I heard some back and forth on the phone, something about no pencils in the house and I told him I would text him the information. He thanked me and the next thing I knew, I was waking up to two emails.
I don't even know why I checked my email right when I woke up of all things. If anything I will scroll through Instagram or read a few Facebook posts, but most days I don't have time for any of that. But this morning it seemed as if by some force, I was drawn to my email. I opened them in chronological order, the first one explained that Odie was in surgery and he had a 50-50 chance. The second one simply said that he had severe liver cancer and did not make it. He was only 7 years old. I found out later that the vet said it was genetic, he was doomed to this fate since the day he was born. I hate typing those words out for a million different reasons, most of all because Odie was my father and my brother's dog. He was the glue to that part of the family, a source of comfort and unconditional love as all dogs are. It was shocking and tragic. No warning, nothing. I remember back in 2007 when our first family dog passed. It was inevitable. He was old and we all knew it was coming. But this, this was one of life's mysteries that I will never figure out. Tragedy so swift and upsetting should not have any place in this world, along with about a million other awful things.
These past few weeks (months really) have been very difficult. I keep surfacing from all of these terrible, crippling events, moving from the negative to embrace the positive, but with each event it gets harder and harder. I am ready to move on from the negative. So for now, I am using this time to remember my father and my brother's best friend who left us on a clear July night.
We will love you always Odie.