Catch

The other day, my cat Sammy was lying on the couch, when my other cat Autumn jumped up next to him. She looked at Sammy for a few seconds, and then started to slowly lick him and clean him all over his face and neck. This went on for awhile. Then, she sort of kissed his nose a bit, and slowly sat herself down right next to Sammy, leaning against him, and they both went to sleep. In the midst of this, I ran to grab my cell phone and find the video option so I could take video of this unbelievable sight. As I looked through my phone's video, catching only the last few seconds of this madness, I started to cry.

I was crying because this was the first time ever since we brought Sammy home, that Autumn went up to Sammy and didn't attack him or growl at him or swipe her paw at him violently. I cried because my husband and I got Sammy at the rescue shelter, just days after Autumn's sister Ginger died suddenly from a blood clot at age 3, and Autumn never really accepted Sammy into her life, until now. I cried because whenever Autumn used to randomly attack Sammy and Sammy would cower away and back down, Don would cheer him on, saying: 'Come on, Sammy. Don't put up with that. Fight back, buddy! Come on! One day you'll be friends. You will. Just give her some time. " I was crying because this was that day - and Don wasn't here to witness it with me. And I was really crying because I still, even after three and a half years, instinctively picked up that phone to film them, with the intention of showing the video to Don later. Three years, and this is still my immediate response when something happens in life. I have to tell Don this. I gotta call hiim. Let me record this so I can show it to him later. It still takes me a few seconds to remember what I never really forgot - he is gone. He will never witness the video or see the tape or watch the TV show or check out what our niece did the other day that was so cute, or anything else, ever again.

That really sucks. I mean, having to come to that same realization, over and over again, really sucks a lot. It sucks that he cannot see the relationship between our two furry monster children changing. But you know what sucks even more about it? The fact that nobody else on earth cares about that moment. That tiny moment, which would be SO significant and meaningful to me and my husband, is significant to absolutely nobody else, except us. There is literally nobody I could have called or hunted down in that moment, who would have understood what it meant, or why I was so moved by it, or who would have genuinely cared with everything inside of them about this, the way that Don would have. That is what sucks about it most. And there are a billion and one other moments just like that one - they happen all the time - moments that only matter to me and Don. Jokes that only we would get. References that only he understands. On and on and on .......

How does one fill this very specific and particular void that is left behind when your partner dies? How? I don't know. I don't think you do. I don't think it's possible. I think it just continues to suck each and every time that one of those moments happens, and you just sort of learn to live with the silence of not being able to tell your person about the latest thing that only he would care about. It feels like a sentence that needs finishing. It resembles a ball being thrown, and stopping in mid-air somehow, never caught by another person. It mirrors standing on a tightrope, up in the sky, nothing below, nowhere to go. Not moving forward or backward, nobody on the other side to fall into; but just balancing - swaying - holding on.

At first, it is shocking to feel such unwavering dizziness. It is shattering to have things happen, and then have nowhere to put them, nobody to acknowledge them with. But after awhile, it becomes the norm, and the moments that meant something to only you and him - they fade into the walls like cloudy air, and become nothing but piles of fragments and dust. It's kind of like that old riddle: If a tree falls in the forest, and no-one is there to hear it .......

Well, you know the rest.


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