I wanted to take a second this morning and thank my friends and family. These past couple of weeks have been some of the hardest--if not THE hardest--I've ever faced. I have felt everyone's love and encouragement and prayer in an unexplainable way. God has truly surrounded me with the best relationships and He is truly with me, despite my miserable failings every day.
I know there is not much one can say to help the situation, but I want you to know your presence is enough. I wanted to share a few wonderful examples. Sunday (Easter) I went to church then immediately left for Searcy. The pain was still very fresh. When it was time to come back to Little Rock, I pulled up to my house but could not go in. The silence was deafening in my house. So I walked down to my neighbor (and more importantly...friends) Daniel and Gabe's house. As I finally came to terms with having to go home I walked back and my friend Zak was in the driveway, waiting for me. He was an answered prayer...to walk into my house with me and just hang out. I told Zak later that he is very much my little brother in all but blood and I mean it. What a tremendous, selfless act!
I pretty much took the week off from work, except going in to teach my labs and be there for a few hours when summer registration opened. Each night, my friends from community group were there for me. Monday was community group and as it concluded I found myself in the same state of fear and sadness about going home. Michael and Rebekah were dropping off a car at the airport for a friend and I rode along. Tuesday, they invited me over for dinner and to watch "24" (a mutually favorite show). Wednesday is always "Lost" night. Thursday my friends Jonathan and Lauren took me out. Throughout the week, I get regular phone calls from friends, family, and pastors (pastors are friends too :D).
By this point, I am working through moments of grief that just kind of hit me. Small acts like getting milk out of the fridge or opening the back door...both of which would cause a great deal of meowing from Scamper as milk was his favorite treat and going out back his favorite play time. But what has been the most difficult is the oppressive silence. I've had to have music on constantly and keep my mind occupied with reading or playing video games. Anything...lest my mind immediately wander back to my grief.
Friday I picked up Scamper's ashes from the vet. He sits in a cherry wood urn now on my bookshelf in my bedroom, with a framed picture in front. Needless to say that was a difficult afternoon. Saturday, I spent half the day creating a picture-framed collage of Scamper and Callie. I went through my album and phone pictures. Some of the best shots were on my old and current phone because that's the device I had on me when they were doing something fun or cute. Unfortunately, camera phones aren't the highest quality, but they turned out well enough to frame. It was a very difficult project, especially when I found his baby pictures. It probably took twice as long because I had to stop and cry every time I chose one to include and framed it.
Saturday night I spent with my best friends, but having done that photo project, I was wrecked emotionally. I got to Michael's a little early and like a true best friend, he could tell I was really missing Scamper. I was able to express to him some of my grief...about the silence. And also about the loss of security I'm feeling. Not that Scamper would have warded off an attacker, but his presence was comforting. And also about my struggle with the fact that I have nothing and no one to go home to anymore. Perhaps my contentment was--at least in part--wrapped up in having Scamper with me, but I have lost that now. It's a feeling of "what or who do I have anymore?" Yes, I have an amazingly loving mother and family and the best friends anyone could ask for...but I guess the realization of how each of them have someone to go home to and I do not weighs heavy on my heart. I hope to find the contentment I once had; the security of knowing it didn't bother me. But right now, I just wonder if I will spend the rest of my life alone.
Some people have asked if I will get another pet sooner or later. The only answer I have right now is "I don't know." Greg Kelley left a kind voicemail yesterday with the best way I can explain it. He had a dog that he had to put to sleep and has not gotten a pet since because of the single fact that one day we have to say good-bye to them and suffer that pain. That's exactly my state of mind right now. The saying "it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all" is not a true statement to me right now.
I continue to covet your prayers, your presence, and your love.