I'm not much of a crier. Really I'm not. I've even been called cold-hearted on more than one occasion. But I'm so very sad tonight.
On August 22nd we left Kayleigh at college, 4 hours away. It was a long silent trip home but along with my sadness, I was also excited for the journey she is starting on. It was really strange for the next few days because I would be perfectly fine but then, out of the blue, something very normal and everyday would make me cry. For example, for Kayleigh's entire life, she has gone grocery shopping with me every single weekend. There are probably less than 10 weeks in her whole 18 years that I went without her. So the day after we dropped her off, I waited for Bill to come back from his bike ride and then we went together. I made it through the whole process fine until we were leaving the store. I started crying as we walked to the car and didn't stop for about an hour. Really, grocery shopping is what I'm going to cry about?!! Ok.
Over the next few weeks, there have been some strange moments but overall it hasn't been too bad. Texting helps tremendously!
Today we had to put our beautiful Dottie to sleep. After never showing any signs of illness, she quit eating a few days ago. We took her to the vet yesterday and they ran blood tests which all came back fine. Today, the doctor suggested trying an antibiotic. Bill went at lunch to pick it up and as he was giving her some, she went limp and her mouth was hanging open. I called our vet only to be told that the doctors were out for the rest of the day. They sent us to a neighboring town but when we arrived, we saw that they weren't open. I called our vet back and they sent us in the opposite direction to another hospital. During this trip, Dot cuddled in Bill's arms looking very calm. They took an x-ray and found that although all her tests were fine, she had fluid around her heart and lungs and some kind of growth in her abdomen. The doctor couldn't believe that she looked so healthy on the outside with all that going on inside. We didn't want to put her through the misery of an operation and feeding tube so we said our goodbyes.
I was holding it together really well considering until 7 PM. That's when we feed the cats their wet food. I got up and fixed one bowl for Tiger. When the cats hear their bowls, they both always come running and meow at us incessantly until we put the food down. Tonight Tiger looked a little confused as he stood alone in our kitchen.
When anyone asks Bill how we are handling it without Kayleigh, he says "It's our new normal". Looks like we have another new normal to get used too.
Oh, and just to fill in the gap between Kayleigh leaving and loosing Dot, my dad decided to spend 2 weeks in the hospital and our basement flooded. I think that is enough for now, don't you?