Oh, how my heart aches for you.
I drafted multiple posts on the 26th, but I deleted them all. Nothing captured and communicated the pain and the love nearly as well as that song does. I told you that I would find you, that we would be together again some day. And not days later, I heard that song for the very first time. I bawled like a baby, and still do every time I listen to it. It is just so beautiful and so true, in the truest sense of that word.
Not one day, not one single day, has gone by without a thought of you. I have missed you and loved you and remembered you and been grateful for you every day since March 26, 2011. And every time I think of you, cry for you, smile in remembrance of you, I think of people who have never had dogs who could never identify with this kind of love. And I think of people who have had dogs but have never had you. I, myself, have had dogs my whole life. There never was, and there never will be, another you. Anyone who knows me knows that I am no sentimental cheese-ball, so I am not prone to overly-sentimental sentiments; but I firmly, deeply, wholeheartedly believe that you and I were always meant to be together. Your soul and mine, like peas and carrots.
This past Monday night, on the year anniversary of your passing, I dreamed of you for the first time ever, at least within my conscious recollection. I was standing next to my bed, and I turned around and you were there. You had a bone in your mouth, the way you always did when I came home and you were excited to see me; though, as always, it was barely visible under your ginormous jowls. You were wagging your tail and your whole backside was swaying back and forth with it, the way backsides do when they are of the 200- pound-variety. I shouted, squealed in excitement, "Bubba???" And I ran to you, dropped to my knees, and wrapped my arms around your neck and embraced you the way I always used to, so that your head rested perfectly on my left shoulder. It was all so, so real, for a split second. The weight of your head on my shoulder, the feel of your furry face against mine, the circumference of your neck in my arms...I had forgotten, and I didn't even know it. In that second, there was the most real remembrance, and in remembrance, utter relief and pure joy. And then I woke up.
When we said goodbye, I told you to wait for me. I told you I would find you. Well, maybe it was I who was waiting that night and you who found me. Maybe it was you who found me all along. I always have described you as a "good soul," and so many people who knew you, friends; family; your doctors, commented on what a "special" and "extraordinary" spirit you were. One friend, upon your passing, said, "Huan was so much more than a dog." An acquaintance, who met you for a matter of seconds at our front door, said, "There was something special about that dog." And I often say, "There are good dogs, but Huan was a good soul." Maybe I--and everyone who knew you--was always hitting the nail on the head without even realizing it. Maybe that's why I inexplicably cried on the car ride to get you when you were just a baby. I was so happy, and I couldn't even articulate the feeling or the reason for it. Maybe it's because your soul and my soul, they found each other. And they will always "find their way back" to each other, just as the song says--no matter the time, distance, circumstance--in this life and in the next, in dreams and in the depths of our hearts--when one of us is lost and "waiting." People always said to me, "Huan is your dog," and you really, really were, because you really, really are--and always will be--part of my very heart and soul in a way that no other being ever could or will again.
Happy Birthday, my sweet boy. As I said on this very day one year ago, "Mama loves you, today and always." xo