Two years. Twenty four months. Two winters, two springs, two summers, two falls. It just seems unfathomable to me. It is crazy how time moves so fast but moves so slow at the same time. I miss Shelby every day with every fiber of my being but life is less sad, less heartbreaking, less lonely. I do have the sidekick but I also have more peace.
Pam (Harmony’s mom) posted on the forums today about the chaos that cancer brings us and then the catastrophic stop to our journey when our fur-baby loses their cancer battle. I think that most accurately describes the journey with me and Shelby.
In the past two years, I have had plenty time to process, remember (more than I ever wanted to) every second of our cancer journey. It was indeed chaos. From the day Shelby broke her leg, our life really was forever changed even though we didn’t learn of the cancer for three more months. As a mom, I knew something was terribly wrong but since we didn’t find the cancer then, I didn’t want to believe it. I have spent close to 2 years beating myself up for “shoulda, woulda, coulda” about that damn leg. Did I make the right decisions to plate not amputate? Did I wait too long once we found the cancer? Did I make a bad decision? Those questions can rock a person at their very core and cause the worst case of doubt and insecurity that filters into their normal life.
My life was on hold during our journey – I forgot how many events/ invitations / emails I turned down or ignored. My entire focus was Shelby and helping her heal while that evil cancer was fighting hard to take her from me.
And when she lost her battle – in what felt like a matter of 72 hours – we went from fine to not fine to really super not fine – I felt like I had been hit by a train. And what was left was the dissolution of my former shell. Who was I without Shelby? What did that world look like? How could I go on?
How did I go on? I just did. I took each moment of each day by each second. I relearned to breathe. I still find myself holding my breath so hard as to not shake the balance of my life.
And then I was guided to the sidekick. And as we all know, love didn’t come easy for either of us. And I felt myself protecting her in ways I did with Shelby in the end. Putting her in a glass bubble as to try and make sure she was never injured, hurt, sick. The journey of cancer is never predictable and for someone who prides themselves on having a routine, that can throw a person’s whole world so out of whack, you think it will never level out again.
But here we are … two years have passed. While I cry less, I don’t love any less. I try and always remember the little things about Shelby that brought me so many smiles. We had such an easy love. There was never a question about our love story. It was just us. I find myself fiercely protective of her all the time but I defend our love less because I feel more secure. I know I did all that I could for her and she wants me to love and to smile and to be happy. That’s why she sent the sidekick.
Two years is a very long time but when I look back to where I was a year ago or even a month ago, I can see how far my grief process. I changed – 100% I changed. My appearance, my personality, my outlooks on life … but the core that is “ME” is still there. And the love and trust and compassion that I once had is coming out again. I know I will continue to heal. I know that my heart will continue to be open to give and receive love because I am guided by the spirit of Shelby.
In a perfect world, I would have the sidekick and Shelby by my side … but life is not perfect. Life is a process, a dance, a journey – not a destination. And when I get to that destination, that is the Rainbow Bridge where Shelby will leap and bound and jump into my arms and let me know that I am home. And I will hold her tight and never, ever let her go again.
So my darling Shelby … thank you for sending me love, light, energy every day for the last two years. I might update your blog a little less as my heart needs to open itself up for other things but know that I always love you and you are always with me. The 8th of each month will always be our day … because we are bounded by infinity. I love you, my sweet angel, my first baby, the love of my life, my best girl, forever in my heart and for all infinity.