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A Tribute to Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea Peanut 9/2003-9/2018

Today marks the one year anniversary of losing my Sweet Pea. She passed on this day in 2018 and a friend of mine is now losing her companion tonight. Many of us have lost loved ones, furry members of our crazy put together families. In my case I had three and am now only left with one...Senor Antonio Buttones. He's had a hard go of it, losing his mother and then his sister. It's just the two of us now. He celebrated his 16th birthday yesterday so I know his days may be numbered.

The morning after she passed I wrote a goodbye to my precious, funny, full of attitude girl called "The Last Road Trip". I wasn't ready to share it last year, but on this day, a year later, as my friend says goodbye to her steadfast companion I decided to share my goodbye to Peanut (aka. Sweet Pea). The grief we feel is real and deep. We know from science that our brains don't know the difference between kitten/puppy and baby when it comes to love. Which means are hearts too do not know the difference when it comes to letting them go. Thats because there isn't one. So here it is, my humble attempt to honor this marvelous individual's life that I was honored to share.

The Last Road Trip

A cool September evening there was a sound at my door

Small and furry, your mother brought you to my stoop.

Outside you lay with your brother and immediately I knew we would spend our lives together.

You, on the other hand, weren’t so sure.

Independent, fierce, and brave, certain you didn’t need me.

So I waited. And waited.

Then one day you came to me.

Battered, bruised, and frightened.

You walked inside, lay on my chest, and never left again.

As the years passed, another cool September day rolled around.

This time we left our house, heading out on the open road for your first road trip.

Again, you weren’t so sure.

Moving south we arrived at a new place.

Never one to linger in the past, you quickly claimed your space.

Chasing sunspots and displacing your brother from newfound hideaways were your favorites.

Adventures were small and life was calm.

There was that time your tooth was angled funny and you looked at me with a simple request.

Fix this, please.

And so I did.

More years passed and in the late hours of the night we embarked on our second road trip.

You had no idea how far we were going.

On the fourth day, outside a gas station in El Paso, TX, you simply sighed when the engine roared back to life.

While your mother wailed and your brother fretted, you took it all in stride.

When we arrived at our destination you discovered there was no space to claim your own.

There were others here and they didn’t welcome you.

Again you looked at me and said, Fix this please.

And so I did.

Soon after we took our third road trip.

This one was filled with adventure.

There was a gunfight, a carjacking, and an air-conditioning malfunction in the blistering heat of the desert.

As we cooled off in a Walmart in nowhere New Mexico, you handled it all with grace.

This time, along the four-day journey, you took in the sights.

You loved to smell the air of new cities and landscapes we traveled through.

Spending time playing and gazing out the window, the air was thick with anticipation.

It was only you and your brother this time.

Mama Midnight ?-March 2016

Eyes big as saucers you could barely believe your luck!

A home fit for a new Queen, you explored every room with enthusiasm and joy.

How could you ever claim every space?

Diligently. Patiently.

One day, by chance, looking out the window you discovered the groundhog.

Here there were so many different animals.

Rabbits, birds, and who could forget those deer that hung around.

Days were filled with your own private menagerie of other animals to watch.

You weren’t anxious to leave, but off we went.

Our fourth road trip.

This time though, we only drove as far as the airport.

You, ever brave and confident in me, took in all the sights and smells.

Your brother, well…

When we boarded the plane you took a nap.

During the layover you didn’t miss the chance to pop your head out, look around, and say hi.

This was a familiar routine by now.

I know you approved of the new house, even bigger than the last.

There were so many windows and abundant wildlife.

When the foxes and coyotes came to visit, you were less certain.

You ran from window to window, keeping a watchful eye.

Enjoying life!

What you didn’t know was that there was yet another road trip coming.

Or maybe you did.

I went away for a few weeks, anxious because I had never been gone so long.

Upon my return, the first signs were there, but I didn’t know.

You looked at me and said, Fix this please.

And so I tried.

The time came and we made yet another road trip.

I promised you I wouldn’t move again, that this would be your final home.

We arrived to this small apartment.

Your disappointment was evident.

Where was all the space?

Where were all the windows?

What happened to all the animals?

As the days passed, you became unwell again.

You looked at me and said, Fix this please.

And so I tried.

Weeks passed.

You lay with me, taking food from my hand.

Weaker and weaker with each passing day.

Yet another cool September morning.

You looked at me and said

Please, please fix this.

A world filled with smells gone. The cancer stole this joy from you.

I wiped your nose, you smelled my cheek, and lay down beside me.

You let me hold you and as I wept on your chest, I made the call.

They came, big-hearted, kind, and loving people, to help me fix this.

Just before you left me, I whispered in your ear,

I love you Sweet Pea.Thank you for the fifteen years.

I’m so sorry I couldn’t fix this.

Take a piece of my heart with you.

Saying goodbye to his sister

Your brother lay down next to you to say goodbye.

He looked at me and said,

Fix this please.

One last road trip.

This time you weren’t awake to see the mountains we passed. To smell the air.

I’ve never left you anywhere. I worry that you’re cold.

In two days they tell me I can come back for you.

I’ll bring you home.

I miss you Peanut.

You filled my life with love.

You reminded me to stop and smell the air, watch the animals, and take it all in stride.

Your brother misses you too.

He lays in the spot you last rested.

He cries for you.

We both do.

We tell each other we can’t fix this.

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