“Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 5:59 am….Couldn’t get up when the alarm went off at 4:15… One year ago today, I was nervous and anxious about leaving for Virginia. Tomorrow will be one year ago that I left…For a new life. To make a new life for **** and Zoey. Only Zoey didn’t make it. I never saw Zoey again. I almost did at Thanksgiving. The fucking Thanksgiving from hell. A testament to how a person can be blinded by the type of life they are living…What are the blinders in life? Can we see them when we need to? Is it only in retrospect that we are able to learn? Lifestyle and options. When there are no resources, there are no options. Without options there are no choices. Without choices….we succomb to “blindness”. The particular type of shortsightedness that prevents us from seeing the paths that are there, have been there but for our own “blindness”, our own self limitation.”
October 22, 2013. One year ago today, one year ago this morning, I left my little family in Florida and drove myself 800 miles into a new TimeLine. I left because I had to. I left because my will created an opening. And because the Cat heard me and showed me the way. I did. What I had to do.
It was the thing that would “save” us. It was an opportunity to escape a certain train wreck, the magnitude of which would leave no survivors. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I was one half of an intelligent, hardworking, professional and talented couple. In spite of that, life had gotten out of hand. Sometimes there’s no stopping the avalanche.
I will not forget that morning. I’d gone to bed around midnight. Setting the alarm for 3:30 am, I’d only gotten a few restless hours of sleep. I will not forget Zoey and how she didn’t quite know why we were up at that ridiculous hour when all good dogs and people should still be sleeping. I will not forget her 3 hours later, lying in her spot in the foyer by the front door once again, asleep. For her, the excitement of getting up in the middle of the night was over. I will not forget bending down and stroking her head and telling her goodbye. To be good and that what I was doing was for her. And that one day soon the 3 of us would be a family again. I will not forget walking over the threshold of the home we’d known for the last 10.5 years and wondering: what will she be thinking when I didn’t return? How long will she wait for me? Will she think I abandoned her?
As a clark, I’m susceptible to the occasional emotional ambush. As a people, we are normally in total control. Except when we’re not. As this Anniversary crept closer and closer, I found myself catching a glimpse of something – movement – just beyond the border of the “woods”. I was in danger of being overwhelmed with sadness. With a sense of failure. And a tremendous sense of loss. You see, the “saving” came with a large price tag. The cost? Zoey. Her life was the ultimate price paid. She never made it to the “new world”. I didn’t know that morning, October 22, 2013, would be the last day I would ever see my baby. Touch her. Talk to her. She who gave me the strength.
How do you reconcile the acknowledgement of, the celebration of, the incredible feat of jumping TimeLines while simultaneously mourning the loss that accompanied that feat? Why do I feel utter failure? Why do I give all that was lost, power of/over all that was gained? Power of/over all that still potentially can be gained? How do I unsee the sadness? How do I accept the loss of the life that was when the life that is is not what it should or could be?
Once upon a time, I became a positive person. Once upon a time I evolved into a person who believed in the ability to achieve the seemingly impossible. So how is it that today, I cannot find a way to celebrate my achievement? Why is it that today, I struggle with coming to terms that my dog is dead, Man is still 800 miles away, the life I lived from 2003 -2013 is a distant memory and that life is not as I would have it?
I remind myself to look 3 feet to my left. I remind myself to use death as an advisor. I remind myself that it is my responsibility for how I live life moving forward. I’m not living the life once dreamed. In fact, no dreams have been realized. That is my cross to bear. But it boils down to choice. Always, there is choice.
On this, another day of opportunity, I would tell my younger self: look! see what you are capable of accomplishing. Do not hesitate. Do not wait. Identify that which is most important. Fight for what you deserve. Look to your own self and live the life you want. One day, it will be too late.