Anniversary of Stepping into the Unknown …

“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.








  1. christine · October 22, 2014

    You know that as a scott, I read this and think, “If I only knew the details, I could help her fix what’s wrong!” But I won’t say it. I wouldn’t say it. I would and will simply sit here and “listen” and be sad with you.


    • GirlieOnTheEdge · October 22, 2014

      Ah, Christine. I know this. And I thank you. I also knew as I wrote the post this morning, that by providing no details, it would be puzzling to my readers. But it came out as it did. I’m thankful you are here for the conversation. Should I be successful in completing the followup I’m presently writing, I hope you will stop by again.

      Being the “private” person that I am, being the clark that I am:) I find it a challenge to share the sad things, the bad things. When I do, it is my attempt at trying to help another along this journey that is life.

      Lunchtime’s about over so let me say this: you say (or scream lol) whatever you feel like in that comment box:)


  2. zoebyrd · October 22, 2014

    You were absolutely the most important commenter for me to “hear” earlier this week. Its not in either of our natures to let the sadness become visible ….I can imagine how hard this was to write never mind hit publish…. like Christine said, I certainly don’t know or need to know them to realize this has to have been a rough figging year….you have my undying respect for undertaking it and making it through. I think about you and zoey often when I look at Skip and wonder how you’re doing.


    • zoebyrd · October 22, 2014

      Auto correct. …argh!!! Them??? Is supposed to be …the circumstances.


      • GirlieOnTheEdge · October 22, 2014

        Don’t use the Auto correct! Someone needs to invent the auto correct for the…auto correct!


    • GirlieOnTheEdge · October 22, 2014

      Makes me feel good to know you received what you needed from the words I left Zoe:)
      No, not in our nature at all. It was difficult. The words that wound up in this post were not quite the words I intended. I truly thought I would be writing a more celebratory piece.
      Thank you.
      One of the things that drew me to your site was Skip. And your relationship with him. It is special and precious and I’m so very glad you have each other:)


  3. dyannedillon · October 22, 2014

    Oh, Denise, this is sadly beautiful, beautifully sad. If I could make everything better for you, I would.


  4. Clark Scottroger · October 23, 2014

    nicely done tale of power.
    (not only are you among a teeny small percentage of the general population who possess the will and courage to act as you did), you are (now) among people who appreciate and value your act.
    …yes, you left a place (at a terrible price), but you are in a place of unmeasured (as of yet) good.
    there is that old ‘saw’ about doors opening and doors closing…it is a nice metaphor tells you that while there is no escaping the cost of leaving, only you can accept the benefit, the good things that are where you now are…
    tough cat, non?


    • GirlieOnTheEdge · October 23, 2014

      *closed lipped, clarklike smile* Oui.

      I appreciate your words, the sentences that were made. It helped me to write as my heart would have it yesterday however, it helped me more to read the words from Christine and Zoe and Dyanne and yourself. Acknowledgement, commisseration…substantiation that yes, mine was a tale of power. The acceptance part? Not without challenge. I always come back to it is my task to honor the sacrifice/price paid/attention of the cat by living a life worthy of these things.


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