The Tired of Birth and Death

Larkin Rome Zona–minutes old

Last summer (nine months ago today) my water broke at home without any pre-labor indicators and we drove two hours to Lincoln, Ne in full labor.

(I wrote about our adventure here–

We were in the hospital for about two and a half days, and there seemed to be someone coming in to ask how I was feeling nearly constantly. The doctors did rounds before 6:00am, at the end of their night shift as I understood it. I’ve never been so tired, and then these docs are coming in to push on my belly and ask how I am, nearly always beginning to talk before they were fully in the room (I assume this is to not take a patient by surprise).

On our last morning there, the doc came in and started the “how are we today” conversation, and I may well have responded to her, but I was ASLEEP. Fully asleep. Oh so very tired. And when she pushed on my guts, I was very suddenly awake. I scared the daylights out of the doc who thought something had gone wrong because my “pain level hadn’t been that high on previous checks.” And I’m stumbling to try to explain I was ASLEEP. A-S-L-E-E-P. This is far more shock than pain.
I wasn’t even sure who it was. I thought it was one of the midwives and only learned later it was this doctor I hadn’t seen previously.

The tired continues, having not had a really solid night’s sleep in a year, but that weekend is the most tired I’ve ever been as my body recovered from surgery, we were constantly being interrupted with one thing or another, and there was suddenly this tiny human requiring our care.

This past week the tired feels similar as I try to recover from a broken heart. Last Thursday night, our sweet Clancy took a sudden and fast downward turn and I was up a good chunk of the night with him. And a week ago this hour we were at the vet for help to return our precious boy to God so he would not suffer further.

We came home with him and Matt built a box because we hadn’t been prepared to say goodbye only a month after learning of Clancy’s cancer. We spent the afternoon finding a good place down on the “farm” where he loved to run and investigate all the smells and then laying our Snuggle Bug to rest under a pair of cedar trees with his quilt and his toys and his treats.
We told him again and again how much we love him, how grateful we were for every day, how we will be able to love better because he loved us…

Snuggle Bug

A lot of this was physical effort but the weight of my heart was overwhelming and the exhaustion set in.
I’m still tired.
I wake up more tired than when I went to bed.
Everything feels hard.

Much of the day I am fine and then, in a moment, I’m not.
Clancy was ever present in our lives for twelve years and he’s suddenly…just…not here.
I’ve said good morning, good bye, hello, goodnight, good boy to Clancer every day for more than a decade.
And now he’s not here.

I’ve told him “we’ll be back in just a little bit” every time I’ve left the house.
“I love you so much” dozens of times a day.
“Oh that’s a big stretch/that’s a good shake out” every time he stretched and/or shook.
“Hey my good boy” every time we got home.

Clancy was so patient and taught Larkin how to be gentle.

He supervised my cooking and sandwich making and I’ve saved him the last bite of every meal for twelve years. Now if I drop food on the floor I have to clean it up myself.
Now I have this bite of food left on my plate and no one to share it with.
There are teeny tiny milk bones still in the jar.
Water still in the bucket.
And half a piece of bologna in the fridge waiting for my Good Boy.

I cry when I leave the house.
I cry when I come home.
I still tell him we’ll be back shortly.
I miss him so much it’s hard to breathe sometimes.
It’s usually brief.
A flash of devastation.
There’s still a tiny human who requires my love and care and I can’t dwell in my heartache.

I trust my heart will eventually heal, but my poor broken heart is so heavy and I am so tired.

My 60 lb lap dog.

Clancy loved to snuggle and “have a lean”.
Fancy Clancy loved to go on walks and smell and the smells.
Clancy Boy really loved bounding through and rolling in the snow–it was a great winter with so much snow to enjoy.
Our Love Bug was a hunting breed but was scared of loud noises, thunder, and fireworks.
Clancy Pants loved a good hidey hole.
My Bug loved going for car rides not for the ride itself but for the getting to be with his people.
For the same reason, our Baby Boy was really happy when I left the classroom and started working from home.
When he was born, our Bug-A-Boo had a distended belly button and no one wanted him because he needed a very minor surgery to fix it right away. God had reserved him just for us.
He was perfect.
He loved unconditionally.
We are infinitely grateful for these (almost) twelve and a half years.

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