Jessica said it best: it's an empty house indeed without our Bobbie in it. Last night, after a great rehearsal with a lot of laughs, coming home hit me like a ton of bricks and I started bawling again. Riley gave me hugs and saw me through it. She said softly, "I miss her, too."
The girls have taken it better than I have. They understand why it's so hard for me because they saw our lives together.
Bobbie would stand just outside the kitchen while I made dinner; she'd been trained to stay out of the kitchen. She was actually a pretty well-trained cat. She had her song, and back when she could hear, she would come when we sang it.
She'd wake me up in the morning, I'd feed her, and she'd sit in the hallway while we all got ready. When we came home at night, she'd greet us loudly, and sit near us while we ate dinner. While I did dishes, she would take her place outside the kitchen and wait for me. She'd snuggle with me on the couch. She'd yell at me when I was in the shower, seemingly afraid I'd drown in there. She'd follow me around the house as I locked up for the night and, prior to her arthritis, she'd lay down with me at night. And then she'd wake me in the morning, with a cry and sometimes a scratch or two if she felt I was taking too damn long to get out of bed.
Being home without her doesn't feel like home at all. The silence makes me ache.
When I see people walking their dogs now, all I can think is that their dogs will die, and those people will be very sad. Why do we do this? Why do we fill our lives with these creatures that we know we'll outlive?
Sylvia gave me the answer. Our pets have happier lives because we were in them. Bobbie most likely would not have lived to be 21 without me. She loved her life. She loved us and we made it all worthwhile for her. And she certainly made our lives better.
Thanks to all for your support and thinking of us. I'm learning to live with the empty. It's a testament to Bobbie's life and her love. And a reminder of what a beautiful, rare and precious thing unconditional love is. I was lucky to have hers.