On Monday, I had no idea that our week would end like this. I had zero expectations of the grief and despair we would feel over the next few days. But, here we are. It’s Friday and our family has a new reality. In just a few days, our family will say goodbye to our most loyal and furriest member, Bagby.
Cancer has probably been living in Bagby for a few months, but like any labrador retriever, she never let us know that she was unhappy or uncomfortable. And when it became too much for her body to handle, she gave us a few cues. I took her to the vet on Tuesday morning, and the next 48 hours came on us like a open fire hydrant.
We all know it. Cancer sucks. Cancer s-u-c-k-s. It sneaks up and devours our loved ones. It gives little warning and little reprieve. It robs us.
And you know, I write this and I know that the suffering that we are experiencing now is nothing compared to what a lot of people go through. I have friends that I haven’t even told yet (until now), because I know it will feel like peanuts compared to what they have experienced. Over the past couple of days, I have felt guilty, ashamed, and dramatic. But gosh, I can’t really describe how sad we are. Yes, I know she is a dog. But, for us, she was part of our family. A really special part. She was with me before marriage, before kids. She has lived with me at 6 different addresses. She rode in three different cars with me. She’s been through a lot of life transitions with me and has been constant throughout it all.
As I have processed the past few days, through many tears, I have thanked God for such a sweet gift He gave our family. I have thanked Him for the 8 years I had with her. And I have asked Him to satisfy my heart through my grief. As I have thought through what a blessing Bagby has been for our family, I have been reminded of how much better Jesus is. Bagby was a sweet friend to us. She was loyal, she was constant, she was gentle, she was kind, she was forgiving, and she was loving. And as thankful as I am for those things, I am reminded that Jesus is the perfect friend. He is perfectly constant, perfectly gentle, perfectly kind, perfectly forgiving and perfect in His love. And yes, I still know that Bagby is a dog. But, I also know that God has given us grace to be able to experience Him through all of creation. I am thankful that He showed us a little bit of Himself through our very own Bagby.
Over the next few days, we plan to spoil our girl rotten with all the hot dogs and peanut butter a dog can handle. We plan to celebrate and grieve at the same time. Bagbygirl, this is your weekend. Let your hair down and let’s get crazy around here.