It’s been eight months

Just like that *snaps fingers* eight months have passed by since Zack went to heaven.

Last week, I wondered why I haven’t felt or seen any sign from him. Then I dreamt of him the other day, which reminded me of his final days. I nearly went on a downward spiral again. The blame, regret, guilt, sadness. Wondering if he knew and/or understood that everything we did, we did because we thought it was the best. But I stopped myself enough because spiraling would be useless.

I miss my little boy.

Surprisingly, the in-denial part of me wants another black and white male Shih Tzu with the same or similar markings as Zack. I even thought of naming him Zack Two. That way, it will seem like Zack lives on. I wouldn’t need to face the reality of him being gone forever.

Of course, I’m well aware that’s not facing reality at all. No one needs to tell me that. I also know that I’m nowhere near ready to have another furbaby. Not sure if that will happen, although I know there are so many furbabies out there who need love, attention and a good home, something we can very well provide. But not right now. As I told my husband, at most I’d consider fostering, teach those broken, little ones that there await hope and love for them, no matter what they’ve been through. Maybe we can help them heal their broken hearts and spirits, and they can help us do the same.

Zack left such a big void in our hearts, but the sad thing about it is that it’s really grief unspoken. No one asks us how we’re doing. We just go about our day without people realizing how some days are really a struggle. Yet the reasons we laugh every day are memories we have of him too. He was funny in his own way, and bossy too! He brought such love and laughter to our lives, not just the sadness we feel now. The many happy memories we have of him that we can look back on still outweigh the sadness. That’s not so bad now, is it?

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That unconditional love

A part of me thinks I’ve figured out why my grief over losing Zack is the way it is. But I know it’s just a piece of the puzzle, not the entire picture.

It’s all about that unconditional love.

If you’ve ever owned a pet that was more than a mere animal at home, you know what I’m talking about. I got spoiled by such unconditional love. With Zack, all he wanted was to hang out with me/us. I don’t have to do anything, to be anything. I’m just myself warts and all, and that’s perfectly alright with him. He was happy to eat, play, walk and hang out. Just constantly waiting for us to pay attention to him.

After losing Zack, I was forced to deal with humans and their conditional love. It took me so long to realize that there were certain people in my life who were actually disappointing me and treating me badly. I was accepting treatment that I know I didn’t deserve, yet by allowing it, I was proving that I deserved to be treated shabbily. I was letting people get away with things by not creating boundaries to what I find acceptable and not acceptable. I’ve always felt like taking the high road was the best way to deal with things, but the thing with taking the high road is that no one even realizes you’re taking the high road. You’re alone in the high road, and people who aren’t supposed to treat you crappily just go about their merry way until the next time they treat you crappily. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if you don’t squeak every now and then, you’re just enabling them to keep on treating you badly.

Sure, those people might have the best intentions in the world for me. But in the end, actions speak louder than words. With some people, the actions were deafening…whether in the silence or in the noise.

Disingenious behavior like dishonesty, insincerity, hypocrisy, backbiting – those things aren’t something you experience with pets. Those are human behaviors driven by human choices. No matter how kind you are to other people, there are still those who are in it for themselves. In the scheme of give and take, all they know and all they offer is to take. Your honesty and candor gets “rewarded” by lies.

Pets don’t do that. Their concept of pack is actually what we humans think of as family. It’s human superiority complex that makes us think these animals are lesser beings.

The more time passes, the more I’m horrified that he’s gone forever. I will never see him, my little guy, again. But his passing taught me how to value myself – what’s worthy of me, my love and my time. That’s a hell of a valuable lesson taught by such a little creature.

19 days into 2019

We’re 19 days into 2019 today. How has it been for me?

For starters, I still miss Zack. There are still bad grief days, but that’s just the way it is. I’m not sweeping my grief under the rug, just embracing it when the feeling comes. I even follow a little cutie on IG who looks like Zack or could be Zack’s grandkid. We all deal with grief differently, really.

Hubby and I started on our health goals, but got derailed this week when my in-laws came over. Plenty of eating was done, but we’ll be back on track again starting this weekend.

Before the new year ended, he asked me if I can take over household money management. I admit, I’ve been spoiled because he’s been taking care of those things for quite sometime. Anyway, we agreed on a weekly budget in an attempt to be more financially responsible. Nice, right?

We met the Shih Tzu puppy a friend wanted to give to us. Little guy’s really cute and adorable, but I’m not ready for another one. I can be its tita, spoil the little guy to bits, but that’s that in the meantime.

We watched Bandersnatch. Totally won me over.

We bought the Delonghi Sfornatutto Maxi EO 32852 from their concept store at Vertis North! Such a gorgeous countertop oven. I miss baking, and unfortunately, our place has no oven. Instead of whining about how much I miss baking, it was better to go back to that hobby of mine. So far, I’ve baked pandesal twice and pear bread once. Yay for that! He even bought me a little shelf unit where I can store my bakeware. Now everything is organized well!

We celebrated our 24th year of being a couple. What an achievement!

On the day of Zack’s seventh month in heaven, a kitten with the same coloring as Zack approached me while we were at a parking lot. The little kitten kept following me, looking at me straight in the eyes, meowing and even leaning against my feet. My sister said it was Zack Cat. Cats and kittens rarely approach me, so this experience was highly unusual.

Our surprise visit to Nueva Ecija for a distant relative’s birthday went great! Everyone was so surprised and happy to see us. They also had so much tasty food.

My in-laws visited for four days. We went to Art in Island and even did two escape rooms.

That’s how January 2019 has been for me so far.

Oh, and it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out how awesome today’s date is – 1-19-19. If you’re into angel numbers and such, read this and this.