It’s likely worse because Brian is gone for the week and I don’t do ‘alone’ all that well. I’ve never had to, I had her. I hardly took a step that she wasn’t in the picture somewhere. Sometimes it was an enthusiastic ‘Wait for me, wait for me! I’m coming!’. Often it was just her quiet presence in the background, my silent guard, my shadow of almost fourteen years.
She got us through the transition of the empty nest. We still got to keep a ‘child’. Someone still to fuss about and fuss over. Being an ‘only child’, it probably was a little bit ridiculous how much fussing that entailed. We would turn the television on for her when we left, so she wouldn’t be lonely. She’s been deaf for at least a year, but we would still have a discussion about what program she’d want on. I’d insist that she didn’t LIKE golf – it was too slow and boring; Brian would say ‘sure she does, she loves sports.’ ‘No. She likes CHICK stuff.’ I’d tell him. More times than I can count, when I’d get in bed, Brian would say ‘Is Abby in?’ I’d say: ‘Really... has Abby EVER spent one night her entire life outside – why wouldn’t she not be in tonight?'
And hence she was our Abby. Our big beautiful, sweet and gentle friend. The time with her went far too quickly, as time always does. I wasn’t ready to let her go, but of course, I never would have been. We are never ready to say good-bye to our dear friends.