Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reminders Of Past Love

This city isn't big enough and it's doubtful this planet is vast enough to prevent me from seeing signs of a life with Erin. At every twist and turn of my daily routine, a prompt reminds me of time spent with my passed friend. Whether it's a trip to the grocery store, a stroll through the park, or a newly discovered strand of hair, it's unknown when the memory switch will be flipped and my fur friend with be foremost in my mind. It's also unknown whether the stimulus will produce a smile or a tear but an emotional response is guaranteed,

Walking down supermarket aisles is usually an angst filled outing as the peanut butter, cheese slices, frosty paws, etc bring back memories of one happy dog. Visions of Erin sprawled upon her doggie bed happily munching on a frosty paw is a cherished moment and it's impossible to eye the frozen treats without flashing back to happier times. Peanut butter was a staple in the household and definitely a favorite snack of my girl who loved to eat it straight from the jar or frozen in a Kong, believe me it's hard to look upon a jar without remembering Erin smacking those lips. Several other preferred food items ensure that grocery shopping is a stroll down memory lane with my fur angel.

It's easy for thoughts of Erin to manifest themselves whenever nature is involved especially if a stroll takes me through one of her favorite outdoor haunts or a squirrel crosses my path. Many tears were shed in Chippewa Square following her departure as it's a location frequented so often for many many years. It's not difficult to envision her staring upwards into the majestic oak trees searching for squirrels, being doted on my groups of tourists, or sniffing out every inch of the square. She was as much a part of the scenery as the General Oglethorpe statue looming overhead and that plot of land will always hold a special place in my heart. Many other locales cue vivid recollections  including several businesses that befriended Erin for years and these include Gallery Espresso, E Shaver Booksellers, Zunzi's, and Parker's Market. She loved being around her many friends around town and it didn't hurt that they often dispensed dog treats to her.

The house we shared since our return from Europe is one big source of emotional overload and it seems every room, inanimate object, and action has a connection to Erin in some form or another. Discarding of leftovers will occasionally sadden me for a moment as I remember her greedily devouring the chicken, steak, or cheese destined for the garbage bin. The wall adjacent to the shower is discolored and worn by having a dog lie against it for years, as whenever I showered she followed me and plopped down next to the tub. One day I'll repaint that area but for now it's a pleasant reminder of her wanting to be near me and poking her snout around the shower curtain to ensure my existence. A tuft of hair will magically appear from nowhere to declare that a liver/white dog resided under this roof and admittedly this is disheartening as no amount of prayer will return her to me.

There are other avenues of memory stimuli including songs on the radio which remind me of a joyful occasion as well as certain movies and television shows which touched my heart during our years together. My bookshelves are loaded with reads which were enjoyed in the presence of Erin often while she was playing with fur friends, running along the beach, gnawing upon a bone, or sleeping upon my nap. Hundreds of books were finished in her company and every one has a deeper meaning to them. Then there are the unexpected nudges towards recollection such as someone asking "How's your dog" or a vet office in Jacksonville calling to check up on the health of Erin and reluctantly being told "She's passed away." It's not easy to relay the news of her transition but it's definetly gotten easier as time has marched on.

A million sources of emotion surround me, stare me down, and they'll always be near me but I embrace them for they represent the greatest period of my life. Nearly 12 years of memories with Erin are entwined with this world and I love them all. RIP Erin!!!.

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