My Dearest Ellie,
I am so sorry that I wasn’t able to say goodbye. Things just happened so fast. Sometimes the present moment just decides what it needs, and there isn’t a thing you can do to stop it. I knew from the beginning that we weren’t meant to be together forever… I know we had to part ways. I just didn’t expect it was going to be so soon. I guess sometimes things are just meant to be. But I miss you, and since I didn’t get to say goodbye, I am hoping you’ll get this message.
I feel like there are things I need to explain, and things that deserve a thank you. First let me start by saying that no person on this planet has ever brought me the joy that you have brought me. There is no better human being on this planet. You are it. You are my one and only.
Look, I have to get this off my chest first before I go into anything else — I know I was always very weird about waffles. But ever since I was young, I’ve loved them. We all have that one thing – you have chocolate, and I have waffles. I’m sorry if I seemed snippy toward you if you ever tried to share mine after you’d dished them out. I just… well I just LOVE them. That doesn’t mean I love you less than waffles. But sometimes, I just couldn’t help it.
Thank you for understanding how much I dislike loud noises. I don’t know why I am the way I am. Maybe I hear better than others, maybe I’m ultra sensitive… maybe I’m just a big sissy. Whatever the case, I really love that you always took your high heels off at the door, that you put towels between the pots and pans, and that you always kept the TV low. If the little things truly show how much you love someone, you proved you truly loved me.
I know you were very reluctant about Saturday morning runs, at first. I know you hadn’t really ever liked running before I came along. I know I kind of forced you into it. I remember how grudgingly you’d look at me when I woke you up before the sun, at 6 am on the dot, when you could’ve been sleeping off a hangover or the bad movie we’d watched the night before. But you did it anyway. You allowed me to be the one to push you a little further than you’d ever gone before. Do you know how thrilling it was for me?? It has been my absolute privilege to watch you start from a slow jogger to running your first marathon.
Thank you for Sunday morning sleep-ins. I know we were both tired from the Saturday long run. I know we were both so happy to be cuddled up together in our white down blanket and the soft sheets your mom got you for a housewarming gift. I know we both enjoyed the quiet on those mornings, letting the sun radiate full-blast into the windows, refusing to get up until our bladders felt like they were going to burst. I loved to watch you read on those Sunday mornings. Your glasses were always a little bit too big, and your left arm would always fall asleep from the way you held the book to your face. I won’t ever forget those mornings. I looked forward to them all week.
Thank you for trusting me with your darkness. I know how hard it is to open up completely and let the tears fall. I know it was so difficult for you to work through some of the hard times you went through, especially when your Mother passed away. I hope I provided you with what you needed in those times. I hope you never minded that I tried to kiss away your tears. I hope you never minded that I didn’t have the right words to say. I hope my being there spoke loudly enough.
I’m sorry that I would always come in our house dirty and completely ruin everything you’d just made shine. We both know it is within my nature to be a bit of a whirlwind. Plus… it’s just one of those things that the male creature must do once in a while. We love dirt, we love nature, we love outside, we love getting into the muck of things. That’s how we feel alive and like we’re a part of this world. It’s in our DNA.
Speaking of dirt, thank you for all of our wonderful hikes into the wilderness. It was always so magical traversing nature with you …the clean air, the unsure footing, the thrill of finding new places and new sights… The face you make when you smell a flower is the most beautiful thing I have ever, or will have ever, seen in my life.
And just to clear something up that you once asked me, and I just wasn’t able to answer in the moment, after we’d found that rock cliff and got to look down on the soaring eagles: just because you aren’t a bird, does not mean you can’t fly. You fly every day, with your determined attitude and your soft sighs. You fly when you scoop your hair into a pony tail and when you laugh at the stupid things I do. You fly when you’re so angry you could rip off my head and your mouth draws itself into a thin line. You fly every time you tell the world to fuck off and do what you want, in the way you want, with the beauty only you possess. You fly when you sleep with your arms and legs spread out like some sort of deranged spider. You fly when you look someone straight in the eye and assist them in understanding your firm boundaries. You are magical to witness, and I am so proud to have known you.
Cancer takes the best of us, but you knew when you rescued me that my breed was prone to it. You’d told your mother you just had to have me. You didn’t care that I only had one eye. You didn’t care that my ears were cropped too short and that my back left leg would have to be amputated. You saw the strength it had taken to endure my previous owners misplaced rage. You always did love saving the underdogs. I appreciate the red Superman cape you bought me.
I’m sorry I had to leave you so soon, Ellie. I wanted to grow old with you. I wanted to see you have your first baby. I would’ve loved to be his or her guard dog, cleaning boo-boos and kissing away the tears they shed, too. But I had to leave, and I couldn’t say goodbye.
Above all, I want you to know that you were, and will always be, my favorite wilderness. You were my clean air, you were my sure footing, and you were the only place I ever needed to find. You are the perfect creature, Ellie. There’s no need for you to be envious of the soaring eagles…. you soar higher than they ever could dare to dream. Do not ever let anyone tell you differently.
Thank you for giving me a home, and thank you for trusting me with your heart. I hope I was able to show you the love you so truly deserved. I’ll be waiting here for you. No rush.