Lives are loss too soon.

Now I Know An Unexpected Goodbye Is The Worst Kind

As you watch over me, reading this, I hope you smile.

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Every time I think of you I can't help but smile. You were perfect. Your smile brought light into the darkness. Your laugh cracked a smile in the faces surrounding you. Your warmth kept me from needing a blanket throughout the winter. You were my best friend. You believed in me and always had my back. Your voice excitedly exclaiming "Little I" constantly replays in my head.

You had a good heart. You always saw the best in the worst. You protected the guilty and gave praise to the innocent. You did not have one unkind bone in your body.

But you had to go away, temporarily. I was so devastated. We all were. How could God take away an innocent soul? I had questions that were left unanswered and emotions that were anything far from fine. I could never understand the reason why good people had to leave this earth before it was their time.

I know you are constantly watching over me. I have hope that I will see you again and I pray you give me guidance in this next chapter of my life.

However, you did not deserve to leave like you did. It was unfair. I didn't even get to say goodbye. Maybe that is because it is not a goodbye. Perhaps, it is an "I'll see you later".

Three years later, I still think about you everyday. I know you are always with me. And I have been going through a really rough patch in my life that I wish you were here for. Maybe things would have been different.

I think a lot of things would have turned out differently. I held a lot of things in, especially the way you were withdrawn from this world.

But I know there will always be a piece in my heart missing until I see you again. Just one more time. I did not get to be apart of the farewell committee, however, I'm not sure if I should've been. But you had to go. God had plans for you. I still cannot quite understand why. I do not understand any of it. You should be here.

But I am grateful for the time we did share together. You were my rock. I will never forget you in a lifetime. You are so special to me. I love you.

And I will not cry anymore, because I know you wouldn't want me to be like this. I know you would want me to pursue my passions and chase my dreams. And that is exactly what I am going to do. For you, to be proud of me.

As my heart still aches for you, I watch the sun shine above your name on the ground, and I can't help but smile a little.

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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.

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My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

Willow was about a year old. She was rescued from an abusive home where she had to fight for her food from many other dogs. This made her guard resources and distrustful of us. My mom and I begged the rest of our family for the ability to adopt her, and they finally agreed. Being not potty trained, we had to teach her with a lot of positive encouragement when she went pee in the right place (not our carpet). It took her a while to realize that we weren't going to take her food away and she gradually became less resource guarding. She started to trust my other dog more and play with him. A lot of the time, they even snuggle together now.

At the time, I was in my junior year of high school and still thinking about the idea of becoming a veterinarian. She helped me decide to go for it, and now I'm in college and getting ready to apply for veterinary school. Willow has become part of our family, and her funny and unique personality fit right in with us.

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