Yesterday Gus gave Cowboy a father’s day card. This has become a bit of tradition in our house. Gus came with me into the Cowboy + Ms. Planner relationship. But we quickly assumed the roles of “Fun Guy” and “The Mean Lady,” as I became the dispenser of medication, baths and vet visits while Cowboy hosted trips in his truck to cool places, like the hardware store.
Our first summer of dating, Cowboy graduated and took a 6-week motorcycle trip around the Western U.S. This was before the days of blackberries, text messaging and wi-fi, so I gave him a stack of good old fashioned letters with instructions to open one every week. The stack included a father’s day card from Gus, which Cowboy said later was his second-favorite letter of the batch (the first being the porn letter for week #3 into the trip).
A tradition was born. The father’s day card. Not the porn letter. Although, am thinking I should bring that one back for the upcoming summer of DIY cycles.
So Gus “signed” his name on this year’s card, which is an amazing feat considering his lack of opposable thumbs. And I added at the last minute, “Baker, Junior and the second one, too.” Baker is our chocolate lab who we adopted and then had to put to sleep three years ago. Junior and The Second One, well, those are our human children.
I debated adding that line to the card, but I just felt like we should honor their short existence in our lives a little bit more. Of course, I bawled when Cowboy opened the card. But it was a weird cry, filled with a mixture of sadness and, oddly, a bit of relief. Cowboy reassured me not to be sad. We both love each of those kids, opposable thumbs or not and with us physically or not, with all of our hearts. It was comforting to think about. And to hear from him.
This coming Saturday is Junior’s due date. I have been dreading this day since last November. I can feel the physical presence of its coming like weight around my shoulders. I am tired. My head hurts. I feel heavy and sluggish. I cry when I think about it.
I just want to get it over with. But, somehow, seem to know that I just have to "be" for a moment in this grief. It's not making it any easier but I hope to encounter a lighter sense of being when this auspicous milestone has passed.