When Matt’s pickup pulled in the driveway, the jig was up. I could no longer push the thought to that ‘someday’ place. It was time. The kids were leaving.
How am I going to do this? Where’s their bag? Get their bag! Did I pack enough food? Are her toys in here? How am I going say goodbye? No crying…time for that later. Just keep thinking about the girls. Don’t forget to tell Matt they have treats. Did I remember to pack the note I wrote Herb and June?... God, I’m never going to see those beautiful faces again…Give me the strength to do this the right way, for them…Answer the doorbell!
“Hi Matt.” I’m pretty sure I was smiling, but who the hell knows.
“Hey Roxi, Hi girls..well you two are beautiful! And so excited. Going to go for a ride with me?” He roughed up the hair on their heads.
I handed him the bag and the bucket of food so he could situate the truck. He had the back seat down, everything in its place. He had dogs, did shows, he knew the drill. He showed me his set up, adding, “I have some water and I brought buckets for drinking, I wasn’t sure….”
Blah, blah, blah! Don’t forget to remind the girls they are doing this alone. Remind them I am staying. Did I tell anyone that Echo doesn’t like thunderstorms? And when they walk, Vision is on the right, Echo on the left…If they do the opposite, everyone gets confused…Matt’s waiting. Get them ready, I’m out of time…
“I’ll get their leashes.” Again I was smiling like some kind of idiot.
The girls were all bouncy and ready for their adventure. “Ok. Let’s get you ready.” As I slipped the leashes on I reminded them. “Mama is staying here. But you are going to have so much fun! New people to love, new things to see and smell…Herb will tell you who he is and then you will be staying with them….Be good girls at your new job. You two help each other. No matter where you are, no matter where I am, our hearts will always be together.”
“Ready?” Matt asked.
Do I look ready? Could you be a bigger Bonehead? How do you get ready for this? No, no, no…keep it up beat. This is about love, I can do this last thing for them.
“Their ready!” We slipped them into the truck with a boost and they quickly gave me a kiss each.
“I’ll call you tonight and let you know how they are doing and tomorrow….”
Burn those pretty little faces into my brain…look how happy they are with those crazy ears flopping out the window…smile back...let them know you are happy for them..everything is good…Breathe…breathe…
“Bye my Beauties. Have fun and tell me all about it tonight. OK?”
I think I thanked Matt. Poor Matt, it cannot have been a easy to watch someone die. He was probably concerned there would be tears…men don’t know what to do about tears. But there weren’t any, not yet. I turned to go back in the house as he pulled out of the driveway and I had not planned on looking back. But I could not resist one last indulgence as the truck drove down the street. There they sat looking out the back pane of the pickup, smiling big and bright as ever, off to a new world. I smiled back and waved.
As I closed the door behind me, I remember thinking that ‘breathing’ was highly overrated.