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  • They spent most of their time asleep. Sometimes apart in separate rooms, but most of the time they were close to each other. It was just the two of them. They grew up together in the same house for nearly 15 years.

    But now they're gone.

    In earlier years they were full of spunk. One was more passive with sass, the other was confident but at times selfish. We loved them both regardless. They had trouble following directions. The rules we set down meant nothing to them. They marched to the beat of their own drum. Still, we loved them both regardless.

    They loved to yell, loved to roll, loved to eat, loved to sleep. They had their good days and bad days, just like anybody else does. They knew when to comfort you when you needed it, and they left you alone when you needed your space.

    But now they're gone.

    When someone came home you were met with a parade. Hoots and hollers filled the air. It was always a warm homecoming, everyday. They made you feel special. I guess they're good at that. Sometimes they would take off without warning. Running around the neighborhood without a care. They always came back or let themselves be caught. Those days however were numbered.

    There came a time when the parade was limited to one member while the other took a breather. Eventually the parades and warm welcomes stopped. They might have looked in your direction, but the fanfare was gone. We didn't mind. Over time they grew older. You could see it in their eyes and hear it in their bones. Play time was a memory, but that was okay. They couldn't help it. After years of running around one is bound to require some relaxation. They earned it for sure.

    One of them became ill. We rushed to the hospital and where he stayed overnight. He came back the next day, but he wasn't the same. His naps turned into sleeps. His voice had changed. He hardly paid any mind to his companion. That was the hardest. Through all of that she kept her chin up. Even when he wandered off for what seemed like hours. She stood by, patiently waiting. When he came back she greeted him warmly. He didn't notice.

    They were like this for a few years. Then she got sick. Was it a cold? Was it something bad she ate? No.

    Cancer.

    It only took half a day to make the decision, the most difficult decision we've ever had to make as a family. She took it in stride, smiling all the way. Even in her last moments she kept her spirits up. She was in pain, but not for long.

    She's gone now.

    Things were strange for a few months. Our routines changed as we only had to accommodate for one. Even in the shell of his former self he sensed something wasn't right, but life goes on, and so did we. Winter came and left. Normalcy fell over the house again, habits reinstated.

    Then the spring came. It was his turn. He was out of sorts one night. More than usual. The outlook wasn't great, but we kept the faith. Just when things looked like they were turning around, we received the news. Our friend wouldn't be coming home. In the span of a few months we had to make the same, difficult decision.

    He was very quiet when we went to see him. More so than I had ever seen him. We told him that everything would be okay. That things would be better. The pain and suffering was over. We didn't lie. At least for him.

    They're both gone.

    Sometimes I still hear them. I hear the pitter-patter of their feet on the floor. The rustling from across the house meaning something had been broken into. I feel the stare from across the room. Their presence is still here. I can feel it. Maybe it's because of their sedentary lifestyle for those few years towards the end. Maybe it's their spirit comforting us and trying to get us back into that normal routine.

    But then I look around. There's no one there. No one looking up at you. No one walking about. No one calling for you to come to them.

    They're gone.

    The pain of losing them was more than I ever thought possible, but that pales in comparison to the joy and comfort they gave for so long. You never know what you have until it's gone. When I think of all the times I got frustrated and annoyed, I think about all the happy memories. All of the times we laughed. The countless hours of just sitting there next to one another, enjoying each other's company.

    Those memories will never go away. In that respect, they are still here with me, and I take comfort in that. In the face of death we appreciate the life that was and the impact it has.

    Molly (May 24, 1997 - September 19, 2011)
    Beau (July 5, 1996 - May 17, 2012)

    " 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." ~Alfred Lord Tennison
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