We decided we got this, texting with the better half he was up and ready to go to pick me up shortly after 10 am. Finn waiting in the front seat, ready to jump out, explore the yard and make it his as well as it is Zissou’s. He expected to go inside but instead, we got the day going, ready to roll and to explore.
Rock Candy Mountain the destination I had on my radar for a while for a few reasons:
- it really is one of the closest trails to my home with only about 30 minute drive time.
- it is a unique trail, being used by hikers, motocross bikes, mountain bikers
- it’s a 30-mile hike and you can go and see all kinds of different things, can go the full length or make it yours and shorter.
- and for Finn, I thought it would be a nice hike seeing dog hikes are only a few and far in-between and most I’d like to do still are not for dogs if you go after most of the trail descriptions
Plus, with the better half already driving all the way down here to pick me up a shorter drive to the destination was a plus in my book as well.
The mood somber, kinda feeling it out I guess how the other one is doing on this day, we drove a bit in silence only with the music on and my mind on how this day will go and how we will do and progress through it all.
The silence was broken when we started talking about the vineyard weekend when I brought the better half up to speed and we were talking about work and our plans on aligning our work weekends so we have our free weekends together and can enjoy them more as well. It’s a good icebreaker, right!? It was for us and the silence we somewhat carried with and within us for the first few miles of the trip.
We arrived, we prepared, we got everything ready and we started this trail. Finn, an amazing hiking dog as we discovered, by our side every step of the way. Discovering new terrain and watching out for us at every turn, up- or downhill. Walking ahead with Finn by my side I listened and processed every word my man was talking about. Especially cause I am somewhat bailed out on meeting with family the day before because it was just too late in account of the early school days we have in our house now, and so I was forced to work through these feelings while he was talking about this get together and the events that unfolded there and fought my own little battle in my brain for these first few minutes of the hike and talk. It was good for me to be forced to do this though. To feel and go through it all while getting to know everything else around our relationship and family in those darker times as well.
Lots of soul searching, finding peace of mind in account of the distance between us (in miles, not in heart or thoughts) and finding footing in this new situation for and within our love for each other. We soon switched to talking about Zissou, the grief, the pain, and his last days with all of us. But I couldn’t help thinking that I let this wonderful dog down on his last days. I was there on the beach, helping him, swimming, watching, loving him but I feel that I should have done more. Cuddled him more. Sat with him more. Reassure him more of my love for him… Instead, I gave way to Tom (who knew him since he was a puppy and who, as I got told, made sure his first years were one of the most amazing and who loved Z like one of his own) and of course to the better half and his brother who needed this time together with him as well and more than I did probably!
Yet, my guilt in not being there longer, and especially in his last hour has me up at night, has me mulling over these last hours of his life and wondering if he is disappointed that he could not see me there, in that room, being a part of his family…
Those were thoughts going through my head while we made our way uphill, pondering which way to take next when we came to a crossroad of signs and paths and for me, it was a ‘ do we take the easy way or the hard way out?’ kind of situation for the hike but also for life and everything that lays ahead of us as well.
You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give!!
Gears are shifting and changing in all of us, as the better half worded it perfectly and we all take a great deal of experience and new insights into our relationships with each other, within this family, with us going forward from this week on. And for me going forward started with this hike for us, with gaining new insights into the feelings and thoughts of him and myself, and how we deal with this situation. The agreement that we are stronger than anything that will come our way and the promise of a family working together better, no matter what was going on beforehand and how the cards were dealt at first. Reshuffle the deck, make it work for you and concentrate on the people (and pets) you love most in your life.