Monday, September 12, 2011

Dear Rocco


It's been one week since we've lost you. You could probably tell from my last letter how upset I was. Last Monday was the worst day of my life. The few days before and the few days after it make up the worst week of my life. Even though we knew it was coming, and that this was how it was going to end, it was still hard to accept. It seemed surreal at first. After you left I went to all these places we used to spend time together; the old shelter, the old walking route in Los Altos. I went back up to Alicia's work and walked the bay trail there without you. I'm not sure what I was doing. Trying to trigger memories of you I guess. I sat on a bench facing the bay in Redwood city and closed my eyes, asking you if you could feel me. I tried hard to connect with you. I could feel my hands pulsing and I could feel myself squeezing the phone in my hand. My eyes were closed. After a bit the wind picked up and blew in my face. I felt some type of hum or buzz come into my ear. I got up walked down the trail and came to that concrete calendar that you walk on. I hopped up on the wall there and laid down under a tree. I heard a bird make a singular "caw" type noise in the canopy. I looked around and saw this bird of prey in the canopy. What was this hunting bird doing here? Why did it yell once? I stared at the bird and it just kept staring back at me. It didn't turn it's head or even blink an eye. So we stared at each other for a long time. I thought in my head "is that you Rocco?". I thought about how connected we were. And I thought that your energy somehow ended up in this bird. And that this bird was drawn to me but didn't know why. It just felt compelled to stare.

My Aunt Fran wrote that "you were not part of my life, but part of my being". I think this is true. It's why I'm compelled to look for you in a breeze or in a bird. It's why I walked out in the drizzling rain the other night and just stood there. I closed my eyes and imagined myself rubbing your chest. I could feel myself doing it. I think I'll always seek you, because you are a part of me.

Anyway, by Thursday I had accepted that you were gone and not coming back. There is nothing I can do now. I can't change your diet. I can't take you on that extra walk or play another game of tug with you. It's SO boring here without you. No one wants to tug in the morning (strangely I do). Barney and Havana aren't playing as much as before but they are playing at least. You know I thought this would be worse on Havana but I'm not so sure. Barney seems to have taken it hard. He doesn't chew bone much right now, and he chewed bone with you all the time. He played with you every night. I guess five months was enough to develop a strong bond with you. Testament to how much we all miss you. Your Mama wrote a nice letter to you as well, she shared it with me. I've been making this DVD slideshow for our wedding and putting lots of pictures of you in it. I'm able to look at these now and not cry but smile. I laugh at the funny things you did and admire how you chased a ball or jumped for a rope in the photos where we are playing. I marvel at the beauty of your golden eyes and how they can pierce through deep inside me. Sometimes I forget I'm looking at pixels on a screen, and I think I'm looking at you.

Where do we go from here friend? I don't know. I remember how you didn't like my guitar at first, and that eventually you got so used to it you would fall asleep while I was playing. Then I felt like I was singing lullaby's to you. My favorite song to sing to you was Bruce's "Blood Brothers". The first chorus summed up how I felt about us pretty well.

"We stood side by side, each one fightin' for the other
We said until we died, we'd always be blood brothers"

Now I feel I must take the advice of the last chorus.

"But the stars are burnin' bright, like some mystery uncovered
I'll keep movin' through the dark with you in my heart, my blood brother"

You'll always have that part of me, and I'll always have part of you in my heart.


PS: I took a picture of that bird I saw. I attached it to this letter.

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