Today is my 4 years.
Today is the day I was sitting at my desk in my shared office in the basement of my work building in Vermont, collaborating with my officemate Carol and our very creative and artistic colleague about what design to put on shirts for our walk-in computer clinic.
We were brainstorming. Kicking around ideas. Justin was super animated, bouncing around like a caged bee between my desk and Carol’s across the room. iChat was open on my MacBook Pro, and it was chiming A LOT, but I absentmindedly turned off the sound because I was busy with the people in front of me.
And then my phone started buzzing. A text I will never forget. A text I didn’t believe. A text I truly hoped was a very cruel joke. A text from the person who had introduced me to Dawg’s Cereal Wednesday world, and therefore the world of Puppy Monster. A text telling me of the events the day before.
I excused myself from the brainstorm, went into the room with all the filing cabinets, and called Adam. I asked him if he was joking; he was not. I became more hysterical than I already was. I don’t remember the conversation because I was shutting down emotionally, but I eventually hung up. I went into the dark stairwell. I went into the bathroom no one ever dared go into. I went back into the room with all the filing cabinets. I just wandered while my mind raced.
And then I went back to my office and sat at my desk, stunned. I asked that we table our brainstorm discussion for a later time. Justin left the room and Carol went back to work. I just sat at my desk, frozen.
Before that text Dawg was an Internet friend. Puppy Monster was a special guest on his Internet cereal show. After that text, DJ was the first person I truly mourned and Dawg was someone I wish I could find in the world and give a hug until I could make it all better.
Today is the day four years ago that changed me as a person forever. The day I truly understood that life is too short and should not be wasted on a life lived without purpose.
Today is the day I celebrate DJ’s short life, even though I never got to be with him a day he was alive. Today, and every day, I think fondly of how DJ has his dad’s ears, his dad’s arms, his dad’s hands, his dad’s eyes, his dad’s button nose, his dad’s hammy smile for the camera. Today, and every day, I keep him in my heart where he belongs.
Thanks for reading.