The Last Fight

“You did too much. You tried too hard. The only thing you didn’t do is walk away. So walk away. It’s going to hurt like hell. Do it anyway. Do it with grace. Do it with love. Do it knowing you did everything you could.”        – b.breazeale

My dog is dying. I didn’t want to admit it. But I knew it. It is why I postponed my move to Paris. It is why I just signed a lease on the same street where he lives. I knew our time was limited, but I thought we had more time, more walks to the coffee shop- ‘the B’ sitting outside with me, tucked under my legs. He was supposed to be my wingman for this new chapter. He was supposed to be my rock while I try to heal and start over.

I am absolutely furious with myself for spending his last six months away from him. I left him when he needed me most. The irony is almost comical. I left Biscuit and moved to Arlington, Texas for a guy who left me a week later, then left Arlington, Texas to come back to Biscuit, who is now leaving me a week later.

When Eric told me he wasn’t doing well. He calmly said, “I think you should consider moving back early”. That is all I needed to hear. Eric never wants me to worry or hurt. I know that. I knew that every day I called to check on Biscuit, he wasn’t being 100% straight with me. But I still called every day. The guilt I felt because I wasn’t there, when I knew I was losing him, was excruciating. Deluding myself that he was going to be fine was just easier.

So I packed up my apartment the next day and drove out of Arlington, Texas, back home. He is what motivated me to do one of the hardest things I have ever done- give up on a dream, on love. It was the first time that I had to move away from something I love instead of toward something I love.

Two days and 781 miles later, I walked in the door of my home that is no longer mine. Everything had changed, except for Biscuit’s reaction when I walked in the door. He slowly got up and came straight to me. Tail wagging, huge smile, nose forcing its way into my hand for some long awaited pets. Eric said he hadn’t done that in weeks. Within 2 days we were back to our routine- him patiently waiting for me to get myself out the door, our walk to the coffee shop, that now took twice as long , him stopping at his favorite rock, then his favorite bush (pine, totally obsessed with pine), the realtor’s office where he bolts in, pummels the poor man trying to get his work done, relentlessly begging until he gets a treat.

We get to the coffee shop, take our normal spot next to the tree, and our day continued as it had so many times before. And for two days, that is exactly what we did. I knew I had made the right decision. Maybe he was just waiting for me to come back?

And then we began our walk back home. I could see the pain in his eyes with each step, even though he had his normal elated smile on his face that he always had when we were on our walks. By the end, I was literally holding him up, almost carrying my puppy that weighs more than I do. We barely made it inside the gate. And that was it. I slept outside with him until we finally had to take him in on a stretcher. He hasn’t moved since.

Maybe he was just waiting for me to come back.

And yet, I still hope. He has done this before and he came back. If we do the unthinkable and he could have come back…

So, when do you call it? When do you throw in the towel and do the unthinkable? When do you walk away and give up the fight?

It feels absolutely impossible.

The fact of the matter is, I’m so very tired of letting shit go. I don’t want to anymore. I have let so much go in the past year. They say things come in 3’s. This is the 5th terrible, heartbreaking thing that has happened this year. This has to stop at some point, right? A person can only take so much. I don’t care about the whole ‘you only are given what you can handle’ bullshit. Isn’t there a breaking point? Isn’t this why people snap and truly do throw in the towel? I don’t want to break. I have shit to do. And I’m tired of crying. And I’m tired of fighting the urge to ask, ‘why me’? I’m just tired.

So do I call it?  Do I give up on him?

Clearly, he can’t tell us that he is in pain, or if it is to the point that he just wants it to stop. What if he isn’t ready? What if he gets better? What if he wants to keep fighting and we gave up on him too soon.

That is not what I do. I don’t give up. To a fault. I fucking fight- for love, for life, for dreams, for people…I fucking fight.

I know we all have to do this. It’s the whole courage thing. We have to face our fears- our fear of being alone, of failing, of admitting defeat, of being the one who gave up, of never seeing the person we love the most again.

I have always tried to use pain as a guide. If I am causing someone pain, or if I am experiencing pain beyond what is acceptable, if there is little chance of transforming it back into something beautiful, then I know it is time to let go.

That is the intention. That is not what I am able to do when dealing with the latter. I hold on too long- to love, to life, to a dream or a person. I stay too long. I fight too long. Even when that person has long since stopped fighting for me. Even when all hope is gone. I know this is selfish. That person is trying to let go of something that isn’t serving them anymore- my dad holding on, for me; my husband holding on, for me, my puppy, for me. And I encourage them. I make them keep fighting, when I know what they really want is for me to just let go.

He is telling me he doesn’t want to fight anymore. It is clear. And he is holding on, partially for me. And I am letting him.

I think, for the first time in my life, I just don’t want to fight anymore.

 

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4 thoughts on “The Last Fight

  1. This is beautiful, Brooke. I can completely relate to what you are going through. It’s an impossible decision to be faced with. Itis something we don’t even think about when I we are bringing what will ultimately be our “children”. Into our lives. When I was bringing home my cute little furball 10 years ago the furthest thing from my mind was that someday I would have to make a choice of this gravity. You are an amazing writer and this was so deeply touching and honest for me.

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  2. So much has already been said, but I want you to know this. Biscuit very well could have been holding on for you, but not because you made him – he did because he wanted to. He knew you would be there, I truly believe that. When he needed you the most, you were there, Brooke. He left this earth knowing that and it is all that was required for him to be able to let go in peace. That’s what I believe anyway.

    The capacity you have to love and feel is unlike most, and because of that, your heart is destined to carry a heavy burden. But what it also means is that when you do find that perfect love, and place, it will move your soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh, Tanya. There are so many days I wish I could feel less. But then, like you read yesterday, I know for to the extent of pain I feel, I will feel this deeply again, love, peace, laughter.. all the things I have before and I’ll feel it more, because there is so much more space to fill… but god, the void those things have to fill is so vast.. just feels like that will take a lifetime. You are so sweet to read these and have the amount of empathy you do… it fills a part of that space in.. you need to know that

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  3. I Know how you feel, having had to say goodbye too many times. I am filled with dread as each day ends. There is one we have that is and has been the most special thing in my life.I will share the details when the time arrives, hopefully years from now. I wish I had known you on February 13th of this year. I would like to have been here.

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