by Melissa Brunner
I made waffles Sunday morning. I hadn't made waffles in more than two months.
It was before Bam Bam died.
Bam Bam loved Sunday morning waffles. He also loved Saturday night pizza crust and any-night-of-the-week Cheetos snacks.
Bam Bam died Sunday afternoon, June 1, at the age of 15. I can't help but wonder if the lack of waffles since that day had been a subconscious aversion.
I'm sure most people with pets will understand when I say Bam Bam was a huge part of our lives. We lost one of our labs, Ricky, a little more than two weeks earlier, and it hit us just as hard, but Bam Bam was our inside dog. He slept in the bed with us. He sat on the couch to watch television with us. While he went many places with us throughout his life, as his health declined over the past several months, we took him pretty much everywhere. We'd go out to eat and one of us would step out to check on him every few minutes - same if we attended an event. We couldn't leave him alone longer than a couple hours. On the weekends, I'd often simply sit with him because it's what made him comfortable. That, and Skittles the cat, who'd become his best cuddle-buddy.
It's not just the waffles. It seems we've been running a lot of errands on weekends these past couple months. Subconsciously, maybe I just don't want to sit at home if he's not on the couch.
I still find myself wanting to save the pizza crust or extra fries from a meal. I still find myself wanting to peek into the living room when I get home to make sure he's resting. I still look for his eyes wanting to share my lunch. I'm still surprised there's nothing blocking my feet when I turn over in bed at night.
Bam Bam was in a dream I had the other night. I was hurt (struck by lightning - very bizarre!) and there he was, watching over me to see if I was all right. It's not unlike when a human we love passes away. They are always with us. Over time, memories of the ways in which they were engrained in our lives bring smiles instead of tears.
We took another step forward in time Sunday morning. We laughed at Bam Bam's insistence on sharing. We recalled how, if you ignored him too long during meal time, he would lift a paw and swipe at your knee until you gave him a snack.
And we ate waffles.