I dug a hole last week. A big, deep hole, and I laid Azure in it.
And since last week, we have tried like hell to learn to live with the big, deep hole she left in our hearts.
I have spent the past two days tearing through my CD collection looking for the perfect song to put with these photos. Among the candidates: “Joyful Girl” by Ani DiFranco, “Round Here” by Counting Crows, and “Drunken Angel” by Lucinda Williams.
As it turns out, Azure was highly photographed. She was always into something, giving us cause for exasperation and jubilation. I have long maintained that while we, the bi-peds, are pretty unremarkable, the krewe makes us vicariously interesting. Azure, meanwhile, tipped the scales from amusing to downright zany.
As her final act of defiance two weeks ago, she ate the seat out of her favorite chair, the ugly green/brown plaid one featured in many of these photographs. When she had dug out all the stuffing and the springs were erupting from the chair's innards, I asked K if she thought I should drag it out for the trash company to haul off. Azure continued to use the chair, shooting us annoyed looks as the springs poked out and she tried to twist her body and avoid the non-cushioned parts, so K said to leave it be.
I hauled the chair to the “curb” Wednesday after I buried Azure. Like Azure, it turns out it held a conspicuous place here at the Farm.
No one has tipped over the toy box for a week now.
When I empty the vacuum canister, there isn’t hardly any toy fluff.
Phone conversations are not punctuated with the rattle of a puzzle ball richocheting off the trailer walls.
The food Mercy tosses out of her bowl in protest of her anti-allergy diet sits waiting for us to sweep it up, since Azure doesn’t scavenge behind her any more.
We no longer keep a two-baby-gate pile-up at the bedroom door, because Azure was the only one who would challenge the single-height barrier.
Until it was time to wash sheets today, no one had “torn all the covers off the bed.”
The three dog beds in the living room remain completely intact.
We have not plowed through a dozen pig ears, pork rolls, and stuffed Kong © toys or a jug of animal crackers in the past week.
For the first time in a long time, chaos has not been the order of the day.
So why do we feel broken into a million pieces?