Outside In

I look great! At least that’s what everyone keeps saying. Sure, I’ve lost weight, let my hair grow out and am sporting a new pair of trendy shaded glasses. I make sure I shower every day, eat right and wear bright happy colors.

I’m now just weeks away from being alcohol free for an entire year! It’s been 350 days since I touched a drop of liquor and this was the toughest year of my entire life. This was the year my 28-year-old daughter, the light of my life, died.

But yes, I guess I do look great…outside.

I feel like one of those fabulous Easter Bunnies ornately decorated with sugar-coated eyes and sweet mouthwatering chocolate. The kind that brings a smile to your face and joy to your heart until you bite it and see…inside.

Hollow, empty, nothing but air. Since Courtney died, I feel like my entire insides disappeared. I try to stay busy and positive to fill the emptiness but many times, without warning grief creeps… inside

Like who would have thought Veterans day would be a trigger for sorrow? It’s not as if either Courtney or I were in the military, yet a very memorable story materialized …inside

It was about our dog Cabo, a Wheaton,, who was like a big ,white fuzzy stuffed animal and had that Wheaton zest for life. Well, around veterans day one year Cabo got really sick. We were certain he must have eaten something bad as he was dry heaving and looking miserable.

We went to the vet, and they suggested an x-ray which confirmed he did indeed swallow something. Whatever that something was happened to be stuck in the sidewall of his stomach. Everyone was boggled by what they saw and immediately the girls in the office started making bets as to “What’s in Cabo’s stomach?”

As he went into surgery, we anxiously waited and prayed he’d be ok. What could he have possibly eaten that had caused such damage inside? Scared we waited, Big daddy, Courtney and me for the results.

Finally, a nurse came out with a small plastic bag and smiling said “Here is the culprit” It was one of those red poppies with a straight pin they hand out for Veterans day. He had eaten the one off my jacket.

Relieved that it had not damaged his stomach, we all, including the entire office had a good laugh. No one had ever seen or heard of a dog eating one of those poppies.

So for years after that whenever Court and I would see people handing them out we would adamantly say, “No Thank You, They are dangerous!” We would laugh because no one else understood why we hated poppies so much.

Yesterday they were talking about the poppies on the news and my first instinct was to call Courtney and laugh and remember when Cabo gave us such a scare.

But then I remembered she wasn‘t here to share that memory with me.

Outside… I still looked great but …inside I felt like I swallowed a poppy and that it was stuck in my heart.

I hope they are with each other in heaven having a good laugh!

  1. Kathy Allogia 11/12/2019 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Aww those Poppies! Poor Cabo! And I think of you as more of a delicious cream filled bunny! Hugs love you

  2. Christie Brusha 11/13/2019 at 1:13 am - Reply

    Thank for the article it made me smile on the outside and sad on the inside!

  3. Cindy 11/13/2019 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Maybe a poppy in the heart is not a bad thing? It’s there, close, to help you pull out those sweet memories that keep your dear Courtney with you. Love and blessings to you and Christie.

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