February 14, 1999

I posted this on the Acmepet Dog House on February 14, 1999 at 17:46:19:

3 hour tour, and a wonderful Valentines because of you all....long msg

Yesterday, the weather was going to be perfect, nice, sunny, warm, not too windy, high clouds, and small swells, the better of the two days this weekend too. We launched in Drew's boat, a 25 foot cabin cruiser at about 10 - 10:30 or so.  [Drew is Nick's oldest friend, they've known each other since 3rd grade or so.]  I had taken sea sick pills, Bonamine, which apparently don't make you as sleepy as Dramamine, and they worked too, I didn't get queasy. But, the boat was powerful enough to cut the waves anyway.

We got to 3 miles out from Nick's favorite beach, and Drew cut the motor. At that distance, it was hard to make out the landmarks, but we finally did. We drifted for a while, talking, they were drinking white wine and beer (I don't drink alcohol, so I was having water). It's apparently a tradition with them (Nick's family who was there - except me - are all experienced on the sea) that whenever you open something to drink, you pour a little over the side for the sea gods first. Well, the sea gods must have been happy, because they treated us very well.

I had pruned all the flower arrangements (except the one from the Acme staff, those were LIVE plants), and had a big bag of flowers and petals, Nick's mom, Yvonne, had done the same at her house. Drew had brought soil from all their childhood haunts. I also had a fishing license for Nick that a friend got for me. We first put in some flowers to see the current drift. The wind was blowing opposite the current, and we had to make sure to put Nick downwind, or there'd be bits of NIck everywhere.  Yvonne and I had opened the container the day before, and it looked just like sand. No big pieces they warn you about, just like off white, ground up sea shell type, just a bit coarse, sand. It was hard to relate that this was Nick. How upset can you get over sand?? But there it was, almost the same as his birthweight too (Yvonne weighed it). 

We each took a handful (and yes, it did feel like sand too) and put it over, I told him bye baby, I love him, I'll see him later, just like I always did when leaving for work or on the phone. Drew also put in the soil, and some fish hooks for him too, as well as that license (which Drew was actually the inspiration for, when Nick once had to get him a license real quick when fish and game were about to bust drew one day). the rest of us put in the flowers and we all cried and hugged and talked. the flowers looked so pretty, drifting out to sea.  Finally, Drew cast a line, and we trolled about halfway back to the harbor. Unfortunately, he only hooked a little seaweed (maybe the sea gods wanted more wine? VBG). We all went out to lunch afterwards, I was getting pretty tired and took a short nap when I finally got home. 

When I woke up about 5, I saw there was a small box on the table, but was in a hurry to get Leilah to the dog park (my mom had stayed home with her in the morning). When I got back, I looked at it and it was from Ruth (Urge to Herd). I started to open it, I tried calling Ruth, got her machine, then called Robin (Poochini) on the phone before I went any further. I was crying again, and opening all your wonderful cards and notes. She had also put in a list of those who sent contributions for Dominique's [college] fund without cards, so I know who you all are too. I was crying and reading, oh man, you are all so amazing, I can't tell you how much this all meant to me. Ruth had sent along some liver treats, aka Canine Crack to which Leilah was instantly addicted. She was sniffing every letter, envelope, the box, even after I put the treats up on the shelf after giving her some, she was going nuts. Whining, begging, etc....it was funny. 

Once I finally did get to sleep, I slept for 14 hours.

This morning, there's another box on the table, this time from Robin. I got online, and she and Jo (LA Jo) got a private chat room, and with Teresa (TeresaR), I started opening it. Now, I was barely awake too. But, oh my god, there was a beautiful album that Dianne (Boot's Mom) put together, green with gold braid that she made, and a little gold angel, with ALL your posts from that first day or two, that I didn't get to read since I was so out of it and too busy. More cards too that had been sent to Robin. I was opening the cards while in the chat room, and damn if I didn't run out of Kleenex. Fortunately I finally found some more, and the album's pages are in protectors, thank goodness, or they would have gotten pretty wet. Leilah was looking for more liver, but no luck this time, VBG. 

I couldn't ask for more love on this Valentine's day, oh man, you are all just so terrific!! This is the best alternative if I have to be without Nick today. I've been reading your words, prayers, and poems, and crying some more. 

There just isn't the words to truly describe it, but I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being there and giving me all this wonderful support, as I said what seems like a million times already, you are all amazing. 

Thank you. 

Leilah's Mom

Sent to me by  Jane (Muttpack)

Sir Arthur Tennyson

Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star, 
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep
Too full for sound and foam, 
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar. 

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