We found her sleeping in the corner of the yard on a chilly night.
I had been ill so not tracking her movements as usual.
PB found her.
She came to tell me about something "cute" she had seen.
I almost shooed her away.
It was not until I heard her say "Grendel" that I unwrapped myself out of my selfish physical self and truly listened to her chattering.
Grendel was "sleeping" in a dark corner of the garden near the herbs.
PB had seen her limp body and perused innocently that she was taking a catnap - deep in slumber amongst the sweet scents of basil and rosemary and thyme.
I rushed outside.
I saw her still form and rushed to her side. The ground was damp and cold beneath my knees.
I was sure she was gone, but as the motion-sensored lights flickered on I saw her sad, pleading brown eyes and contorted body.
She couldn't get up.
She didn't even struggle as I picked her up whilst squeezing the multiple baseball size tumors that now pester her back and spine and the untold number in her shoulder, neck, pelvis and lungs.
She shivered violently. I lay her limp in front of the fireplace. She stayed where I put her.
We wrapped her in soft blankets. She seemed unable to lift her head.
I brought her a bowl of chicken broth that she finally listlessly drank.
Her eyes were glazed, whether from the cancer, the drugs I gave her a few hours earlier, or the from the mist of her twilight years, I am still not sure.
Who knows how long she was out there.
I was so angry. At myself for not paying attention the day before, so wrapped in my own health problems, that I failed to give her her meds and now today for letting her slip out of the house through the doggy door.
I am angry at the cancer.
I am angry that she could have died cold, alone, and in the dark.
But most of all, I am angry at myself that I almost hoped she was gone when I saw her in the garden because I am too much of a coward to let her go.
Too much of a coward to make the decision my kids and husband are in denial of it's need.
Tonight, she sleeps embraced in our arms in front of a warm glowing fire.
Tomorrow, perhaps she will find a final slumbering place.
Tomorrow, perhaps, will be better.
Tomorrow, perhaps will be the day to make a decision.
We are in the late hours of light in her life. In her darkest hour.
Thx for the flickr pics by by Darkr, by lepiaf.geo, by lepiaf.geo again, and by gari.baldi