I’ve turned a corner…a good corner.

After Ava left us, many things happened to me (Ava’s mom). I went insane, I lost vocabulary, I could no longer listen to music because she WAS music, I tortured myself in trying to recollect every minute of that last year…conversation…minute before I passed out from being so tired to that moment of hearing that horrible news. To say that first year was fraught with the most horrific grief, love, pain, joy of remembering, anger, relief that she was no longer in an earthly torture, resentment because I still was…is a GROSS understatement of all the other experiences I had then and since.

I was diagnosed with PTSD and, as Montana (my dog) was already highly trained, getting her certified wasn't a problem. She was now my PTSD Service Dog. Why did I need one? I couldn't leave my house at all without wanting to scream...and feeling like my skin had been ripped from my body...making me naked beyond naked. Montana was my lifesaver.

Montana and I in March, 2016

The good news? Wait for it. I promise it’s coming!

My 2016 summer trip West to immerse myself in AVA's Las Vegas and friends helped my healing immensely. After coming home, I was finally able to grieve for my loss of the other bigger-than-life woman in my life…Mom. Then I got whacked upside the head with the sudden death of my Service Dog, Montana. And, after the first rush of all that grief, pain and questioning, I felt relief…a release of horrible, binding, overwhelming responsibilities of keeping another living human/animal alive who was not going to live regardless of all you did or could do.

Sound weird? Oh well. Then you ain’t never walked in these size tens!

As my life was all entwined in theirs, I couldn’t help but feel the great responsibility of keeping them alive in spite of Ava’s 30 year determination to take her life and Mom’s aging health issues where I was the one to monitor it and care of her. Here’s a prime example of the overlay: I couldn’t fly out to be with Ava knowing where she was headed those last days because I had to take Mom to the emergency room that very night…yes…THAT night. Overlay Montana, who kept me safe. She guided me through some of the hardest days of my life after being diagnosed with PTSD where being in public was frightening. In the last couple of years, I became fearful of that day when she also would go. But, I quickly dismissed the outward fear by lying that it would surely be years away…but it wasn’t. Cancer stole her.

Now, for the good news!

I spent an amazing month in Florida this past December walking the beach and seeing the Frida exhibit at the Dali and healing with great friends. I’ve felt so renewed that I started thinking about my next trip and how I wanted to do it…RV, truck, trailer, etc. On a whim, I decided to update my current truck to include Bluetooth and ways to listen to my music downloaded onto Ava’s old iPhone.

I went to the dealer to ask about how expensive and how long, etc. when I asked about one of their used 2016 trucks on their lot with only 4400 miles. Next thing I know, I’m driving out in it! After digging around for a cable for the Auxiliary outlet to plug in Ava’s iPhone for the past week, I tried it out yesterday. As I drove the two minutes to my friend’s house, my favorite Native American album “Drum Medicine” blasted through my new truck and I cried. I cried good tears…tears of joy because music was ALWAYS a HUGE part of my life as it was Ava’s and, for these last five years, I couldn’t stand to have it around me because I’d start crying from sadness. Yesterday, I cried tears of joy because it was now back in my life!

This was a BIG corner that took years of hard work and focus to get to but so worth the simple joy of having music in my soul again!

Find what you need in your soul and work to get it back like your life depends on it…because it does…not just to you but to those who love you.

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