Sweet Little Ceci, you came into my life on April Fool's Day 2007. I adopted you on a Sunday. I remember it all as if it were yesterday.
I just had to have you. I was not looking for you. I spotted you
over the railing at the shelter the week before--another Sunday.
You side-glanced at me with those big beautiful eyes--showing the
extra whites of your eyes--and you thumped your little tail so
excitedly. I found out you had just been surrendered that day. You
had lived the first twelve years of your life with two different members
of the same extended family--a mother and then her son--or vice
versa--somehow they gave you up--and somehow you and I both knew that
you would now be mine to love and to hold--to care for until the rest of
your life, dear Ceci Girl--to
make those golden years so much more special for you. Now it was your
turn to be taken for walks. No more reports to a shelter that you
were never walked much. Oh, I listened carefully to what they told me
as I signed your adoption papers--they said you had not been walked
much--and I knew that was all going to change for you, dear heart. So
they gave me a pink collar and a purple leash.
And I brought a camera, and the ladies were so happy to take our
pictures. I have never had human children, so I equate this magical experience to
what it must feel like to see one's newborn child for the first time or
to witness the arrival of an adopted child. I was simply on Cloud Nine! My very first doggie.
One that would not be separated from me by any kind of relationship
break up. One that would join my family and be a part of my very own
fur family. Thank you God, for my precious little Ceci Girl. My silly little April Fool.
Sometimes I still hear their voices. I look down at my body ~ in awe of my 40 pounds of weight loss ~ and still see the little belly that remains. I laugh at my first "thigh gap" in thirty years and remember how a man I once dated made fun of the sound of my jeans rubbing together when I walked. I recently told my cousin (who knows very little about my domestic violence story) that my abuser would insert the word "fat" before the b word, the w word, and the c word. I remember another ex who did not want me to take a break during our work together ~ oh, I had enough fat on reserves, he said. I went without lunch that day. I like my body now. I may have even liked my curvy body even more six months ago. But I have returned to a body that held my soul before 14 years of back-to-back unhealthy relationships finally took their toll on me. I revel in the memories of how I once was before verbal, mental, emotional, and physical abuse became a daily part of my life. So there it is. And here I am. Four sizes smaller. Stomping out the voices in my head. One flashback at a time.