Carry: definition of:
to influence by mental or emotional appeal
to transfer from one place to another
The first time I met Marley was in the back of ACO Armsworthy's official vehicle. She was bringing her to Angels of Assisi for medical care, the hope of getting better, and the chance of living out her remaining time comfortable and cared for.
I helped carry Marley from the truck to the clinic that morning, then carried her to my car for the ride home.
Over the next few weeks, Marley often needed extra help and was carried up and down steps to go outside, to the car for Vet appointments, and to the back deck to catch some afternoon rays. Each time I had her in my arms, I knew that one day I would be carrying her for the last time. However, as she held her head high and scrambled to find her footing, we were both grateful that today was not that day.
When she made these jaunts on her own four legs, I was always ridiculously proud of her, and, judging by her tail wag and perky ears, she knew it and was proud of herself as well.
Last Saturday, Marley stopped eating. She had to be carried all the way outside, not just up the steps. Early Sunday morning she still had no desire to eat, and was even weaker. I called Emergency Vet Services and told them we were on our way. As I picked up Marley to carry her to the car, she rested her head on my shoulder. This was new, and I got her message loud and clear. She was tired, it was time, and, as always, she trusted me.
I carried her to the back of my car, and headed towards Roanoke. This sounds really crazy, but halfway there I pulled off the highway and carried her from the back seat to the front, because I did not want her to be alone on her last car ride. For the remaining trip Marley kept her eyes on me, and together we enjoyed the quiet with my hand on her head.
When we finally arrived at EVS, I carried her into the clinic and rested her on the exam table. We discussed the options, and decided an x-ray would put my mind at ease. Someone besides me
carried Marley to the back for the diagnostic test and IV insertion.
It was determined she was full of cancer, and it was time to let her go.
As they prepared syringes and blankets, I kept wondering where her family of 12 years was, and if, given the choice, would they want to be with her right now? It kept crossing my mind that, ironically, I was not the last person to carry her like I always thought I would be.
As Marley lay on the table, and before the IV sedation was administered, her eyes locked into mine. Tears flowed and the EVS staff took their time and remained wonderful.
As she got sleepy and her breathing stopped, Marley carried herself from this world and into my heart. And I was never so ridiculously proud of her as she did it with grace and dignity.
Rest in peace, sweet girl. You will be always be carried in our hearts, and you will always be an integral part of carrying out the mission.
A special thank you to ACO Armsworthy, Dr. Spangler, Dr. Phillips, Trish, Deb, the wonderful EVS staff, and especially to those who understand the unspoken, and remain steadfast and true.