I rarely bring my personal life into my blog. I told myself from the start that fashion and personal style are fun, so I would always keep it light here on A Ring to It. However, some events in our lives are so momentous and life-altering that the effects will surely be noticed whether we acknowledge them or not. My emotional transparency is not the only reason for my sharing this piece of my life with you. This platform allows me to properly honor the memory of my beloved Angel, who passed away over the weekend.
If you are a friend of mine, or have even just met me in person, you have probably met Angel. She has been my best friend and faithful companion for fifteen years, nearly half of my life. I know we all have special relationships with the animals in our lives. I have had many animals come into my life, and many animals go, but I have never had a relationship with any being like that which I shared with Angel.
When I was sixteen years old, Angel came into my life. The day I brought her home, in my two seat convertible, she sat terrified in my lap, just wanting me to hold her. I held her all night, and by morning, we were bonded for life. She never wanted to leave my side, and I never wanted to leave hers. Throughout high school and my early twenties, Angel and I would wake every morning at 5 am to run. She used to run off and appear randomly on the trail throughout the run. At the end, she would always be sitting by my car in the parking lot waiting for me. Neither of us ever worried that the other wouldn’t show up. That was our relationship. We trusted each other, we knew that the other would always be there, and we never failed one another in the others’ eyes.
Angel and I traveled together everywhere. I have yet to go on a US-bound trip without her as an adult. We have been from Virginia, to New Jersey, to Chicago, to New York, to Florida, and back to Virginia. We have survived together a brutal dog attack in which she “should have died” and a car accident which left her paralyzed for over a week. She was a fighter and survivor, and I can only think that she fought so hard to survive for me. She knew that I needed her, and as long as I needed her, she would fight to be there for me. She was there for me through sickness, through stress, she was there for me when I barely had time or energy to be there for her. She was my guardian Angel.
The most common thing I heard in reference to Angel was “she’s so good”. It’s such a simple statement, even trivial to some ears, but it could not be more accurate in it’s purity. Angel was good. She was sweet, calm, quiet, loving, she never did one “bad” thing in all the years I knew her. She came to work with me, out to eat with me, shopping with me, hiking with me, even camping with me. Angel loved every person and animal she ever met. Anytime a new dog, bunny, or cat came into our home, she was immediately protective and mothering. Anything with a heartbeat became her fast friend.
Living with and loving each other since she was a baby and I was a child, Angel and I truly shared a life and helped to form one another’s personalities. She was stoic, strong, and beautiful, yet tender, kind-hearted, and so friendly. In her, I saw all of my good qualities reflected yet none of my bad. That I saw the potential of my best self in a dog may seem odd to some, but not to any who knew her. Angel taught me what it is to love and be loved. Angel’s love was unconditional without awareness of it being so. Her love just was, and it was me she chose to love. Because of her, I know the true meaning of friendship. I see her reflected in my closest friends. The ones who always stand by you, who never waver, who don’t know what it would be to waver.
Angel was more than a dog, she was more than a person, or a life. Angel was to me, an angel. She came to life, she loved, she taught, she saved, and because of that, she will always remain. Her body was tired, but her soul and her spirit live on. While I miss her presence by my side, I feel her presence in my heart and there it will never fade. I know her spirit walks beside me and will until my body too becomes tired. Angel and I are forever.