Pick yourself up Loretta, dust yourself off, and start over.
This has been the theme my entire life. And I’m good at it. I’ve had to do it a bunch of times.
Does that make me a bad person?
Should I be judged because I’ve loved and lost too many times?
It doesn’t matter what the answers are to those questions. What matters is, I needed to get back up. After my crying fest, I decided I needed a fresh start. So many things had gone wrong and I needed to clean up my mess.
The day after dropping Judd at the train station, everything started to get better.
Chico was missing for 11 days now, and I was starting to lose hope of ever finding him. I talked to my girlfriend and we decided to give it another try. We knew the last area he was seen and we were not giving up.
She brought a folding chair, a latte, and went and sat at the vacant house where he had been spotted. I went searching elsewhere and when I couldn’t find him, went home to wait.
When Estelle came up my driveway and got out of her car, she was carrying Chico. He was alive. We both cried with joy and relief. But I was still heavy with guilt over the entire thing.
We just couldn’t believe he had survived 11 days out on his own, but he had. His body was covered in fleas and a few ticks, but after a visit to his vet, he was (almost) good as new.
It would take us all some time to be as good as new.
The next order of business was to find me.
I was fit and healthy from all of the running, but I looked like I was easily 10 years older than I truly was. I made an appointment with my hairdresser who was thrilled when I said, “Cut it…cut it off and dye it”.
I immediately felt like a weight had been lifted off me and surged forward to get the next issue on my list tackled.
I needed to find a car.
When Judd and I moved to Napa, his parents sold us their Montero, which was great until the engine blew up on the Cuesta Pass 100 miles from Santa Barbara. I was stranded on the side of the road with my little Bella and a bunch of gear in the car.
I had to have it towed to Santa Barbara and worked on finding a way to unload it. This was during the time Judd was in Oregon after biking there from Napa. I called his parents who said he was busy playing tennis and oh…so sorry about the car.
They did absolutely nothing to help.
I ended up selling the Montero for $900 and rented a little car to drive back to Napa. I told the rental agent that I needed a car that was fuel-efficient but would hold my bike and belongings.
He told me he had just the vehicle for me.
I rented a little Nissan Versa and made it home on one tank of gas. Mrs. S was kind enough to loan me a car until I could find a new one, and now that Judd was gone, I was ready to get my own car.
Next, I moved all of Judd’s things out of my house, and reclaimed it as mine.