I cleaned up your tennis balls today. Not your other toys, not yet, because just the tennis balls was emotional enough. But I had to do the tennis balls because, as you know, they were everywhere. Literally. I found one in one of Josh's shoes. I bet you smiled when you dropped it there, didn't you, my mischievous boy?
I started out crying, but as I began counting, and the number started to get higher, I started to smile. I smiled a little more when I found about 10 of them under the bed and remembered you happily taking one into the bedroom with you, chewing for about 15 minutes, and then coming back out to the living room to yap at us because you'd rolled it under the bed and couldn't get to it.
By the time I was finished, the grand total was 98 tennis balls of varying colors and in varying states of destruction. And I started to laugh a genuine laugh, not the fake laugh I'm currently using when I'm around people. 98, Puppers!! That's ridiculous and hilarious and just so very you.
Josh had guessed 100 and I had scoffed at him. Guess I owe someone an apology.
I know how you loved to make me happy, as I loved to make you happy. It seems you were determined to give me one last big laugh, and I want to thank you for that. I needed it right now. But you probably knew that. I love you, Chuckles.