Saturday, March 5, 2016 (walk & identification 3:27pm)
I walked with my dad yesterday
Searching for a place to bury my sweet dog
She was given to me as a gift 15 years ago
A gift because I was so lonely and had so much love to give.
Leaves loud under our feet
We walked into space familiar, a sprawling back yard, both clean and clear and natural—reminded me of my father’s face. Skin that beams, hair curly and peppered, landscaped perfection, stopping their revolution at all the right boundaries.
We looked in the leaves. Loud and crunching. He walked with me. In these moments my steps weighted with grief, my heart held by his strength.
This year I’ve had many challenges.
New though, is my attitude toward them.
I view them as treasures to be discovered.
I remember how strong other challenges have made me and anticipate heroic strength to come from my learning and from answering this one question: Why is this lesson on my life curriculum?
How will this struggle grow me?
Monday, 3.21.16 (tod: 11:23am)
I buried my dog today.
Shovel and 8×8 Tamper in hand.
Yesterday, I was a pet-owner, a pet-mommy
And my Nina was my first baby.
And while I’m real clear about the delineation between a child and a dog, she was my first pet as a grown-up. The first pet I was solely and financially responsible for. She let me dress her though I came to know that hair-bows and bandanas were enough.
Today, I was still a pet-mommy
But I was faced with her looming death.
Her decline was rapid, her moaning piercing
I ran to her night after night scooping her up and comforting her—attempting to bring her back to reality.
She stood in corners reaching for orientation.
I stood in agony reaching for her with my love.
It was like having a newborn with no milk to give…
Her decline was beyond my ability to help
So I held on…
(Grasping for calm when she was out of my arms)
She held on…
(Grappling to rest between fits of confusion)
And today, we both let go.
2 pregnancies and births
1 other dog
countless comforts she offered me!
My dad prepared her grave this morning.
A spot he walked with me to choose in a backyard she loved
The sun shines on it, like she shined on us.
She was just for me
A gift from my boyfriend, turned fiancé, turned husband, turned father.
All of us cried.
Lord knows I’ve seen death these three years
But never start to finish…
Never vigor to exhaustion
Never wonder to agony
Never ran and held—hopelessly held night after night, hour after sleepless hour.
Tortured and compelled by her cries.
It was this though, that made her peace easy.
A dignified canine, who my mom called “siditty” because she wouldn’t sit in dirt.
I saw mom’s point—but then again, I wouldn’t sit in dirt, either.
She pranced when she was groomed.
She was clear about her cuteness and never met a human who didn’t fall immediately fall in love. Least of all, me.
She taught me what it is to give care
To worry and wonder
Years went by that I secretly asked God to let her talk—just for a day
Her eyes told stories of amusement
Her warm nuzzles held every indication of wisdom
Her message was consistent and true—everything is gonna be all right. And if it doesn’t seem so, I’ll lick you and lie here until it does. Then it will be.
Her lessons linger like curled smoke
Fascinatingly sinuous, fading, ephemeral, yet always there…
That love isn’t all grand emotion.
Not always exhilarating highs
And melodramatic departures and longing.
It isn’t always made of syrup and soft, melty-marshmallows.
That love is hard sometimes and bittersweet
That inasmuch as you are desperate to catch and grasp it.
It becomes all the more real
When you simply
Trust and let go.
And when you let go—that truth washes over you
Love envelopes and lifts and carries
And the journey of letting go is far more freeing and exhilarating than clinging simply and helplessly to love as we know it.
And so in this release
She and I open our arms to new embraces
And new ways
To love each other!