Relaxing Doesn't Make Babies

Home of the Heart

March 31, 2009 — 2:32 am

And so here I am. It’s so interesting to come back after such a long time (a year and 3 months since I was last here) and see how so many things are just as they were, just as they always have been. The carpet, the wallpaper, the kitchen cabinets. Small changes here and there. But everything pretty much where it was. It’s so comforting. I don’t know what I’ll do when – if – my parents sell this house. This is my entire childhood, my entire life, right here. The textured wallpaper that our old cat used as a scratching post, the carpet where a square had to be replaced because I threw up on it. The dark blue walls of my old room, the lavender bathroom I decorated. So many memories wrapped up in this house.

And the beings within it. My mom, my dad – though I have seen them more recently. Their amicable bickering over which TV show to watch, my dad’s rants on politics and money, my mom’s constant fretting. My brother, who I just wanted to hug and not let go.

And my dog. My dear, sweet dog. In a little more than 2 months she will be 14 years old. And I admit, every time I visit now I check her over – check her hearing, her eyesight, watch her carefully as she walks. Every time I come the fear occurs to me that maybe I will find her decrepit and sick. But not this time. I am pleasantly surprized to say I really don’t notice any difference now from last time. Maybe slightly slower – though that’s quite hard to say, as she’s always been a lazy git. Her hearing, too, is hard to evaluate, since half the time she simply chooses not to acknowledge you. (But with the right motivation she can hear the smallest sound of, say, a cookie box opening.) Her eyes are cloudy with age, but still seem to see everything keenly. No signs of arthritis in her movements.

I know she will not live forever, that one day far too soon her run will end, her body will fail, and I will have to say goodbye. The thought drives me to tears every time. How can I say goodbye to someone who has been there with me for over half my life? She was my first baby, my first best friend. Even though I am no longer her owner, even though there is distance between us, even though I have other pets whom I love and cherish… she is the one who stole my heart long ago.

And so tonight I cry in gratitude for one more year with her, for one more visit. I hope there will be more still, but I know there are no guarantees. I hope she hangs in long enough to meet my next child. Not that it will matter to the child, or to her – but it will matter to me.

I am grateful for this time with my family. Losing Devin has really reminded me how we need to cherish every moment we have with the ones we love. And I do.

One response to “Home of the Heart”

  1. Lauren says:

    WooHoo for being in Canada! If only you were closer to Toronto – I want to meet you :) Enjoy your visit!