Monthly Archives: September 2014

Kiya

Fourteen years ago, you were splay-footed and tiny,

cavorting around the front yard, barely old enough

to be on your own. You had been fed the wrong kinds of food

for a puppy, and as a result, you had some unpleasant

gastrointestinal difficulties. I applied a salve with an inside-out

sandwich baggie. It was the first time I’d cared for something that young.

You were Amanda’s dog, and it was pretty easy to tell.

I liked watching you two pal around.

It was uncanny, how friendly you were to almost everyone.

You grew to be much larger than I expected, but despite your

lab, chow, and boxer roots, you were gentle.

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There may or may not have been a few times that you escaped

the back yard fence with the help of a certain ornery dachshund.

Anyone driving up would see two tails wagging as you both sat

on the front porch, pleased with your escapades.

As the years passed, you were a constant: I knew I’d see you

when I visited Mom and Dad, and I knew that you would swing that

giant otter tail of yours and walk over slowly, as if to say,

“I haven’t seen you in a while, and I’m happy you’re here again.”

I even ended up with a miniature, high-strung version of you, and

as was your custom, you became friends with her, too.

One of the great joys in life was watching you turn back into a puppy

in her company.

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I’m not sure what it’s going to be like with just one dog on that porch, or in that yard.

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We resign ourselves to knowing that one day we’ll deal with the inevitable,

since the years seem to wear you down so much more quickly than they do

us. There really isn’t a way to prepare to say goodbye, though. There probably

never will be. It’s one of the great sadnesses in life, losing a friend like you.

So here are a few meager words in your honor.

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Thank you for the joy you brought to our family. Thank you for the times you

listened to tears and gave hugs. Thank you for the heavy thump of your tail, and the

insistent way you poked your head into our laps. Thank you for walking with us, even

as you got older and your legs sometimes gave out inexplicably.

(We didn’t expect that either, and pretending that you slipped worked better for me too.)

Thank you for being such a kind spirit, and for blessing our lives for such a long time.

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before and after

Three decades in,

I finally grasped a few truths

you’d think I would’ve gathered

long ago.

 

In some relationships, we spend

a few lifetimes doing things we don’t

want to do, for reasons we can’t

understand.

Then, if we’re lucky, we meet someone with whom

we can just be, and all others are rendered

obsolete. It’s been my experience that few of us do this.

When we forget our former expectations,

we find ourselves in such amazing company.

 

In our careers, we find that what we’re doing

doesn’t define us–who we are–as people.

It doesn’t mean we’re unhappy in our current positions,

but it does mean that we are free to change direction.

We sometimes forget that.

What was once labeled a mid-life crisis, then, could be

just a chance to evolve.

 

In our own lives, we forget that being selfish

isn’t really a bad thing. If we don’t explore

and challenge ourselves honestly,

how can we truly complement someone else

(if that is what we want)?

I made a list of things I wanted to do when I was young,

and I started doing them. They weren’t things I planned

on doing with someone else–they were just for me.

 

This is all a work in progress.

Results aren’t guaranteed, but then again, what is?

I think we all should all remember this:

the Way We’ve Gone isn’t necessarily

the Way We’re Going.

(I’m not the only one) who feels like this

Summer unofficially ended today.

I never thought I could watch the stars again,

but a funny thing happened on my way

through the seasons.

 

I stopped thinking about you. It was hard.

 

It still will be a process, I’m sure.

You were wonderful, and I will miss you

for a long time. We were in love.

Until we weren’t.

 

There were too many days when I wondered

how such a winter fell over us.

Everybody wants a new start. None of us

know how to begin again. Until we do.

 

One of these years, I will remember

that each day lives or dies the way

we build it.

 

So, here is my wish for everyone:

feel the sun lift you and the day carry you.

Laugh because you can, and love the knowledge

that happiness is contagious.

Let the moon calm you and fill you with wonder.

 

Rinse. Repeat.

 

We only have so much time.

Let’s spend it in awe of ourselves

and each other.