November 2014

I cry at movies. I cry at graduations. And you bet I cry at weddings. When my youngest got married I cried like a fool during the mother-son dance – I think he knew when he picked that song! I am an optimist by nature, but even when I laugh out loud it is generally quietly and demurely. Tears of joy is just the way I roll; ergo tears of sorrow fall with equal fervor.

We drove back to Texas with the same zeal with which we left the state six months earlier. Family Thanksgiving in Austin is a long and cherished tradition. It had been planned well in advance from Chicago to Boston and from a travel trailer we call Tex. But this homecoming would be different. Skyler was in trouble. Another tumor, wicked aggressive, was assaulting Skyler’s body with histamines and other unknown evil we couldn’t see but that tore at our hearts and minds. It rained most of the way from Big Bend to Austin. No surprise to me. I could feel a little piece of  my sweet girl slipping away with each passing mile. How was I to know that I would get to keep these pieces but that the physical loss would be the most visceral. On the morning of our departure from Junction several rainbows kept appearing from sky to ground. I choose to interpret these rainbows optimistically as a pot of gold full of our many blessings; but, even so, suddenly it seemed even more important to get back home.

I remember every one of our four legged babies and I wonder each time I have to let one go how many times a heart can break and still keep on beating. It’s a gut wrenching heartbreaking fact that dogs don’t live as long as humans. In times of clarity I tell myself it’s so that we can love so many more. What I do know is that a broken heart is worth the price of admission and that tears are for a life well lived as well as for the crushing loss.

Up Next: Change of Plans