Monday, September 16, 2013

The Art of Saying Good-Bye

September has started out as a month of good-byes.  First, we parted with our sweet dog, Charles.  Charley hadn't been well for about a year and a half, but with lots of meds and even more TLC, he had been enjoying life and providing us with a great deal of love.  This is the pup who would start and end each day in my lap. He adored having his ears tickled and each paw massaged.  He could take any one of us from the point of agitation and despair to one of calm and peace.  Who needed mindful meditation when you had a Charley.   

On the week-end before school started, Charley began to fail very quickly, and on Labor Day morning a vet arrived so that we could let him go.  He was on my bed surrounded by his girls and his doggy pal, Rory.  Rory, the older and wiser dog, had seen him through his puppy years and adulthood, always his faithful teacher, and now he was there for this final trip.  I have loved each of my many dogs, but Charley was definitely the gentlest soul of the pack.  Rory has taken his place on my lap, seemingly to know that that this is now his  job to do.
The dorm room, complete with
the lofted bed.
Just a week later, Joli and I shoved that last plastic garbage bag into the car (see "Prairie Packing: The College Edition", September 11th) and headed two hours north to Appleton, Wisconsin where we settled her into her college dorm to begin her freshman year.  Is any mother ready for this?  This mom, in particular, missed the first years of this child's life. Adopted at age of 6, Joli and I didn't share the infancy and toddler years.  She came to me as a very establish little human being.  Her first opinion of me wasn't very favorable, but we have fiercely bonded through the years.  I keep expecting to hear her voice and her laugh.  Her purse isn't hanging from the newel post at the bottom of the stairway.  Her flip-flops aren't sitting by the front door.  Sigh, I even miss her damp towel on the bathroom floor.

For the past week, I keep thinking of things I should have taught Joli.  Does she know that if she dries that new shirt in a dryer that it will end up fitting her niece's Barbie?  Certainly she won't forget to refrigerate the mayo.  Did I remind her exactly how to get her prescription filled and that she shouldn't wait until the bottle is empty?  Of course she knows these things...well, I am not so sure about the laundering directions for that shirt.  She will be just fine, but I still worry.  And the fact that she will be just fine makes me realize how quickly time passes.  My granddaughter, MaeLi, turned seven this week.  That can't be!  I just have one at home.  That can't be!

How does a mom and grandmom deal with all of this?  Well, I cry in my room sometimes.  I throw myself into mindless tasks.  I cook far too much food for two.  I look at puppy pictures on dog rescue sites, and remind myself that we can't think of that until spring. I text my daughter and remind her about the shirt and the mayo. Fortunately for me , she always responds.

Prairie Sherry

1 comment:

  1. No goodbyes, just "hasta luego" or "á bientot"...because we all meet again in one guise or another. And the missing of each other makes the next meeting all the sweeter, more precious!

    ♡ RIP Charley, á bientot!

    Hasta luego Jo!

    ♡♡♡♡ to Prairie Sherry!