I can’t see her anymore, roaming the yard, looking for her favorite sunny spot on a cold day. Our little Dot, with her hopeful looking brown eyes, always on the lookout, ever-protective of Isabella since she was a wee one. She left on the tail end of 20 some-odd days of illness for us (sinus infections, bronchitis, flu), after suffering herself through joint and leg pain, and loss of mobility and desire.
In this past month, we have all lost our desire, become humbled by both desperation and dependence, and are just starting to emerge. Maybe. I can still see and feel the way I have turned inside myself, helpless to help myself, my daughter, my husband, and ultimately, my dog. I also remember, being in the midst of this, holding fast, too fast--not letting go. One day, sniping at each other, I broke. I let go the anger, unleashed it, felt bad and good for it finally coming undone from me, being freed of its tyranny.
Before this I’d realized dully that somehow it might come to this, and that I needed to look outside myself. I’d looked to newspapers, to others’ stories, to the ways suffering is omnipresent, around us always, making impressions in unexpected ways. There are everyday tragedies, and survival of these, and perseverance, and finding faith anew no matter how bad things get.
And here we are at Lent.
I feel a malaise, but something inside me says: trod on. Move, don’t stagnate. So I reach out for those things which have helped before: prayer, fasting, listening, paying attention to the signs of my life, the things God places in proximity to my need. Again this means slowing down, making time to meditate, even the smallest amount of time--to make room. Otherwise how could I see things as they really are? How would I catch the peace in that spot of sun at the end of the yard where Dot used to lay, and almost see her lying there, curled up in a ball, soaking in the goodness of the sun? A friend of mine said he has no doubt she’s soaking up the rays of God’s love now. It was a touching thought, but it also reminded me that someday, that’s where I want to be, and the sufferings of this world are leading me to an understanding. I am groping my way in that direction, still fearful sometimes, but wanting to let go, unleash, just as I did with Dot in the moment she passed on and her brown eyes opened wide in fear and gratefulness.