Time Does Go By

The other night I sat in our room upstairs folding laundry.  Ella was in bed, tucked snugly under her fluffy white comforter and humming along to the sound of Henry’s recorder.  He played all sorts of tunes, and she hummed along.  They often sit together while he plays.  He does quite a good job with that recorder, though he could not sing a tune on key if his life depended on it.

I could hear the water running downstairs — David was cleaning the dinner dishes, William was reading, and Kate was on the computer doing some type of homework.  And I sat folding another load of laundry.  I can remember back to when everything I folded had tiny little snaps and zippers and never folded up very well into a nice little rectangle the way I like.  And now I fold compression shorts, and football pants and slippery basketball jerseys, cheer uniforms, plus a LOT of socks.  None of those things fold very neatly either, actually.  I fold and I sigh a little…time does go by.

There is a large picture window in our room which overlooks the front yard.  We used to be able to look out the window and see clear down to the end of the street.  Now, in just ten little years, the maple tree is so large I cannot see past it.  It’s green leaves ruffled in the breeze that night, making the setting sun’s light flicker through the shutters.  What I see the most when I look at that tree is it’s shade.  I can remember sitting with Coco in the tiny patch of shade it provided ten years ago…we had to keep moving to stay in that shade patch because the tree was so small.  That was back when he was sick, but before I knew he was sick.  He would just sit there with me.  I thought he had finally, at eight years old, mellowed out.  It turns out that he was dying.  It still to this day breaks my heart that I didn’t even know.

But life goes on…time marches on even when your world feels like it has been jarred mercilessly into stillness.  You look around at all the people, and they don’t notice…they don’t realize that your world has stopped because their world has not…

The day after Coco died, we spent a few hours at the pool.  I don’t think I moved from my chair much.  His death exhausted me, it consumed me — the memory of it, the pain of it.  But when we came home and walked through the door, I expected him to be there.  I forgot.  I forgot he was gone.  Sorrow has a funny way of torturing a person like that for a long, long while, smothering them at first like a heavy, wet shroud, and then slowly unraveling until finally all you feel are the shreds of grief now and then.

It will be nine years without that big, old labrador next week.  And now I sit here, with another dog — a beagle — on my lap. Poppy.

She is a good dog.  She is seventeen pounds to his 75.  She is a lot like him, to be honest.  Having her doesn’t stop the missing him, though.  I guess that’s the sorrow…still touching me even nine years later.

Miss you old buddy.

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Time Does Go By

4 thoughts on “Time Does Go By

  1. Toni :O) says:

    It always amazes me how fast time goes. I mean, wasn’t it just Christmas and we were freezing our butts off and digging out of 8 feet of snow?? Good grief, some days I wish it would really just slow down to a snail’s pace. Especially this summer, I don’t want it to whiz by (like it did last year!) before I’ve been able to actually savor the quiet, non-rushed moments. My goal is to be more present in the moment, enjoy some bike rides with the kids, go one more picnics, enjoy listening to the birds and bugs in our yard and go for nice long walks with my doggie. Speaking of which, sorry about your Coco, sure is never easy losing a pet. Have a great week my friend!

  2. Oh my goodness, friend. I sit here all a mess. This is so achingly, heart-wrenchingly beautiful. I’m so sorry Coco is gone. I’m sorry it still hurts. But that hurt? Oh, it must mean it was such a deep love.

  3. As Kali curled up with me this morning for a few snuggles before she went outside, I noticed the white on her face, her feet, and behind her ears. She is 10 now. One month older than our marriage, and one month less has she lived with us. I find myself dreading the day she isn’t. As far as we can tell, she is healthy and fine, but my girl is 10 and a big-ish dog, which means she is old.

    I can’t imagine days without her.

    I suspect it will hurt forever when she goes, just as Coco being gone hurts you. I also suspect it is how we know we truly did love them. You once said to me “they teach us how to love outside ourselves” in reference to animals, and they truly do. They teach us how to love, how to forgive, and how to find joy in the smallest things. No, they are not children, but they hold a place in our hearts that no human being could ever occupy.

    May St. Francis spend a few extra moments with Coco today – reminding him that he is loved from afar as much as he ever was.

  4. Oh, that hurts… missing Coco. You may not have known he was dying, but you were loving him all the same, and I’m sure he knew it.

    I wish I could slow this season down. I miss onesies and little tiny jeans and flannel shirts. But I love watching my young men expand to fill their space.

    Wishing you a wonderful, fun and peaceful summer,

    Julie

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