This morning at the dog park, I was chatting with a woman who had the most amazing Southern drawl. You don't hear that too often 'round these parts. Her sweet pup was a 12 year old Golden named Hugh (don't you just love inappropriate pet names?). As we were talking about the dog's health and well being at his advanced age, she started to well up and nearly broke down into a full on cry. I too got emotional sharing about how worried I am for Mr. Monk to grow up with Tony only to lose him right around when he hits puberty. I remember when my first childhood dog, Erica, died and my dad buried her in our yard, with a big stone on top so we'd always know where to find her.
Seeing how much joy the dog brings to him each and every day is amazing. The second Tony bounds into the room, Mr. Monk lights up and laughs. He gives him an awesome full body belly flop hug that he now uses as a way to greet every other dog he sees. Having a dog around teaches him so much about responsibility, family and what to do with food he no longer wishes to swallow. Their relationship is only going to deepen and grow and it is one of my favorite things to imagine about the baby's life.
In some ways it's comforting to know that he will learn about death at a young age. That might make it a little easier to process when being confronted with it again over the course of his long (exceptionally long, my grandma is 96 and kicking!) time here. As painful as it is, death is just about the only sure thing in life. Who am I kidding? It's going to be awful. We better have at least another good 10 years, Tony!
I can't shake this sense of loss. I had a very sad phone conversation earlier tonight. A good family friend is fighting a tragic battle with cancer. This poor girl is only 25 and has been suffering in pain for much of the last year. My heart aches for her and her family. I sort of just want to climb to the edge of a mountain and wail at the unfairness of it all. How can one even comprehend her own mortality at that age? She should be just starting her life of adventure. There is no sense to be made of this other than to be grateful for all that we have and all that we are. And all those doctor's appointments I've been neglecting to make? Scheduled.
Hug your loved ones a little tighter, stare at the stars a little longer and consider yourself a little luckier.