Every day brings something new. Today my older dog is not feeling so hot. He’s at the tip of my thoughts even as I’m trying to let my thoughts be. There is no getting around growing old. There is no protecting myself or my family from loss. There is only now: Julio tucked in a blanket that my mother sewed for us. The heat is sending us warm air. A crow just cawed. The heat vents creak.
Sometimes old hurts makes me not want to welcome in the new. I remember the arrival of our two dogs, how I knew we needed these two dogs. How I needed their love. (Maybe they needed mine, too? One hopes.) How Liz was scared of dogs before Julio and Indu came to us, and now she is a dog whisperer. She loves our dogs so much. We all love these dogs so much. I know Chris and KK and Liz are all hoping Julio is feeling better as they walk through their days away from home.
Wait, what about that topic sentence? Oh, yeah, ever since we got the dogs, I’ve been worried about their dying. Ridiculous. I mean it’s not continuous, this worry, but it’s there. I was gone for a few hours this morning and I prayed that Julio would be alive and better when I returned. Sometimes I’ll say I wish we didn’t have the dogs because I can’t bear that we someday won’t have them. Sometimes I want to have a third dog so I’m better prepared for losing one of these two dogs. Like there’s some insurance policy against hurt and it comes in the form of a third dog. If you have a cute puppy — a third dog — that’s insurance that you won’t grieve if the first dog dies. Right! HA. I wish.
If you follow along here with my crazy thought process, this leads me to how sometimes friendships evolve into um, no friendship. Very few people talk about this. I wrote about this idea at a young age, how I always expected people to stay the same. But they evolve and grow and change into people that no longer inhabit the same spaces as you. Sometimes it’s a rough ending, sometimes it’s graceful and easy but still a little sad, how you all are in different places that don’t place you together anymore.
But let’s just say I’m good at grieving and then I think, ugh, no new friends because these friendships might end. Anyone who knows me knows that’s silly because I love people. I love meeting new people! Ah, friendship: so great!
This is clearly a blog and I’m all over the place. But I think about my old dog, not feeling so well today. How he’s totally worth loving even if it’ll end in way too much sadness. Friendship is like that, too. Whether an end of a friendship is a gentle ebbing or a slammed door. I saw a quote (via Cup of Jo, of course) on relationships that sums this tangled thought process up well:
“Most people seem to believe that if a relationship doesn’t last until death, it’s a failure. But the only relationship that’s truly a failure is one that lasts longer than it should. The success of a relationship should be measured by its depth, not by its length.”
― Neil Strauss, “The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships”
Yup. There. I spoke out loud (well, on a page) about my awesome dog and ended friendships. And I have no last line for you, no bow to tie it up all pretty. Wait: my dog. Here’s a picture: