Sadie died last night.
A decade ago she arrived from the woods of Missouri, at first so catatonic that Jess and Mike would hold her in their arms and she wouldn't dare move. Beagles are the gentlest of dogs and they rarely fight back when harmed. And shelter dogs come with neglected and traumatic histories. But over time they make their gratitude clear and such was the case with Sadie. She would have nightmares from time to time, but she fit into the family of Jess and Mike with adorable quiet wonderful charm.
She had been sick, but she was not expected to die. We shudder with sadness. To my daughter and son-in-law and three little boys who are Sadie's family, she will live in your heart. And ours. Always.
In life there is no getting around loss. It is finally Spring in New England. In just two days the crocuses have opened, pansies are planted, the sky is no longer dark at five o'clock. Here at # 9 it's time to (gladly) turn to the yard. Two days ago, we began with this tree. Last year a tree specialist told us what could not be prevented: it will die. We could buy several years by cutting out infested areas including the center branch. He did that and then installed wires to hold its width together.
But this winter a six inch wide six inch deep hole appeared; woodpeckers knowing full well the trunk is soft and vulnerable. The picture you see is the aftermath of Mr. Tree Specialist cutting out more infestation.
We feel terrible for this tree. It is huge and old and stately. But it will die. We are doing our best to provide care for as long as it will benefit and we can afford, but there is a reality that must be faced. Everyday, it will die a little more until there is no care to be had.
I hope we will not be living here when that time comes.
Which brings me to another truth. Life goes on. Good things happen too.
Eight years ago JB and I and Jess and Mike bought our houses at the same time. Now, we are by some co-incidence, doing that again.
Jess and Mike have found the house of their dreams. I think they will raise their children there and stay put in this historic warmth for perhaps their lifetimes. The thought of my daughter and her family living here gives me such comfort. Huge comfort.
And JB and me....
We may settle here at some point, in Provincetown, just a block from the bay, in a simple house large enough to welcome others; our families, our friends.
The yard is the size of a postage stamp. I will be able to keep up with it and I will be able to put my own postage stamp of design and creativity to selected shrubs and perennials and of course zinnias and a few tomato plants. And at some point, not yet, I will create a daily schedule to my liking: I will write and walk the beach and teach little boys about life near the sea and perhaps I will design and hold some workshops here.
I will do all this as long as time and circumstance allow.
Sadie died last night. And like that tree my Mother is withering, not by her choice. And I have a friend who has miserable cancer and it sucks. Sometimes things don't go well.
And sometimes they do. That is life. Affirmations and positive thinking and good wishes may or may not help--I don't really know--but I can't numb my way through living or dying. I can't and I won't.
Wishing you the best, always