One minute you’re sitting in a cafe with your mom basking in a glorious sunny, 61 degree day in February in Michigan and the next minute you’ve got mascara all down your tear-streaked face.
Because that gloriously warm February day reminds you of a similar unseasonably warm February day when you were basking in the excitement of a new relationship.
Which you loved.
And still grieve.
And there’s really nothing you can say to grief while it’s barreling through like a freight train.
But what if you could stop it in its tracks? What if, instead of looking back at last year’s happiness and grieving what you’ve lost, you could look forward to next year’s happiness in anticipation of what you’ll gain?
Because where you are is not where you’ll stay.
Dixie would tell you that if she could talk. She would tell you that life can turn on a dime. She would tell you that one day you’re living in a garage in Ohio, flea rash all over your hind end, getting your face bit off by a mean dog and then, a couple of months later, you’re going for a walk on a glorious day in Michigan.
And you’re eating organic, grass-fed, home-cooked meals and getting belly rubs and snuggling on the sofa. And life is good.
Dixie and her sister were found on the side of the road in southern Ohio when they were 3 months old. Life must have looked bleak for those two babies. But then they were taken into foster care and Dixie was immediately adopted by the foster mom’s mom – Betty.
Apparently Betty treated Dixie like a queen. She even cooked for her. They lived happily together for about 10 years. And then Betty developed dementia and was moved into a nursing home. And died.
And Dixie, near as I can figure, was bounced around from relative to relative and then eventually ended up back home at Betty’s house – where Betty’s grandson and his wife are now living.
But one of their dogs kept attacking Dixie – she has the scars under her right eye to prove it. So she had to live outside and in the garage until she was finally surrendered back into foster care for her own safety.
For six weeks she lived in a foster home here in Michigan where, according to the foster mom, Dixie was heartbroken.
I wonder if, while being shuffled around this past year, she grieved the memory of her life with Betty. I wonder if she despaired ever curling up on a sofa or getting a belly rub or enjoying a home-cooked meal again.
But beagles are optimistic so I prefer to think that instead of grieving what was behind her she dreamed of the love that lay ahead.
And now here she is in Hintzville, curled up next to me on the sofa, her days filled with fresh air and exercise, love and really good food. She even has a gentle new brother, Max, who is so gentle that he just stepped aside and made room for her when she started eating from his dish after polishing off her own. (Of course I intervened on his behalf and reminded her of her P’s and Q’s.)
No one is going to bite her face off here.
Today I stopped to say thank you to God for providing for Dixie. For Betty’s sake. For Dixie’s sake. For my sake. For Love’s sake.