We get moments in our lives so extraordinary, so rare and special, that you wonder if they could possibly have happened. This is my life I’m leading here? You at once want to shout your story from rooftops and keep it to yourself, held intensely privately, as if telling someone else will break the spell under which you’ve been placed. As if telling another soul will tarnish your recollection, and cheapen or weaken it.
I woke up yesterday to the foul smell of dog mess, yes, that’s actually what woke me up. Our Izzy had had a rough night, honestly her first ever. One was enough though, and my sweet girl knew it was time–it just took about one hour longer than she or I might have preferred. I got to spend Bella-girl’s last hour on Earth petting her, trying to comfort her, and nuzzling up to that one super soft spot between her ears and just above the center of her eyes. As I write, I just want to reach out and pet her there and kiss her goofy little head one more time. As I rubbed her belly, I kept telling my old girl that it was OK, it was time, I understood, and 1) I know she’s a dog and has about a 30 word receptive vocabulary, and 2) I realize she was unresponsive. I don’t care. She and I had an understanding being the only girls in this house of Y-chromosome bearers, and I know, I KNOW, she understood what I was saying in word and tone. Until yesterday, I’d not been with anyone or anything I have loved the moment life left them. It was a most awful, beautiful gift.
I’d considered not going to the concert I’d held tickets to for four months, as if having fun would disrespect or diminish my grief for our dog. The kids woke up about 45 minutes after Izzy made her leave, and they responded as I would have expected. Better actually. I am the one handling it least well of us four. The kids said their final good-byes (this one shall remain privately held), my husband and I got her to the car, and the book of thirteen years of our lives slammed shut. After a short while, my big kid–not one subtle bone in his body–sidled up beside me, leaned in and said ever-so-gently, “good thing you have BNL tonight to look forward to, Mom, so you won’t be so sad.” Who knew my kid had such depth?
The concert itself was, as concerts always are to their die-hard fans, Amazing, yes, with a capital A, Amazing. Despite the ark-worthy flood, or maybe even in part because of it, I had the best possible diversion. I don’t get people who say, “I’m just not a music person.” I’m like, “Really?? And are you just not a breathing person either?” Because in my world music is nearly as critical as breathing for my sustenance. I had THE best seats in the house, and, give me a megaphone, because I will tell anyone, everyone, I will shout from the rooftops how much this music means to me, and how much I loved every single second the concert–even the parts where I stood in floodwaters possibly (definitely) not entirely of the rain or the lake overflow. Let’s just say that plopping my ass on the kitchen counter for an antibacterial dish soap footbath in my midnight kitchen was a fantastic idea. What I’m going to hold privately are a few moments from the show. They happened, and they felt pretty greater than gravity-ish to me, but I am not going to share them. Nope, these are mine alone.
As I cleaned the, ahem, “floodwater” (for my own sanity, I am going with “floodwater” instead of sewage. Semantics, people.) off my feet last night, I sat on the kitchen counter and stared with blind eyes at Izzy’s food and water dishes. I remembered how just eighteen short hours earlier, I leaned over my old, still girl and sobbed. Yesterday was a day of many gifts.