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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Our Precious Time: Families, Together and Asunder

Visiting Indulgent Friends 

Early Friday morning I began composing a cheery post for my blog. David’s imminent homecoming and the indulgence of Sarah’s volunteer dog-sitters toward their canine guest was the occasion for me to put together my thoughts. Here’s what I’d written:

Sarah had her first overnight away from her folks. That’s right, our little five-year-old dog has never before been away from both of us at the same time. If David and I were not traveling together, Sarah always went with the traveler or stayed home with the stay-at-home, but usually it’s been all three of us on the road. She has never been in a kennel since that one night at the Humane Society before we were lucky enough to find her and snatch that four-month-old puppy up before anyone else.

Look at that picture again. She looks pretty comfortable, doesn’t she? It didn’t take long at Bill and Sally’s house for Sarah to find Bill’s favorite chair and appropriate it for herself. He could have ordered her down and onto her comforter on the floor, but he got out his camera instead. Is this girl spoiled, or what? She gets away with it, too.

It has been a very anxious five weeks for us, waiting for David’s scheduled surgery. We stayed overnight at the Munson Manor Hospitality Inn the night before, applauding ourselves for the wisdom of that choice, which freed us up from having to drive into town in the dark in what would have seemed (and did, anyway, even in town) like the middle of the night and took away the worry of possible severe weather and dangerous road conditions. Not that the weather was dangerous, as it turned out, but in December, in Michigan, you never know. And when you already have enough to worry about....

Now all is well. The surgical procedure went without a hitch (there were a few stitches, but not even many of those), and we are all together again at home. This is all the Christmas present I need. My cup overfloweth.

I wrote all this in anticipation, before David was actually home. He was discharged as expected later yesterday morning, and he and Sarah were both happy to see each other again. We were all happy to be together at home once more, but then David wanted to rest in bed and listen to the radio. That’s when we heard the horrible news. Our weeks of anxiety were put into perspective, and our happiness appeared in sharp contrast to the agony and heartbreak of families.

Life happens all around us. It happens relentlessly, unceasingly, all at once. It is—overwhelming. In the best of cases, we have it for only a very short time, on loan. Not to be taken for granted, it is—everything. Who has words today?


7 comments:

Kathy said...

First, I am so happy that David is home and that Sarah survived your absence. But, yes, the news from yesterday just tears at the heart, doesn't it? It feels so very sad that we live in a world where this could happen. One of my Facebook friend's friend lost his six year old in the shooting. This has brought the tragedy even closer.

Words are impossible to share the heart's grief at times like these.

Kathy in Oz said...

Here in Australia we were devastated to hear the shocking news from America. There is enormous sadness here for the parents of all those little children. The only thing we can offer them is to share in their grief and to hold them in our hearts.

P. J. Grath said...

Kathy and Katahy, it's good to reach across the miles at times like this, isn't it? All times, actually. But such little children! It is heartbreaking. Dawn left a comment that came in my e-mail, but now it has disappeared: "doesn't exist" is what I get when I try to publish what she wrote. Dawn, did you change your mind and delete your message?

Dawn said...

No, I didn't change my mind...did not even know you could do that! :) And of course I don't remember what I said, but I know it would have said that I'm glad David's surgery went well and that you are all safe back home. And of course isn't it wonderful to know you have a safe, friendly, warm place...with a special chair no less!...for Sarah when you need to have a place for her!

Hugs to all of you.

P. J. Grath said...

I don't know if you can do it, Dawn! I may have hit the wrong command, but the total disappearance was strange. And YES, Bill and Sally are wonderful, kind, gracious, generous people to have taken care of Sarah for us. David hopes it wasn't too much of an imposition. I think Bill would have been fine with Sarah staying over a second night, especially after I told him he didn't have to get up with her at 5:45 a.m. but could just tell her to go back to bed, and she would.

Dawn said...

LOL...dogs...give them an inch.....always trying to see where the edges of acceptability are with their people, substitute people or regular.

P. J. Grath said...

Yes, I'm sure scruffy Sarah and princess Katie have that in common, Dawn! Of course, Bill could have set the edges differently for Sarah, and she would have accepted his limits. I guess he's just a sucker for her cuteness, as we are at home.