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Saturday, December 15, 2012
Our Precious Time: Families, Together and Asunder
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?