Mutt is a rescue so we don’t actually know when her birthday is. Suffice to say that when I laid eyes on her in the pound, I knew she was the dog the universe intended for us. She was around four months old. We decided to celebrate her birthday on June 16.
This year, Mate and I were trying to figure out how old she is. I thought nine. He said eight. When he did, I was thrilled.
I didn’t want her to be nine.
She was once the youngest in the family, if she’s nine that makes her, for the first time, the oldest in the family.
I didn’t want her to be old.
For a few days, we happily convinced ourselves that she was eight. If she’s nine, that would mean we got her right after 9/11. We’d remember that, wouldn’t we?
Yesterday, Mate checked his prodigious journals and…she’s nine.
I remember a few weeks after we got her, Youngest and I were playing with her and he suddenly looked up at me with solemn eyes and said, “When she dies, this is what we will remember.”
It makes your heart clutch, doesn’t it, to think of the things you love dying?
When she dies, here is a tiny fraction of what we will miss…
It just makes me weep. I know that her birthday came and went in the context of other endings and part of my sadness is because of that. But how to handle it? How to manage the sure knowledge that every sweet thing will not last?
I think I need to take my cue from her and…