I have promised my children a puppy. I have said for years that I would never do a puppy again, but now I’ve done it. I’ve promised them a puppy. I know what is happening and I can’t stop it, I can’t help it and I can’t change it. For whatever reason, I believe a puppy will fix it.
We are moving in 8 weeks. We have found a beautiful home on a large wooded lot in Georgia. It is close to a small downtown that reminds me of the little town we left in CT 13 years ago. It is close to the funky cool downtown of Athens. Everyday this home feels less and less like it is mine, less and less like it is home and I am starting to label things as ‘lasts’. I had my ‘last get together’ here Friday night with women who make me laugh a lot. My ‘last’ book club meeting will be in a few short weeks. We are doing all of our favorite things for the ‘last’ time.
So much is changing all at once that I am looking for something to hang on to. Something to focus on to stop the wheels from spinning about furniture, and mortgages, showings and jobs, schools and goodbyes. So of course, a puppy sounds totally reasonable, doesn’t it?
Goodbyes-I hate goodbyes. I am horrible at goodbyes. I cry, I sob; I ache from places I did not know my body could ache from. And I am facing so many goodbyes I don’t know what to do with myself. I live 5 minutes from my sister, and have been no further than 30 minutes from her all of my adult life. I live 40 minutes from my mother and father who I followed down here after my first child was born. My grandfather is just around the corner from them. And my girls, my besties, my bitches-what will I do without them? Without a Friday night beer in the driveway, or a Thursday night margarita at the crappy Mexican place across the street? Who will come in my garage door yelling ‘Hellllloooo’ at all hours of the day, and sometimes night? Some of my girls I have known since the first week I moved here. They took me in to their playground group like they had always known me and we have become sisters. Our children have known each other since they were born. How do I say goodbye to that?
And at the same time I am truly saying goodbye to one of my dearest friends. He is losing his battle with cancer and I have to say it. I have to say goodbye. I have to admit he is dying and I will never see him, or talk to him ever again. I have to try not to cry and say something, anything to let him know how much I love him, what a gift he has been to all of us that know him. How do you do that? How do you say goodbye?
It all feels like too much some days. I sit here in this house without my husband, looking at pictures of the house I don’t live in yet, and feeling the tiny strings to this life here give way, untether themselves from me and I feel empty and hollow.
So I have promised my kids a puppy. She (I need some backup in this all male house) will be my new beginning. She will fill this hole that is expanding in my chest, as the day I leave gets closer. I know it is mostly irrational, that one small puppy cannot possibly take the place of all that I am leaving behind, but I need to tie myself to something right now. I need an anchor, and I am hoping that one tiny puppy will be enough.