It's nearly Christmas, the shopping is nearly done, the wrapping and shipping nearly finished. My first Christmas post-divorce, and my second without my children.
It's strange how grief rolls out over time. Dealing with the pain of distance from my kids has been a daily trial. The wrenching pain of this distance is a wound that has to be dressed every single day. Because of its severity, other pain gets pushed away, pushed down because there is only so much you can handle at one time, and pain related to children triumphs all others.
I looked at my puppy Charlie the other day, and remembered the dog I had to leave behind.
The dog I loved, and who loved me. I had no choice; my ex-husband needed Courage and loved him more than any dog we'd ever had. It would have been cruel to take him. Savage even. And despite the pain and rage and fear of my departure, I couldn't do that.
And so that little dog, who was also my favorite dog of all, the one who loved me best, had to stay when I left.
It's been almost two years, a long time in a dog's life. I imagine how he has aged. I wonder if he wondered what happened to me. I wonder if dogs can think back and remember.
But I don't stay long in those wonderings.
God is good. He has given me this new little dog to love. So strange and funny and smart and weird. In loving him, I am beginning to be able to mourn Courage. Which I think, is a sign of healing.
Merry Christmas Courage. I am petting you in my heart.