The ceaseless snow here in my neck of the woods since 2010 rang in 5 days ago is absurd. Thirteen years ago today it was very cold and snowy. Thirteen years ago yesterday, it was balmy and unseasonably warm for January in Cleveland. This is unlike yesterday’s weather, in that it was snowy and cold and, did I mention snowy?
How do I know these facts? No, I’m not an idiot savant or weather freak. I just remember that it was 13 years ago today I came home from the hospital having given birth to my second daughter, Callie. The day after she was born we got to know each other a little bit but I couldn’t take her outside yet even though there was a freak warm day to savor.
It’s official. Now I’m living with TWO teenage daughters. TWO! Very smart ones to boot. I’m outnumbered. And Lily, my stalwart friend, their loyal queen and my right hand bitch for the entire first decade of this 21st century, is now three weeks and one day post diagnosis. She is fading slowly but surely. Hospice care continues. She is mostly resting now, inbetween going out for potty breaks, which fortunately she can still do. She continues to take the medication Theophylline which helps her breath easier and seems to calm her when she gets a gak reaction or loses balance or, as what happened a few days ago, lost control of her hind quarters for about a minute. But mostly the hospice care is just being around. Being a consistent benevolent leader and finding ways to maximize my time at home and briefly, outside with her.
Things I have let go of in the past 2 weeks:
1. Lily will not be able to go on any more walks out and about in the planet. But we had a lot of them. Mostly they were great and I just loved watching her run — she always reminded me of a young filly when she really let it go. Now I’m just grateful she can still walk up and down the stairs to go both outside and upstairs in my house.
2. No more car rides. Something she really loved, especially the past few months, before I even knew she was ill. And I promised myself if it should come to having to euthanize her, I would figure out how to have it down in my home, not at a vet hospital. So, no more car rides. A bittersweet loss.
But there are many things she still can do and do well. She even hauls up out of her warm crate to greet the kids when they get home from school. I bet she’s wishing (like they are) that we get a snow day from all this precipitation.
So my non teenager is off taking a driveway shoveling shift and Trip joins her. A reminder that death is not so much a reason to be sad, but a way to celebrate a life that was and to remember to cherish the life that remains.