I’ve been home alone this week and it has given me a lot of free time . . . a lot of “me” time.
It’s a good thing. Laying out, reading Nicholas Sparks, participating in a Just Dance contest for one, enjoying my coffee while watching movies. It has certainly been the kind of unwinding I have needed.
And not to mention it has given me a great deal of quality time with my ten year old dog. He has a heart condition. Three months ago, the vet informed us that he had two months to two years left to live, so we have been holding our breath ever since. Four days ago, I saw him pass out for the first time since he has been diagnosed. Taken, I thought he was dying. I sat there with him, holding his tiny head, attempting to calm him down and wake him back up and assure him that he would be okay . . . but the tears began to roll. Because at the time, I didn’t know that it was going to be okay. So my dad came running, and I passed my dog to him and ran out of the room. That’s when he shut the door behind me.
I was sobbing and bellowing, of course. The dog that I have had half of my life was dying, and I couldn’t accept that. I’ve never had someone close to me pass away, dog or human. I’ve been lucky enough to have everyone that I have ever loved remain right beside me, so I’m unaware of how to accept death. I’m unaware of how to deal with it and move past it.
But, he didn’t pass on. The door opened and Timber sauntered out, tail wagging. Well, that just made me cry harder. He was okay, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t okay with the fact that when the time actually does come, I won’t be prepared. I won’t be okay with him leaving me.
So, I’ve spent this past week with him. The majority of time, I’ve just been lying in the floor with him. I let him outside every now and then, but he can’t make it back in on his own. So I pick him up and set him on his blanket and lie with him once more. How do you prepare yourself to lose something that you love so much?
He’ll get antsy and begin to trot around, wanting to play. Be still, I would tell him.
I spent two weeks at the beginning of my summer at a camp. They took our phones, and I was bothered with that at first. How could I possibly go two weeks without social media, texting, or even snapchat? But it turned out to be one of the most memorable and eventful two weeks of my life.
Lake days, rock climbing, power-pole climbing, blobbing, water sliding, dance parties, chow hall cheers . . . it was unbelievable. The place and the people, they were all so exceptional. The encouragements and the inspirations were endless and that place never grayed for one moment that I was there.
A few of the friends that I had made just within the short time that I was there and I sat on the edge of the fence that was overlooking the lake. The sun was setting, the water was reflecting the caramel and blush colors of the sky, and we were just sitting there . . .
“Just be still”, one friend said aloud.
And so I did. I took that moment in. The rush of the water hitting the rocks, the sun slowly descending, the soft breeze brushing the strands of my hair into my face, my sunkissed shoulders that still stung from the day before . . . I can’t exactly explain the deep sense of ease that I was experiencing at that moment. All I really can say is that there is no other feeling like it.
Since I came back from camp, I’ve been trying to ‘be still’ more often.
The kiss your parents give each other when one walks through the door from being gone all day, the wagging of your dog’s tail when you praise him for doing something good, the giggling of children playing basketball across the street, the birds chirping from the edge of your backyard fence, the grin on your brother’s face when he reads a text from his phone.
It gives me hope and joy. This world isn’t as bad of a place as you think. There’s happiness all around us. All we have to do is watch.
So just be still.