Thursday, January 1, 2015

Close the Door

We lost our sweet Luke this past weekend. He was a happy-to-be-home Golden Retriever. He was almost 15 years old, pretty  ancient for a dog; that's almost 105 years! For a dog who loved to find the smelliest delicacies from garbage cans and roll in some of the rankest horse poop in the pasture, that's pretty amazing. He endured boring 4H meetings,the death of his beloved buddy, Hans, and the antics of an obnoxious Aussie puppy. But for me, the loss of Luke signifies the closing of a door in my life that, sadly, time is forcing me to close.
Luke came into our family on the 4th  birthday of our son Stevie. A timid puppy that Stevie adored, the two grew up together. A few years later another Golden joined the family and the two were such good buddies. The kids and  dogs grew up together, and before I knew it,in the blink of an eye they were all grown up. 
How did this happen so quickly? I'm sure I am not the only parent who asks this. There are even times when I want to scream at Time and command it to stop so that I can process this, treasure this, and not simply stand by as is slips away. I want to scream into my pillow at the helplessness I feel .I will attempt to move mountains for my kids, but in this I am helpless. Time is relentless and continuously mocks me, reminding me that soon all of this crazy-busy wonderfulness of raising kids will be over.  The door is closing.It is over.
And that is what Luke's passing did for me. As I looked into that old dog's dying eyes, I saw the day after day religious run in the field, the joy of seeing the kids and dogs hanging out in the front lawn, and the spastic chasing of snowballs in the pasture. It was as if Luke was reminding me that this crazy, sweet time is done.Close the door, and move on, and that's okay. What will the next adventure be? Meanwhile, my melancholy mind keeps replaying the past as I hum the sappy Simon and Garfield Bookends lyrics, "...preserve your memories, they're all that's left you..." Ugh. Why do I do this to myself?

So, goodbye, sweet Luke, and goodbye to the years spent raising little ones. I will miss those times of hearing kids screaming through the house, muddy paw prints and busy schedules filled with 4H meetings, piano lessons and sleep overs. Close the door.
Luke and Stevie, Summer 2014

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