I can be quite the ray of sunshine. For example, in my last blog, I said in so many words: “We just had to take our golden retriever’s leg off. Have a nice Christmas.” So I thought to make it up to you, I could show you how well our beautiful Molly is doing.
She’s been elevated to Princess of the World, meaning that Bill and I are now sleeping on mattresses in his office so that she doesn’t have to do stairs and so that she can get abundant cuddles from her boyfriend, or rather my husband, whichever you prefer. She is fed only the choicest morsels, as well as essential fatty acids and glucosamine. And every afternoon she gets a ride in the car.
I’ve noticed that she particularly enjoys the ride if we go to the same places every day. It’s as if she’s saying, “Yup, it’s 3 o’clock. First we’ll go to North Light, and then we’ll go to the docks. I already know all about it.”
It’s been wonderful to watch her growing stronger. After her stitches came out we started doing short walks and we’ve been going a little farther every day. Yesterday, she seemed overcome with a burst of joy and went tearing off down toward North Light. I mean she was running, really running, sustaining a distance for the first time. She went a hundred yards or so, investigated some bushes and came running back, all happy and bright.
Many of our friends said that the situation might be difficult for us, especially at first, but that it would not be as difficult for Molly. They said she would not develop a theory about the tragedy of her missing leg. They said she would take each thing as it came. And that is exactly how it has been. And it’s been good because she has been teaching us how to live our lives.
Molly’s cancer may come back and it may not. But it hasn’t come back today. So we do have a day. We have one day and one day and one day. And we know that one day in the future will be her last, and it might be in three months and it might be in five years. And can we accept that? Yes, I think we can. And meantime, we will have many fine days and the last day will only be one day, and really for her, it will be only one moment, with no pain and no worries whatsoever.
I live my life with a list of concerns and of things to be accomplished, and I think I’m having a nice day or a bad day based on how those things are going. But I want to change that, even just a little bit, as much as I can. I want to take the time to know where I am – even while I’m working, to feel the sky above and the earth beneath; to locate myself on this island with the ocean all around; to track myself to the movement of the sun and the stars the way that birds do, even while they survive through the long, cold winter on Block Island. I want to learn to live as beautifully as Molly does, inside of the world, inside of my senses, inside of the day. And I forget to do it, and forget again, and that’s why I need my pictures.
You know, without the picture of Molly running, I already would have forgotten. But now I can dwell on that moment and remember how much joy she has in running, even with three legs, and every time I look at that picture, I can feel how happy it makes me to see her doing so well.
Molly is snoozing at my feet right now, and every so often she’ll rouse herself and give me a little kiss. Today, I’ll work on my writing and my projects. Then I’ll pay some bills and make spaghetti and then Molly and I will go for a drive together. Then we’ll drive to North Light and see how the swans are doing. Then we’ll go to the docks. And she’ll sit there smiling and maybe she’ll run and her eyes will be bright. And I’ll see and my camera will help me remember and she’ll smell with her powerful nose. And between us, we’ll discover so many good things about our moment in the world.