The Things You Do

As an aside, I started this first sentence as “There’s a lot to this life that we know…”, but I’d truncate that to read “There’s a lot to this life.” Full stop. Here we go. I’m having trouble concentrating, the third party chatter of life is deafening at the moment. Again, here we go…

There are a lot of things we expect in life without really appreciating their immediacy, or even appreciating their impact. I expect that there’s no audience to what I write because of this. It’s easy to ignore the serious bits (and likely my writing sucks).

Today, as plain as it seems and without being morbid, I was reminded that everything will pass. But the more important context is that the things that are close to me, my relationships, my beliefs, all the things that I hold dear, all of that will die in my audience. I will watch it fade. Our old dog Maggie brought the vet to our house this morning and that vet prodded and twisted, massaged and manipulated. She stuck needles in her, felt the pulse of her heart, advised us about her medication, about the food that she eats, and things, and some other things, and yet even more things. And the whole while I just wanted to curl up against her to scratch her belly and rub her legs, to let her know that I love her.

But the heart of it is just this. This dog, the apple of my eye, the wounded, abused and neglected girl that so many years ago we brought into our family with love and compassion and care, will die. Our best efforts to keep her healthy have turned into efforts to keep her comfortable and to mitigate her pain. But whatever we do, she’s going to leave us. She is going to leave us.

How do we come to terms with that? Muddled in our daylong and distracted lives, we push these thoughts aside. In western culture we don’t spend a second preparing for loss in our lives. We see it everyday through media channels, but we don’t appreciate mortality.

I am very small in this world, but all of us are. Give thought to the things you do and to those around you. Have conversations. Hug. Listen. Be present. All of this, because one day it’ll all be over.

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