Autumn is a time of transition, and this week underscored that. Easily the worst week I've had at work in 14 years.... and it ended on a high note. I ended my relationship with my fella... and another suitor emerged. I said good-bye to an old best friend... and met a new one. I had a fun and joyful weekend, filled with friends and activities, breathtaking beauty... and experienced heartbreaking loss.
It's an overused metaphor, but the leaves change from brilliant green to brilliant red and yellow literally overnight; the woods burst forth with color, but it is fleeting. The hot weather subsides in favor of cooler winds. Everything prepares for winter... a quieter, more reflective time.
Atom passed on a beautiful, warm, clear night, with a sky full of stars. This weekend was the height of the fall color spectrum, and it was spectacular this year. He wasn't yet thirteen, and my aim was to have him around for at least twenty years, so his precious life was shorter than I ever would have imagined. He should have seen a lot more changing of the seasons. I wasn't ready.
I bawled on the whole drive home from Mission Med Vet, and was still crying when I entered the house. I was worried that I smelled like the hospital and that my three pets would scatter when I came in. It was quite the opposite. The dogs rushed me first, Aki and Taylor both licking my hands, practically knocking me over, and when I knelt, they jumped in my lap and kissed my face, wiping away my tears. They were overjoyed to see me. Gypsy hung back at first. I knew that I smelled like Atom and the toxins in his body and assumed she would hide. But to my surprise, when the dogs backed off, she moved right in, and she, too, licked my hands and face (so forcefully with her raspy tongue that it actually hurt a bit), purred, and clung to me.
Nothing could have made me happier or more secure than this welcome from the three of them. It felt like they understood and forgave me for what I had to do.
My 2011 has had some of the highest highs and the lowest lows. Autumn is a time of transition, and I am ready for my life to stabilize and to experience happier days ahead.