May 4, 2017: sketch from yesterday's walk in the pouring #rain - the Shibas and I have developed a very special relationship with Mary, the crossing guard at the elementary school in our neighborhood. She brings treats for the dogs every day, and yesterday she handed me her umbrella so I could keep us dry as she distributed them. Seeing her is one of the highlights of our day, every day, so we're out there no matter the weather.
Update, May 8, 2017: This morning when I walked the dogs over to the elementary school, Mary was uncharacteristically reserved. Her husband has been very ill for many months. She told me that she brought him home from the hospital yesterday and he is in hospice care. Or as she put it, "I brought him home to die."
She is 82, he's 85, and they're 66th wedding anniversary is next month. She said the only time they've been apart is when he was in the Marine Corps. My heart is breaking for her.
What gives me some peace is that she told me several people have asked her if she can take care of herself, and if she knows what she needs to do (legally and financially, I assume). She said yes. She is indeed a strong woman. So strong that when I hugged her (fighting back tears), she didn't flinch. I know she'll be okay in time. Just hate seeing people I care about in pain.