Your mom cried as she told daddy and all of us that she wasn’t trash to be tossed out. She didn’t want to go to Montana. The Greyhound ticket she asked me to buy for her on her lap. “My mother pulls me by the hair down the hall. I’m scared.” You comfort your mommy. “We won’t let her do that to you, mommy.” You assure her. In awhile I say how scary this all is, no home, no food, money, school, job. No place to go and let down. Your decisions are not ones you want to make. The plans are not what you would choose. And this is right for you to go, get help from your family, sleep inside, learn to drive and get dental services. Dad will find a job again and call her to come back, I tell you. I see you take some of the worry with you to the sandbox. You mutter to your dinos out there.
We leave for the lake on Sunday, daddy sleeps in the garage, sets up a cooler, coffee on a hotplate and goes to town for cellphone. He’s not having fun either. Mommy ran away yesterday and hid in the woods, but grandpa saw her from his truck out on Empire and daddy found her and gave her some medication to help her get it together and go. UGH. My belly hurts. I bet hers does too.
Packing to go, contractors, house sitters, packing, shopping, easier to just stay here. But longing for some kind of Echo time. You want to catch daddy a fish. So we go. gma
Yesterday the dog died. Collateral damage. When a neighbor peered in my window she saw carseats stuffed with impatient children and behind them, a drooling, panting dog. She told me I had to better plan the arrivals of vehicles at my house to avoid too many polluting diesel engines, ruined her concentration, creativity. I didn’t care. I had to euthanize Metro. I lost it. Told her to mind her own business. No I didn’t I just rolled up my window and drove on.
Metro is gone. Just gone. I can’t believe it. He’s dead, Buddy. And I did it, my horse vet helped. The neighbor has no idea how much I’d been fucked with that day. No idea. And I had to take charge of SOMETHING. What a life I have here. I am unraveling. Loosely wound and barely knitted together at all. I am so sorry. I failed my sense of what’s right. Copped out. Murdered my dog. He’d peed on my shoes daily, barked in the middle of the night scratched up the doors, wrecked the kids toys, awakened me every twenty minutes for the last few nights from 2 am on. He’d gone nuts. He never recalled eating. Carried his dish around in his mouth.
But now his soft little ears, his sweet beagle eyes and doggie-ness is gone. His nutsy is gone too. I can never forget the cute guy who stood on the porch looking in blankly as if to say, why am I out? then slapped at the door with a paw, claw digging into the painted surface again and again. Or howled as the children slept. I hopped out of bed to maintain the sleep of those kids, of utmost importance; too important. Crazy important.
I told you that Doctor Chuck had to examine him. Look at his tumors and maybe he’d not come home. He didn’t.
Where did Metro go? You ask. To the vet, hoping that was it. But will he come back? No, I tell you. Does he have a new home? No. I read you Dog Heaven. Grandma, you ask, as it dawns on you, is Metro dead? Yes he is. Did he die now? Yes. Right now? Yes. He is dead. I am sorry, honey. You cry. I really miss him. Me too, I tell you. We cry for a couple minutes and then you say, can dead things come back home? No. Is he extinct? Yes. But there are still dogs on our planet. We have Georgis. But nothing will be like Metro, even other beagles. Metro is no longer alive. Dogs still live. Not actually extinct. Then, you suggest, lets’ get another Metro with soft ears.
After Echo. VACATION: 8/20/2011-9/5/2011 You write him a letter. “Dear Metro, I’m sad you died. I loved your soft ears. They were soft as the kitty. I am a little glad you aren’t here anymore because you keeped eating my food. You used to play and pull on toys with your teeth. You looked cute today in the car with your chin on the seat. You liked to snuggle with stuffed animals. I miss you. I miss your stinkiness and your snoring all the time. I loved you, Metro.”
I awakened on Metro time. At 2, 2:30 and then again at 3 and 3:40 and finally got up at 5:20. Yesterday Liza got up at 2 am and wanted to eat. Jeeze. Metro incarnate? She was so determined. I cried.
Today was day 1 year 1 PM. Post Metro. I should have slipped his soft ears into my bag. Brought his body home. But I left it. We bought him a tree. No dogwood available, so we chose a magnolia with buds as soft as his ears. He won’t help it grow, but his spirit will. My morning was quiet. The grinding noise I thought was him was the refrigerator, the stink, Georgia, the sand on the floor, not him and the pee on the shoes? It was Liza. She peed on day one right in my shoe. Just like Metro used to do. Does Metro now inhabit her? So weird. I wash them off, like always and think I hear him scratching the gate, and knock over the trash, but its not him, its the dog next door, come visiting. Was it always that dog? Oh dear. I am off center. Reek of guilt.
Yesterday you made some toast all by yourself. And wanted cinnamon on it. I made a mixture of two teaspoons sugar and some cinnamon for your to sprinkle and left the house. Minutes later the house poured smoke, you cried, a fan started up to blow out the smoke because you poured the sugar into the hot toaster and pushed it down, started a fire and ran outside. You were scared. Me too.
Daddy and Mom came by and sat and stared. They lost their rental. Don’t know what to do. Neither do I. I told them if they wanted a favor to figure out what they were doing first. To ask for two nights in a bed or three or a week. But make a plan and understand that the favor would be just for awhile until…what? No favors until there’s a plan. And they left. I don’t know where they went. Worry. Guilt, Worry Cycle
Think about euthanasia. Think about the control one can have over situations. The responsibility. And have to focus on you. That’s all I can do. Or is it?
This is a shitty moment. I hate it. Good night, little Edmontasaurus baby. Goodnight Liza. gma
GOODNIGHT SWEET PUP. WE’LL MISS YOU AT ECHO THIS YEAR.
I am someone who arranges for contractors to arrive prior to the other and after one who had to come before. Who greets each one and hangs around for relevant, emerging conversations, questions about things I could not have anticipated and often takes things into my own hands with help from those more knowledgeable. Tile, fireplace stones and flue, ledgers for decking with custom flashing and siding reveals decided prior to stucco and before painters arrive. Casing around windows, door jambs after flooring, but painter needs them in place so I order them. The name of the floor moldings, I forget, I know “baseboard”; and the custom-planed vertical grain fir like the doors and casing, that we decided after we changed our minds about the knotty alder. Changing minds, Changing orders, Changing materials, Designs and Plans. Saving money, spending money. Seeking the most reliable experts, assessing skill and those that can backfill gaps in experience, in knowledge. My brother in law, Neal, has come on scene in the nick of time. Bringing experience, skill, craftsmanship, know-how and willingness to hang in there with me, being friendly and respectful… ranks high with me (with anybody).
Also…I am a mommy stegosaurus, who grunts deeply for my baby as he emerges from his egg grunting similarly in a higher pitch; I do a version of this kind of play several times each day upon command. Preschool starts again in September for you, after Echo vacation 8/20-9/1. Liza returned to her family childcare program a week ago. She takes her dolly now; blankie left in bed for night time. She has a friend, close in age, Eva, who has a dolly, too. She sits in the car seat on the way home singing and swaying to the melodies of familiar Spanish and English songs. She asks for her “Patos” (shoes) some “Awa” to drink (water) and sees “baiyos” near the barn as we dive up (horses). We love her emerging language and the Spanish is good for all of us.
Liza adores Grandpa, running to him when he awakens. “Papa, get up.” She imitates herself when she was swimming at the high school last month. “Me swim,” and she kicks, flaps her arms and laughs. She’s very physical, competent, and become self-reliant living with a stiff old woman. (Old many days, not always) Puts on her shoes, pants, shirts, takes them off and puts them in the laundry basket, diaper in dipe disposal. She climbs into her carseat, hooks it, and begins a “go in the car-car” song, before I start the engine. Cherishes routines.
Tests us many times each day; slipping into the house re-tearing a screen that Metro ripped awhile back, starts the Prius (auto push thing) and changes the t.v. station. We scowl as we correct her, tell her whats not safe. So she pushes the buttons on the dishwasher starting it several times a week, with her eyes narrow and brows pulled in tight. Turns and runs back out when seen (scared) as if we regularly whack her. I must frighten her with my big reaction. You, buddy, are working on managing this toddler in your life. And must must must stop the hurtful pushes, bangs, slaps, slugs and whacks. Have you noticed that she does it right back now? I think you have.
I am someone I don’t recognize most of the time. But I am also funny, charming, a good grandma and a good person. But I am also lonely. I long for work life, women and friendship. Most days I have no calls on my telephone answering machine. Most days no adult wants me for anything. Not even Grandpa. I guess people don’t want to ask anything else of me. I am an internal whiner, but I buck up. Moan in privacy. I am a diaperer, cook, milk pourer, knock-knock joke teller, songster of the most basic kind, dog petter, garden waterer and story teller. Not entirely gone, but in many ways, disappearing. Like a specialized lobe. Just doing this. building this muscle leaving the others to shrink away unspent. Each day is filled with the same verbs. Caring, caretaking, watching, cooking, nurturing, repairing, comforting, planning, and considering. Construction manager in a silo of its own. Yawning through it all. The activities that fill my days are boring. Important, but no illumination, missing the flame. I want to practice old things, try new ones. Sculpting, landscaping, writing. Just to enjoy the process. Work in the garden, at the remodel site, work on anything. I know, I tell myself…. if I was doing all this work, I’d blog complaints about getting old, sore and tired. Or would I?
For you little one, I’ll wish for you to not spend time wanting to be someplace else, under a different sky, in different weather, doing something you are not or with someone else, faster, more or bigger than what is. I believe this. I’ve seen others fall into bad habits, wishes unfulfilled while this life is holding onto their very own hand. Living in regret can sadden us. And here I am in that place; one foot in regret. Unfamiliar, unproductive, unraveled. But I know better and will climb out. Just give me time. Maybe give me a hand.
Mom and Dad visited twice this month. Both times asking for money. Couldn’t ask how you are, what you and your sister are doing, enjoy or even notice your new interests, skills and language. Maslow says that basic needs come first so all the rest is beyond reach for mom and dad. All the quality, good things that would bring joy and lift their spirits, they cannot partake. I ask you what animal you are. A hummingbird baby. If that is so dear, little one, they are earthworms, lizards or moles, not even aware of the glint of your wings above or the sweet nectar you sup.
Pensive, sore throat, tea day. Thick fog. Mist. Missing Grandpa and glad you can play with your friend Shelby today. Liza is at daycare. More tea then off to the site, to lists and my guys. gma