My previous post was partly inspired/motivated by my thoughts about the difficulty faced by a writer who lost a loved one. After I posted, I was out running and when I run, I have time to think.
Unfortunately, far too often, when I think, my mind goes to difficulties that I face, and, worse, to the problems and difficulties of my past, about which I can do nothing except regret. And in that context, I started thinking about a loved one that I recently lost.
I met Bella when I rented a room from her person seven+ years ago. I often like dogs but I don’t think of myself as a dog person. Bella, however, was perfect (this is an entirely objective statement, of course). And this past August first, Bella, who was 15, left us. Bella was happy and smart and, well, perfect (again, an objective fact). Dealing with her was pretty much always a pleasure, even walking her before dawn on cold, wet winter mornings. I miss her.
Comparing one person’s loss to another is a dicey matter. But when someone tells me that they lost a loved one, at least I can say that I lost a loved one, too. Bella was one of the best things in my life. Losing her is still pretty raw and fresh.
That being said, however, and returning to the subject of this post, Bella is also, still, one of the best things in my life. I always have the memory of how perfect she was and how she warmed my heart. As I said at the top of the post, sometimes my mind wanders and tends to focus on all my failures and shortcomings and regrets roaming over a vast imaginative Sahara of failure. And there, right where I can see it, no mirage, is the memory of Bella. Yes, she is gone. No, I don’t get to look her in the eye or take her for walks. But that vast, imaginative Sahara is exactly as real as Bella. My regret for the past and fears for the future are no more here and now than Bella. Bella isn’t here and now, and that makes me sad. Out there in the wilderness of my imagination of what could be or what could have been, she is there, an oasis in a desert, or, to switch metaphors, a St. Bernard saving me from a blizzard.
So, if you feel yourself staggering through a desert of despair and dismay, are there any oases to which you could direct your mental footsteps?