I often take my children to my shop, but the visit is usually short lived. The reason, nothing kid friendly to do there. On our last visit, I broke out Gork's GoodFilla, some plywood boards, some putty knives, and multiple colors of universal colorants. I seated them around one of the workbenches, and let them create to their hearts content.
I was going through my pictures, and I found this one.
This is Maple. She died of cancer 18 months ago, and I miss her. She was one of two dogs we were blessed to have in our life.
Every moment for her was an opportunity. A great athlete, the tennis ball was her toy of choice. The reasons were simple. It bounced, fit easily in her mouth, floated, and a human came with it. Therefore, if it was not confiscated, she would spend hours with a neon green fuzzy ball.
Maple operated at one speed, fast. Not super fast, but fast enough to accomplish her task. She was aware that stuff had to get done, time was of the essence. She was miserable at the end of a leash, had little patience for other dogs, never looked where she was leaping, nitpicked her treats, and refused to have her nails trimmed. I readily identified with her.
She died in my arms on August 18th, 2011.
The memories are seared in my brain of our times together. A dog.
I have four children aged from 10 to 3. Every moment with them is burned onto the hard disk of my brain until they no longer fit neatly into a timeline. Each of the thirty five thousand digital pictures my wife has recorded of our family, triggers an instant recall, as if we had just taken the picture. The depths of my love for them is uncharted.
I have buried my head in the sand for the last five days because I refuse to feel the pain of identifying with a parent who has suddenly lost a child.
Thank you, Maple, for digging me out of the sand.