I’m dogsitting Albert and Abbot’s new puppy, and here’s where I should name him something old school and delightful, but because he’s a puppy (they got him from a shelter and they think he’s about 8 to 10 months), and because he’s got puppy energy out the wazoo, and we’re not just talking cute puppy I’m Adorable As I Gently Bumble My Way Over To You On Adorable Puppy Paws, but more of I’m A Hellion And I’m Way Smarter Than Anyone Gives Me Credit For, and I’m Gonna Tear Around The House At One Million Miles An Hour!!!, I’m going to name him Scampers. Or Butthead.
My first gig with Scampers Butthead was over Thanksgiving. Just a few weeks ago, but already feels like a million miles away. A whole month has passed since Dad died, and sometimes it feels like everything since that day has happened on a suspended calendar in an alternate universe, where time has taken on the consistency of taffy, pulling and stretching and expanding and drooping and pulling some more.
People send me emails and texts and phone calls and they always want to know how I’m doing. And when they ask the question, I feel like I need to break down in tears in order to justify their concern in asking me. They’re searching for signs of distress, because people would know how to deal with that – here’s a person who’s grieving the loss of her father. Poor dear.
People don’t know how to deal with someone who’s grieving a loss without any familiar signs of grief. I’m not even sure if what I’m doing could be considered grieving. It feels and smells like regular living to me.
But I’ve certainly got enough on my plate, what with dealing with Scampers Butthead, and also juggling a second gig with Pepe and Pablo at the Shabby Shack five minutes away. So wake up, feed and get Scampers Butthead situated for the day, then drive back to the Shabby Shack to run Pepe and Pablo, feed them breakfast and get them set up for the day. Go to work, come home, feed Scampers Butthead, go play with Pepe and Pablo, go back to Scampers Butthead house and go to bed. Lather, Rinse Repeat. It’s not easy to do these dueling gigs, but I couldn’t really say no to either of him, though I could’ve played the grief card. But it seems wrong when I don’t feel sad, bad or morose.
It’s life. Life happened. A parent dying is not unique to the history of the world, everyone deals with it eventually.
And the more time I log on this suspended calendar, the more I realize just how merciful God was working behind the scenes. We had a year to get used to the idea of Dad’s dying. We got to go home and see him before he went under. Yes, it was quicker than we were originally led to believe, but ultimately, it was for the best, and God knows I’ve heard plenty of horror stories of other peoples’ parents dying where they didn’t have such gentle outcomes.
But Scampers Butthead consistently jockeying for attention is forcing me to cut this blog entry a little bit shorter. It’s okay. I’m not sure we were getting anywhere near profound anyway, ha ha h.