And I’m walking Greta and Tala and thinking about grief because I’m putting my dog to sleep today sometime between 11 and three, and I asked the vet to text a half hour before he arrives to give me a chance to run home because I’m on my 15 hour workday stretches—it’s been spring break for folks over the last two weeks—plus I’m moving and the order in which to triage the chaos is like looking in every direction for due north because your entire system is malfunctioning. And it’s a cool morning, and the girls’ fur sways to our movement. And I look to the sky and think of my dog; how she came to me while I was living a life I don’t even recognize anymore and grew with me and I with her, and how this week, I’ve been fighting this day with steaks hastily cooked, trying to get her to eat so she doesn’t vomit up
[Above pic from Christmas Day 2017; I was heading back out to work so we snapped a pic] And somehow in the ins and outs of synchronicity and happenstance, that day before her birthday on November 30th, 2017, I began melding with The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood”, again returning to that one refrain which bows me down until I remember that day of holding my baby, knowing (like not in my head but in my body; like a knowing stretching outside of “knowing”) that pooling around my experience was now the potential for every single bit of love and agony possible to have within one life. For I had worried I wouldn’t love her as I did Julia; that was a real thing for me. I worried I’d never be able to rise to that level; Julia was my early baby, born 7 weeks before she was ready then hooked to IVs—“she might die; be blind, deaf; have disabilities”—and even before
According to the birth certificate tucked inside my baby book, I was born October 1, 1968 at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View California and my name was “Amy Brook Palleson”. I don’t remember any of the other fluff on it—height, weight, etc.—just that the paper was black with white printing and hard to read—which even seeing it at a young age had seemed odd—and that the book itself was a mess of white out and scratch outs and corrections. We can fast forward now, through memory lane, through years, through the solidification of who I was—via Rose and Martin Palleson (grandma and grandpa), Leeroyce and Deck Hogin (gammie and gampie); through aunts and uncles and cousins; through my brother Jeff born in early ‘71, my sister Alex in ‘75, and Clancy and Cindy, my father and mother—all the way to the couch in gammies living room where I lay quietly crying at 13 (or 12? I can’t even remember)
Saturday 11/25, 9:53 a.m., Salt Lake City. It’s hard to know what to do with the grief of this world. I look at this man and his dog and feel the pressure of disappointment on both his heart and my own; I can feel the loss of the dream he had for his own life and experience that loss with him. For I don’t move about my world so as to push it away from me; I welcome it to settle within me and become part of my experience; I let it teach me and humble me so that I can grow more each day in understanding and perhaps one day maybe we humans can be a collective, empathic, love-filled whole again.
[414 words; 2 minutes; American pride, nostalgia, what being American means]
Worked (all felines: Izzy, Jack, Piper, Clark, Lucy, Darko, Todd, Burt, Mica—love them all); Graham and Lauren, Ellen and Julia, Ellen’s friend ending his Ramadan today; kittens; hard lemonade, shitty Malbec, salsa, chips, guacamole, ohdeargodwhydidIeatsomuch;