There are still times when I am making my way into the house and I open the laundry room door and for a split second, I forget. I forget she’s not there. In my usual fashion, I'm juggling a dozen bags and purses and lunch bags, trying to fumble for the door handle and in that moment I’m waiting. Waiting for the ambush greeting. I whip the door open to silence. I listen to a quiet house. Nothing. And it hurts all over again.
I remember a year ago when we had to put her down. As I pet her for the last time, I thought, “How can it be possible that she’ll be gone?” That was actually the first question my younger daughter asked when I picked her up from school that day and broke the news that our sweet dog had left this earth. I remember having the same realization when my kids were born. How could they be not here one moment and here the next? We are marking this day with reflection and the realization that time is our friend and our enemy. Time makes the hurt have less of a sting but takes treasured memories farther and farther away doesn’t it?
So as we enter this New Year, I’m thinking about how precious the past was and how precious the future can be. To my mind, it’s about savoring what you can for as long as you can because what’s here one day may be gone the next. And the thing about the past is what you want to remember, you sometimes forget and what you want to forget, you usually remember. For now, I’m going forward with the thought that this New Year is a blank slate for all of us to create the images we want from the past and for the future. Make it a good one!