I have a snoring dachshund who has his nose buried in my armpit. His little snorts and grunts are the loveliest noise.
Tonight, I was searching for the perfect Christmas accessory for Foxie Doxie. I pulled out the bag of bandanas in search of a holiday-themed scarf for the dude. I came up short, and instead ended up sorting the bandanas. Most of them belonged to the Geriatric Poodle. Most of them are filthy and torn. I pulled out a few that are still usable, and returned the rest to the little brown shopping bag to throw away.
It was then that I realized that the raggedy brown paper shopping bag with the broken handles was the Geriatric Poodle’s overnight bag when he would be boarded. It dates back to when he was an only child and features a stamp of a black dog, his name in black Sharpie, and a bulleted list of the toys contained therein.
I looked at the bag with amazement. Evidently, I was once That Woman. I sent my dog to be boarded with a bag that I had carefully decorated. I guess I was nesting, or trying to be Suzy Homemaker, or practicing for a human baby.
Of the three toys listed on the bag, two are long gone. And that sweet little dog who loved them so is dead.
And I’m throwing his old stuff away.
As the fourth Sunday of Advent, today is all about Joy. I have been known to sing to both of my dogs a variation on that most annoying vacation bible school song: I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my paws!
Today, the officiant at my church talked about … The Grinch. The soloist even sang “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.”
I *heart* my hippie church.
But the lesson was all about finding your light and your joy, and how The Grinch was so grinchy because he lost sight of his light. The congregation was tasked with finding our joy, and considering the things that get in the way of our light.
This was an easy one for me. I’m too fucking sad to be joyful. The grief has been overshadowing the light.
And it’s hard to be grieving this time of year. On one hand, I have many opportunities to give, and that makes me forget the grief, so I often underachieve in the grief-stricken mess department.
On the other hand … I think about last Christmas, and how I was blissed out of my gourd to be spending the holiday with a man for whom I was over the moon. It felt important, like the first of many celebrations we would share.
And this Christmas, I’m sitting on my couch, alone, wearing sweatpants and covered in dog hair.
I’m sure the sweatpants and dog hair will contribute to the alone in the future, but I will be sure to omit these details should I ever create an online dating profile or be asked why, exactly, I am single.
The strange thing, though, is that it’s just ok.
I’m so sad about the Geriatric Poodle, but I want to get rid of these nasty-ass bandanas. And that’s ok. And I miss the idea of The Ex-Boyfriend Formerly Known as Mr. Wonderful, but I’m sort of relieved to be alone. And that’s ok, too.
But I had a great weekend. I helped some friends, and I prepared some surprises for friends. I’m so looking forward to seeing my family in a few days. And Foxie Doxie is dreaming right now, his little body twitching as he runs in his dreams.