Nope, not that kind: y’all know I don’t do math.
This morning’s meandering brought to you by the sun.
I just knew this was going to take me at least three miles. Not so, as it turns out. However, I am ahead of myself.
If you haven’t noticed, I like to walk in neat squares — not wanting to overlap the route too much. It’s just my thing. I was going to go up to Ohio and back down, which certainly would have added more than the last bit to take me well over three miles, but what had happened was, I realized that I had not been a good neighbor or doggie-auntie.
My sister-friend and her husband were going to be stepping away for a day and I failed to ask if their two-legged children or their four-legged ones (Tattoo is my dog’s brother, in case you aren’t keeping up) were okay. As it turns out, the four-legged ones needed breakfast. They tend to have their vittles when mine do, so I said I’d get them covered around 8:30.
I had not taken into account the distractions and how my slow turns through the ‘hood would impinge on that plan.
Firstly, there was a fire somewhere near, which meant I got caught up by the helicopters.
And of course, there is the wildlife that I must observe along the way.
I started up the hill on Pine, looked at the clock on my phone, and realized that I would have to walk a bit more swiftly if I was to stick to the time I told my doggie niece and nephew. It was a brisk pace I set — not too swift as my hips and ankles were protesting because they had appreciated the rhythm I’d set on the way down the hill. Now the slight incline at a faster cadence did not go over well.
I appreciated the opportunity to get off Pine because it had become rather busy with morning work traffic. The ‘hood proper was much quieter.
But to the point: gains and losses.
As I passed the park on my way down from my house, I considered the idea of gains and losses: having had many losses in life — of things, of people — my thoughts turned immediately to gains. I smiled, having never taken a moment to pair up the gains that were received after each loss. I used to say that if I hold onto what I’ve got and never let it go, I eventually have no room left in my hands to take a new gift. Loss is like that: it shifts something to make room for something else.
Shifts are rarely comfortable. I mean, even that visit to the chiropractor means the possibility of discomfort as he or she mashes and shifts bones and cartilage to bring relief. Deep tissue massage shifts fascia and sinew, an uncomfortable experience that leads to sighs of joy afterwards as muscles feel less bound. Life is like that too. Loss is painful in some way, even if what is lost is something we’d wish would go away. If you’ve been around this space for a minute or two, you know that such was the situation with the first marriage: I needed it to go away, for my survival and the survival of my son, but becoming a widow for the first time as the mother of a not-yet-four-year-old was painful. Being widowed a second time brought a different sense of loss; the call for Christopher to cross the Rainbow Bridge was a surprise because we both were expecting he would bounce back from that latest thing as he had bounced back from the other things, even though I suspect he knew this was different. I suspect the loss for him came in the form of doing something we had never done during our nearly 16 years together, and that was keep a secret. He didn’t tell me that he would probably Go soon but I figure he knew. I only went into doctor’s appointments when he asked me to, never impinged on his private time with his physicians. They had said after his major hospitalization the year before he Crossed that he was weaker, but after that, we didn’t talk about it. Instead, we focused on pressing forward, on making each moment count. I would say he countered his losses by giving to me: by hinting at how he wanted me to live my life ‘if and when’ anything were to happen to him.
And I’ve tried to do that.
As I neared the end of my walk, I hastened toward the front door of a house that looks different than it did a while ago. Sure, the outside is generally the same and a lot of the same furniture is on the inside, but I’ve made it more mine, where I can prepare for the next set of gains that are on the way.
Here’s to fewer losses for a while and hopes for more gains.