The last time I felt this way, was the day after I was fired. But this time, I found others grieving with me. We wore black as a symbol of our mourning.
Facebook becomes a refuge where HRC supporters commiserate together. There is no work being done today, only time on social media to find some antidote for the poisonous reality.
If you say to me “accept it and move on” or “your fears are just speculation,” you are missing the depth of my grief and the collective depression of my sisterhood. Blogger John Pavlovitz put into words the aching in our guts in his post “Here’s Why We Grieve Today.” Read his blog to understand why this is different from other political losses.
This election became about so much more because of the hateful speech and criticisms. When in history has a nominee been threatened by shouts of “Lock Her Up!” or called a “Nasty Woman” in a debate? This election was about good triumphing over bad, the white pantsuit in contrast to the red hat, the life-long civil servant vs. the businessman bully.
On Tuesday, the country chose the devil. On Wednesday, the devil presented his plan to undo the work of the past 8 years, to go backwards from protecting our environment and providing healthcare to everyone, to chase immigrants and refugees away from safety, to turn back the clock for women and their personal freedoms.
Black Tuesday. The day hate trumped love.
I didn’t really like you much when you first came to live with us. You were annoying and disruptive to my peaceful existence. The house was all mine after Fred died. At times, it might have been a little lonely but I really didn’t mind. It isn’t easy growing old. I was 13 and a half when you arrived and my bones ached, my insides didn’t work right and I had to take pills with my food. One day, you’ll understand how it feels.
As obnoxious as you were, I have to admit that you brought me back to my days as a young pup. I guess it was fun romping at the beach with you and taking your chew toys. I give you credit, as much as I tried to intimidate you, you never gave up trying to make me your friend. Thank you for that.
You’re looking good, kid. A solid 77 lbs, you’re probably full grown. I bet you’re finally neutered, too. Now that you’re all grown up, you need to know what’s expected of you:
- Bark at strangers. It’s your number one job. Heck, bark at everyone. It’s hard to know whose strange and who isn’t.
- Walk in front of Mom. You’re there to protect her no matter what she says.
- Always, always be the first one in the car so you don’t get left behind!
- Cuddle often. It’s the only reason Mom lets you on the big bed.
- When you have to go number 2, go off the trail so Mom doesn’t have to pick it up (even though she does anyway).
- Eat fast. Someone might take it from you.
- If Mom gets the watering hose, RUN!!
- Practice your “sad puppy” look. You’ll get more treats.
- Chew the furniture. You’ll get more toys.
- Give lots of hugs and kisses. Mom will give them back.
It took two of us, both Fred and I, to take care of Mom. It’s up to you now, kid. If you need some help, just look at our pictures on the mantle and we’ll help you figure out what to do.
Looking back, I guess it’s a good thing Mom got you when she did.
My sweet Ethel left this world today to join her life mate, Fred, in that place people talk about over the rainbow bridge. A place where dogs run and play, free of pain and aggression, full of joy and as many bunnies as a dog can chase. The place over the rainbow bridge where I told Steve to go when he passed.
“Find Fred, Steve,” I told him as he lay quietly in the hospital bed last fall. “He’s waiting for you.” Tears started rolling down his cheek and I heard him choke up in his comatose sleep.
I can see Ethel joining them in that beautiful place, running free and sharing big sloppy kisses with Fred and her human dad. The bleeding tumor is healed, her appetite restored. She can see as far as the mountain top, clear and bright again. Her body moving as fluidly as the river and her ears flopping like the wings on an eagle.
Ethel was my problem child. Aggressive to other dogs, she would twist and lunge on the leash knocking grown men to the ground. We had an understanding though. She couldn’t get away with that when Mom was walking her. I learned to be alert, on guard, attentive at all times. She mellowed with age and eventually lived up to her nickname “Sweet Ethel”.
With people, she was all hugs and kisses, an 80 pound lapdog. She loved the car. “Let’s go!” was her favorite command. We’d find her in the car long before we were ready to leave. She didn’t want to be left behind.
Fred wasn’t much for the water. He’d wade in the shallow part. But Ethel, she loved swimming. She would fetch sticks in the water for hours. Retrieving on land was boring but nothing distracted her when she was swimming for sticks.
Stroking her soft thick coat, I whispered softly “Find Fred, Ethel. Steve will be with him and they are waiting for you.”