Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Post Script to Good-Bye

The email from my vet said Gilbert’s ashes were ready. I was grateful but I didn’t know how I’d handle this next part.

This is a job I’d really like to give to my husband, I thought.

It was raining, the kind of cold, grey January day that is good for hot chocolate and movies, but not regular fast-paced life. I had just gotten my oldest daughter and was driving the back-roads way to get my younger one. A Subaru wagon was behind me most of the way. It looked familiar, but it was hard to see the driver because of the rain.

Finally, I pulled into the right lane at the traffic light in town and came to a stop. The wagon pulled up in the lane next to me. I glanced over at the driver thinking it might be…yes…it was.

I rolled down my window. The driver did the same.

“Do you have?” I asked.

She nodded. “Yes.”

I looked ahead. Beyond the intersection there were some empty parking spots along the side of the road near the pizza shop.

“I’ll pull over, “ I said rolling my window back up.

A few seconds later, I popped my trunk and walked to the wagon.

“If it wasn’t so preposterous to be getting my dog’s ashes along the side of the road “ I said, looking into my vet’s car, “I’d be more sad.”

She laughed and handed me a pretty bag with a box wrapped in green tissue paper from the front seat.

“It’s heavy,” I said, taking the bag.

 “I knew it was Gilbert,” she said, smiling.

 I thanked her and put the bag into my car.

Sometimes you anticipate emotion. Other times you’re surprised by it. When I sat in the driver’s seat, ready to merge back in traffic, my daughter in the back seat, my dead dog’s ashes in the trunk, I felt overwhelmed by a light feeling of happiness.

“He’s home,” I thought, deciding that was why I was happy. Even if it’s not, I’ll take it.


Thank you to all the kind friends and readers who wrote last week. Hearing your stories and memories both of your pets and of Gilbert was very moving.


This week's post on The Educated Mom is an interview with a mother who has concluded that when it comes to school next fall, her daughter is most likely, "Not Getting In"....




2 comments:

Lunch Box Mom said...

The email from my vet said Gilbert’s ashes were ready. I was grateful but I didn’t know how I’d handle this next part.

This is a job I’d really like to give to my husband, I thought.

Tim Morrissey said...

Simply beautiful. I'm glad Gilbert is home.