Monthly Archives: December 2010

This season doesn’t feel so wonderful after all.

I went over to see Shaina for one last time tonight. I thought all my tears were shed, that I wouldn’t wake up with puffy eyes again so soon. But I expect that tomorrow morning I’ll have a hard time opening my eyes all the way, just like the day before.

Why does she have to die? Why did she have to go half blind? Why did she have to get struck with a sickness that caused her head to be crooked from then on? Why does she have to grow old? Why does she have to be put down?

These questions are absurd. She’s just an animal, just a dog. She’s not human, she doesn’t have a foul.

But she’s so… Shaina. I miss her already and love her so much. Rest in peace, you amazing girl. 


A Part of Me Will Die

I was on my way home from some runnings-around. I had just pulled into the neighborhood when I got a text from Rob: “Hey, we’re going to be putting Shaina down on Wednesday. Wanted to let you know so you could plan to see her one more time.”

Immediately I started crying. I cannot imagine life without Shaina. She’s really old for a dog (about sixteen, I believe), but I’ve only known her since she was ten. I’m going to hate going over to the Scheribel’s knowing she’s gone forever. Knowing I’ll never see her familiar, crooked head, adoring face, gorgeous black fur, playful bouncing – ever again. (Pictures don’t count.)

I hate death. I hate suffering. I hate that we have to let her go not even knowing if we’ll see her again in the Kingdom.

Does she know that on Wednesday her life will be ended? Does she know her nose will never scent out anything again? That she’ll never eat any of her disgusting dog food again? That she’ll never jump around Mr. Scheribel’s feet, begging to go outside, ever again? Does she know how much I’ve cried for her since I found out last night? Does she sense from her family that something’s going to happen? Can she feel that something’s amiss? Is she slightly anxious about it?

No. She’s just a dog.

But she’s not just a dog. She’s wonderful. She’s frisky. She’s gorgeous. She’s amazing. She’s playful. She’s everything to me.

If it hurts this much to loose an animal to the clutches of death, how much worse to loose one’s life partner! I don’t think I want to marry.

Although it’s been said many times, many ways, “Merry Christmas to you.”

There’s something special about receiving cards around the holiday season. You trudge outside to the mailbox, soak your not-house-slippers-anymore in the slushy snow that overlays your driveway. Then, when you reach your destination, you jerk open the lid of the box and thrust your hand inside, hoping to connect with a two or three letters (so you don’t feel like you came all the way out here for nothing).

Ka-ching. You pull out five letters and as you make your way slowly back to the house you quickly flip through them. Verizon bill – for Dad. Kohl’s flyer with “free” items – that would be Mom’s. A couple more “to the family living in this house” letters – just dump those on Dad’s pile (or else in the trash). Then. You come to the last one. You got bored reading none of the other letters were addressed to you, so you’re pleasantly surprised with you see that this one is, indeed, carrying your name. 

The front door couldn’t seem farther away. You rush the rest of the way into the house, kick off your snowy shoes before your mom catches you and yells at you; then you toss the first four letters onto the tabletop and grab for the letter opener. You randomly decided you wanted to slit this letter orderly open rather than rip out the contents like a first grader. This is the first card you’ve received for, well, a long time, and you want it to look neat.

Sliding the letter opener across, you pull out the card and open it up. Sometimes it says, “Christmas Greetings, Friend – From Me To You. Hope Your Day Is Filled With Love, Hope and Joy, too.” Or it may read, “Remembering special friends like you are what make my Christmas nice.” Or it may just shout the good ‘ole fashioned, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” Whatever it says, you are glad to have it, because you know that somewhere out there, a friend is thinking of you. In that moment, you’ve forgotten all about your soggy boots, the letters thrown haphazardly on the table, the goosebumps that still line your thinly clothed arms. Because there’s nothing sweeter than knowing that you are on a friend’s mind.

Keep in mind the true reason of the season, especially as the media and general public try their hardest year after busy year to trash it with wishes of money money money and gifts gifts gifts. Remember that though giving and receiving presents holds joy, they are little enough reason to rejoice for the true reason we have this holiday. Merry Christmas.