Last year, January 10th was on a Sunday. Dave and I woke up kind of early, for a Sunday anyway, and drove out towards Antigua. The day before, I had volunteered at an animal shelter out that way and had not-so-secretly been scouting for a new dog-friend for us and Bay. I found her. I would’ve brought her home from the shelter, but I wanted to show Dave- getting a dog is a big decision and I needed to make sure we agreed on how cute she was. So, we got up and drove out to the shelter. I think we were there somewhere around 9am. I showed him Pip (who was called Zuly then), he agreed that she needed to a part of our family, we chatted with the shelter owners and drove back to the city. We spent the rest of the day trying to keep Bay from growling at Pip and playing with both our dogs.
I remember that I was supposed to be starting a new unit with my 6th graders. I hadn’t planned for it and I was feeling sort of anxious about that. Around 3pm-ish, I started to feel really down and lathargic. I attributed it to not feeling prepared for school the next day and not really wanting to go. About 4pm, I went upstairs for something and just sat on the bed, feeling utterly sad. Dave came looking for me and asked what was wrong. I had no answer.
For the next two hours, I felt ‘off’ and really down. I was trying to make a new dish that I had been excited about but I lost all interest in it. We were watching TV and I found myself completely uninterested. Dave, to his credit, was wonderful. He let me be melancholy and mopey and did what he could to understand what was happening. But even I didn’t understand.
Until about 6pm. That’s when my family was finally able to get ahold of me. Dave had been playing a computer game for most of the day so the internet had been off. We finally turned it back on and Jen was calling on skype almost immediately. When I answered, she handed the phone to my sister, which was the first indication that something was wrong.
Looking back, I guess I knew. I mean, I didn’t know WHAT had happened until I was told, but I felt something was wrong. I used to think that people who said they knew when a loved one had passed were either crazy or just wanted to think they felt something. Like after the fact they thought, “Oh, I think I was sad at that exact moment…” But I don’t scoff anymore. It was the weirdest feeling to just be suddenly overcome with a sadness that I really couldn’t explain. I’m not sure what it was or how I knew. It wasn’t the exact time of her passing- maybe it took her spirit a while to find me, since she’d never been to Guatemala. Or maybe it was that mother-daughter connection… one that I didn’t know existed. I really can’t explain it. And I don’t need to. It happened and, in a way, I’m glad it did. It’s almost like she was telling me good-bye.
So, one year later. I started writing this blog in hopes of having completed a novel by now. It didn’t happen. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. My mom always liked my writing so, even though I didn’t complete my goal, she did get me writing again. So thanks for that, Mom.
I can’t believe it’s been a year.