I have been thinking about About Walt Whitman & A Dog That Lives Forever.
Thinking about my furry best friend and wondering what it would feel like to run with him now and I can’t quite figure out why other than I must have dreamed about him again.
Doesn’t happen all that often, or at least I don’t think it does but I am always glad to see him and a little sad to say goodbye upon waking.
So I suppose I’ll share this with you again.
â€¦last night he visited me in my dreams. We were both young. I was a twenty something year old kid at the park and he was about two. And in that dream we did what we canâ€™t do together any more. We ran. He was always just ahead of me, but never so far that he was out of sight. He was headed towards traffic and I was yelling for him to stop, fearful that he would do something stupid and get hit by a car.
And then a few dogs started barking at me and he was at my side, tail pointed, deep bark warning them to stay away. At the same time I yelled at them too- told him not to worry that I would find a way out of it for us. But mostly I was secure in the knowledge that the big lug had my back because he always did. Who listened better to my stories than he did. He never got tired or them or acted judgmental- he just loved me.
My kids don’t remember him as a young dog.
My daughter only remembers climbing upon his back and trying to ride him like a horse. It doesn’t take any effort to see those dark soulful eyes of his ask me how long he had to put up with that.
He never complained, never snapped, just wagged his tail and waited.
That big lug and his monstrous head weighed about 125 pounds and on his final day I carried him into the car and laid him down as gently as I could.
It felt like the worst betrayal and I just shrugged my shoulders because we weren’t supposed to go out that way. It wasn’t supposed to be like that.
We were going to be heroes who went off together in a blaze of glory forever remembered for saving the world, except that is not how it went.
He is gone and I am still here.
Now he is a memory of a time and place I’ll never visit again and I am ok with that. He would be too.
That bastard wouldn’t even yell at me about it. He’d just wag his tail and bring me another beer.
I’ll always miss him but I’ll always remember him too.
The kids are sleeping just down the hall and I am shaking my head because I promised myself I would go to sleep before midnight and I didn’t follow through.
I promised to comment on more blogs than I have been too but haven’t done that either.
Blame it on the amount of effort I am putting into moving my world intoÂ orbit.
The guys tell me they can see steam rising off of me on the court and ask me how an old man like me can keep slamming into walls and diving on the floor for loose balls.
They don’t know I consider this moment in time to be among the hardest and most frustrating time of my life.
It is because I have clarity on what I want and what I am trying to do but life isn’t cooperating the way I want it to.
I am a Taurus and there are people who say my attitude and behavior mirror the classic description of the classic Taurus.
I don’t know if that is accurate or not nor does it matter to me.
That is because this behavior is…classic Jack. It is me. It is natural.
Nor does it mean I am being stupid or headstrong. My eyes are open wide and I have my ears to the ground.
Twenty-five years ago I would have grabbed The Big Lug and walked into battle and we would have won.
But he is gone and I am not that man anymore.
I am dad and dad always looks out for his family.
It Is A Question Of Values
My children used to go to a private school. It was a Jewish day school and I was very pleased with the education they received, friends they made and the values that were imparted.
Things happened, life changed and we had to adjust.
Took the kids out of private school and put them in public. That had always been the plan but the intention had been to do it later.
Except life doesn’t always go as plan so you pivot and adjust as best you can.
One of the things I liked about putting them into day school was it avoided the schedule conflicts that come with Hebrew School and extracurricular activities.
It always bothered me that I had to give up playing some sports because practice interfered with Hebrew School. Mom and dad shrugged their shoulders at me and told me to find something else to play.
So day school made it possible for the kids to play sports and not worry about the conflict.
Both got into soccer and until this year we didn’t have any conflict because practices were not on the same day as Hebrew school.
This year my daughter made the All-Star team and so her season has continued but what hasn’t is the lack of conflict.
The coaches just changed the days we practice on and now I am stuck. Stuck because Hebrew School is important and I don’t want her to miss a ton because of soccer.
And stuck because we have taught her to respect being part of a team and to understand the committment that comes with that.
I guess it all comes back to a question of values.