There is a beautiful line in the movie ‘Out of Africa.’ Near the end of the movie, when it seems her world is falling apart, Karen Blixen says something to the effect ‘When I think I can’t stand it anymore, I think of one more thing happening, and then I know I will be able to bear it.’ Of course, as a writer, she says it more beautifully. But I am too sad to watch a sad movie to get the quote right today.
My Lainie died this morning. I had just come back last night from an exhausting two days of helping my dad and his wife, and worrying/thinking about what needs to be done to help them, and Lainie wasn’t feeling good. I got up early this morning and was ready and dressed to leave for the vet’s, and 10 minutes before I was going to leave, she collapsed, and I was able to hold her until she died. She was a good little girl. Everyone else loved her almost more than me! She was part of the team affectionately dubbed ‘the bad little girls’ by my friend, after she and Celie got up on the dining room table and ate a blueberry coffeecake–twice! Lainie was 13 years old, and she had a very good life. I am glad that I let her sleep on the pillow next to me WHENEVER she wanted to.
Most of you know I am a dog lover from way back. No matter how long they live, it is not long enough for us, is it? Dogs give unconditional love, and never hold a grudge. I think that’s why it’s especially hard to lose them. But the joy they bring is definitely worth the pain of losing them. I will end with my most favorite quote about love.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket–safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable… The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. C. S. Lewis