Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sometimes Gratitude is Hidden, But it is Always There, by Kat Magendie

Kayla limps down our road, becomes tired easily and lies upon the grass. I stroke her thick fur and talk softly to her. I tell her what a good dog she’s always been, my best girl. I say, “Don’t get any older, girl. Don’t leave me.” And I know it’s a selfish thought, but I am feeling ornery. Intellectually, I know everyone must eventually leave; and eventually, every one of us will leave someone who doesn’t want us to leave. But my heart this morning is saying, “Stop Time. Just for a little while.” I say to Kayla, “It’s tough getting old, isn’t it, girl?” Her muzzle is turning gray. Her bones stiff. As I pet my dog and look at her signs of aging, I think about how one day I will lose her, and that makes me think of losses and disappointments. How I am aging, how my husband is aging, how my parents are aging, my brothers—all of us who have this history together. There are no guarantees, however, since I lost my younger brother when he was a young man, and I chalk that up as another bad thing life can hurl our way. I let my thoughts turn darker, inward—the novels still un-published and how much I want them out there, read, enjoyed by others. I try not to feel envy for the authors who are already published, but it comes anyway and shames me with its intensity, for I am also happy for them, glad they have met their dreams and goals; yet, I think, why not me?

I tell Kayla, “I have to write a YOG post and here I am feeling negative and dark and sad and with dreams I haven’t fulfilled and I’m getting older, too, and I don’t want you to be old and I don’t want anyone I love to leave and…damn.” She pants, and looks up at me with her soft brown eyes and I have the sudden urge to cry, my eyes burning, my throat closing. I remember her as a puppy. I remember my brothers and me as children, my parents young even though we thought them old. I want more days; lots more days. Doesn’t everyone? a voice counters. Quiet, I say. Let me have this melancholy. It’s mine.

The mountain breeze touches my face. So much to be grateful for, yes, I know. But for the moment, the gratitude hides behind the disappointments and fears. Sometimes, melancholy has its purpose. Sometimes it makes me appreciate even more when the fog lifts. Sometimes gratitude is hidden, but it is always there.


Ami said...

How have I completely missed this blog? I can tell I'll be spending a lot of time catching up on the archived posts. I could use some gratitude reminders these days. :)

Barbara Quinn said...

Lovely, haunting and yearning ache here in your words. Those same thoughts about aging and time passing take hold for me too. You're connecting in many ways with many lives. Hugs...

Anonymous said...

Sometimes having a pet is pretty tough. They are God-sent and we all seem to find out why. Tough subject but something we all face.
Hug her, it helps and hurts at the same time.
Oren (FOA)

Angie Ledbetter said...

I know how you feel. My old Darla girl is 16. I want lots more time with her too, but don't want her to suffer. Hopefully, like the people I love, we'll meet again one day! ;)

Kathryn Magendie said...

Everyone, thanks for the comments! My poor old girl isn't feeling well today - she's not eating - two and a half days now. Took her to the vet and we're on "wait and see" with broth, which she will drink...they do break our hearts, don't they?

(Ami - welcome to our YOG!)

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