Yesterday was the last day for Tucker, the landlord's ailing lab mix. He was an old guy, riddled with tumors and arthritis. But a big-hearted sweetie, as most old dogs are. He always barked at Peter, but wagged his tail when I came home. He waited wherever he lay in the yard for someone to come pet him, though. He wasn't about to move around more than he had to, even six months ago when I met him.

One of his many inoperable tumors finally got in the way of his daily functioning, starting Monday. At seven in the evening last night, Peter and I helped hoist his near 100 lb bulk into Norm and Evelyn's old van, so they could drive him to the Vet to "go night-night" as Norm euphemized earlier that day.

I was sad for Tucker, and sad for his owners, who have seen so much loss in the last few months. (Although sad themselves, they seemed to be taking it in stride, as many of the WWII generation do.) Last Saturday, Evelyn told me that they had been to eight funerals in the last three weeks. Her sister died in January, and their Aunt Madeline passed away at 100-and-three-months just after I moved in. (She was living in the downstairs apartment, and I was there when they took her away - with her second broken hip - in the ambulance for the last time just before Christmas.)

My paternal grandmother had to move out of her home of nearly forty years last month, and into an assisted living facility near my parents. She has attended increasing numbers of funerals herself, as her contemporaries’ memories and independence give way a little more with each passing month. It will be decades before my generation is faced with the same dilemma, but I wonder how much the current trend of generational segregation is going to affect how gracefully we cope. I hope I can breach those walls a little and learn from my elders now, listening to their stories (however many times in a row) and advice, and do what little I can to help them through their own transition - even if it means helping lift a stinky greasy old Labrador up for his final ride in the car.


At A Hen's Pace said...


I'm so glad you left a comment for me, because all my bookmarks got lost when we took our computer in, and I just haven't made it around to re-establishing them all!

I see I've been missing some nice posts. Good to hear how you're doing. I do wish you many relaxing, lazy spring days after the wedding!

I loved the one you overheard, about the daughter changing so much once she stopped pretending. So poignant. It is true...little girls can grow up rather suddenly. It doesn't have to be terrible--but sure makes me glad to be homeschooling through this period!

beholdhowfree said...

I keep coming to your blog several times a day for the past couple days hoping there will be some witty, poignant, and exciting post reflecting about your recent wedding. Please do not keep us in the dark any longer!