Last Times

If I had known last night was the last that Momster (Missy) would spend in our house, would I have done anything differently? Would I have given her an extra hug, fed her a dinner of steak and potatoes, covered her with my own comforter?

She got adopted today! At this very moment, she’s curled up on a couch, surrounded by her new family. A shelter volunteer really bonded with her this week and has decided to foster her with the intent to adopt. I got to speak with the family this afternoon and tell them about all the little things that Missy loves: chew toys, warm blankets, leaning into you and wriggling her whole body in greeting.

I’ve said a lot of good-byes over the years (am I really that old?). And I can’t decide if it’s better to know in advance, or be taken by surprise. On the one hand, I agree with the fox in ‘The Little Prince’. He says that if you’re going to be tamed by someone, consistency is important so that the one to be tamed can anticipate the meeting. Part of the process is the anticipation. I contend that this is the same process in reverse when letting go. If you can anticipate the moment, you can savor the little things, you can hold onto the memory. I have a handful – the last time I saw my grandma, leaving a boyfriend at the port in Genoa, watching the taxi drive away with my friends from Tunis as I boarded the plane for home. I still hold these moments close and think about them.

But the abrupt departures are harder. Suddenly, I have to say good-bye in a room full of people. Momster and I had a moment to stare at each other and know that we couldn’t have raised these 11 beasts without each other. She’ll move on, probably already has. But I’ll never forget the opportunity she’s given me to help her through this time. She’s a good girl with a bright future.

And I remember my handful of quick lasts – where was I when my grandpa died?, when did I nurse my babies for the last time?, when was Kiko’s last romp in the woods?

And now, the puppies are calling. They’ve been fed, they have water, and a warm bed. Maybe they miss their mom too.

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