On the way home from my last day of work, about four years ago now, I called in to collect Daisy. She was sitting on her foster mothers knee, visibly shaking and clearly wondering what the fuss was all about. I had never really imagined myself with a foxy cross, already 7 years old, timid and with a few foibles that “were best dealt with by an older woman who will be at home most of the time”. So there it began. We settled into a routine of walking, eating and sleeping that you could set your clock by. She became my mate, the keeper of my darkest moments and greatest joys. She became the untidiness in the lounge, the constant tap-tap of claws on the lino, the centre of conversations with strangers who became friends, the warmth on the bed and the tail wag that greeted me on coming home.
It seems October so far has been a month of endings. Friends losing friends; a nursing home resident, who despite not being able to speak could sing the most tuneful song from beginning to end; a friend given a “best before” date. My lesson in all of this is that despite the sadness what is most important is the time we spend with those we love while they are with us. The statement is trite, I know, but for me I need to keep being reminded because I’m not always the best friend, the best carer or even the best person. It takes beginnings and endings to put into greater perspective the importance of the now.
Rest well my Daisy.