Her words again:
My own sweater story continues a bit. Sometime in the Spring of my grandfather's passing I was playing outside in the front yard, climbing my favorite cherry tree with silvery bark that would easily peel in long strips. I was wearing my gray sweater because it was still brisk in Michigan that time of year. I grew up on a farm in a changing rural area but at that time the road out front was a dirt one which needed to be watered occasionally during the summer to lessen the dust.
While I was in the tree I watched my beagle Cricket get hit by a car on the road in front of the tree. She yelped and was thrown back into the yard near the tree. I jumped to the grass and ran to her, scooping her up in my seven year old arms. It seemed like hours as I sat there holding her, but only minutes until my mom ran outside after hearing the commotion. I sat there on the grass watching the blood run from her mouth onto my gray sweater. I didn't care. I didn't care at all. I just kept looking at the blood and wondering why this happened and what it all meant. Was she okay? What should I do? What was going on? But I was content just to hold her and look at her face and to watch the blood on my sweater. "Surreal" we would say now.
My parents rushed her to the vets in a cardboard box. She died. I don't think there was any ceremony and I never wore that gray sweater again.
I read this and feel for Beagle Cricket. I bow my head. I remember the deaths of my pets. It began with goldfish, Pinkie and Stinkie, and continued to turtles, until one day, Mr. Sippi was also hit by a car. He was a young, beautiful Weimeraner, and we got him when we moved to our home along the Mississippi River. I loved that home, the freedom of the space, the "forest" on one side of the yard, and the river in front. Mr. Sippi died instantly. We buried him in our yard. We have many pets buried in this yard. I didn't know it was not legal when we buried Sada, where the deer love to stand. That is now the memorial part of our yard for my mother.
Mandu is aging. I try and prepare myself, and I know I can't. I will be devastated when he passes. What a gift is each pet. What a treasure each pet, and now, I might ask. Which one is the pet? Mandu is very clear on that. We are staff and very well-trained. I believe he is pleased.
Sheila Beldon and I had a funeral for the fetal pig we shared in Biology class as Freshman in high school. We came to love that pig in his smell of formaldehyde. I think of him sometimes. So, tonight, I note that even the stars are born and die. It is all okay. Chris informs me studies of cells are showing they may continually divide. I don't know what to think of that. We live in thought full times.