My dog died Monday.
Now don’t get me wrong; this won’t be a sad post that leaves you in tears. This is supposedly a humor blog, although admittedly there’s nothing funny about losing my 13 1/2-year-old Greyhound, Nellie (a.k.a. Nervous Nellie, Whoa Nellie and Naughty Nellie). Her time simply ran out. But it comforts me to know she had a long, wonderful life and left me with great memories.
Yes, 2019 isn’t promising to be my favorite year, having also lost my cat, Tippi, last month. Still, death reconfirms the importance of appreciating what and who we have in our lives while we have them. In addition, the day Nellie died I attended the funeral of Mama Lou (my friend Sharon’s mom) whom I’ve known for 43 years. So yeah, not exactly an uplifting start to the new year. But the sun will come out tomorrow.
I’m someone who has a hard time letting go. So I keep items that have value to nobody but me. These mementos reside in a cedar “memory chest” in my spare room upstairs. When I kick the bucket, one of my executors (Sue, Sharon or Pam) gets the thrill of going through my things and deciding what to toss. I’m betting it’s going to be a busy day for the garbage man.
Now don’t get me wrong; my friends can do whatever they’d like with my possessions. I won’t care if they dump sentimental items I can’t part with yet. After all, I’ll be dead, remember? But just for the fun of it, I’ll probably haunt whomever draws the short straw for that task.
Grandpa had the cedar chest carved in Thailand for Nana around 80 years ago, back when he was an importer/exporter traveling the world. I think of them whenever I open the chest and the essence of cedar escapes, filling the room with memories. That’s why I love the smell of cedar.
So when rain finally arrived this week, giving me an excuse to stay home, I went through the chest for the first time in years. I could easily spend a day reminiscing in there but I managed to keep it to a couple hours. After all, my to-do list awaits and one can’t dilly dally long or the list invariably grows. Continue reading