It's been a difficult week here. Stress at work seems to be at an all time high. Friends and coworkers are facing their own challenges. One of my most beloved animal friends is incredibly sick, so much so that I said some final goodbyes to him a few days ago because I really thought it was time for him to go. He's still here, but is so much more frail and old than he was even two weeks ago. My sweet Mackeson boy has been with me for 13 years, sleeping on my pillow, nuzzling with his lovely Simone, begging for food and spending many years fat and happy. I know he's had a wonderful life, prolonged and made so much better by finding me when he was living in an abandoned trailer by a house that I rented. But the thought of him not being part of my life is absolutely heartbreaking.
We are about to travel this weekend again, trip anxiety looming over me like a cloud. Dora and I came home from work and school today in one of the first rains we've had in a long time - one we desperately need. There is so much to do tonight, of course, but when we saw the rain Dora said she wanted to stomp some puddles. We headed outside, her in a raincoat and rain boots although it wasn't raining anymore, and me with my camera. On the way down the concrete stairs to the street, when my back was turned, she tripped over her boots, smashing her hands and knees against the hard concrete. I picked her up, held her and kissed her, and took her to the porch. Four bandaids later she was feeling better and ready to puddle jump again, and I was thankful things hadn't been worse.
We stomped puddles and laughed, then headed home for dinner. We had books, bath, and bed. I packed clothes and cleaned the kitchen. I sat down, loaded the puddle jumping pictures onto my computer, and found a wonderful gem - a photo of Dora, smiling mischieviously with her blond curls around her face, the spitting image of my mom.
I have been missing my mom so much lately - missing her humor and her loyalty and her advice. There are times when she feels so very far away - when I feel her absence so strongly because it is so real, so palpable. Finding her in the photograph tonight was like magic, like discovering some lost piece of myself that had been right in front of me all along, like glimpsing the tail of the comet. There she was again, real, alive, smiling back at me in her funny little way, like we're about to share a joke. It is such an amazing, incredible gift to have her back with me again, even if for a fleeting moment. I will treasure that photo forever - my sweet girl splashing around with total joy, giving her mama a gift greater than she could ever know.