I had been driving around all day with her, searching for the meaning of death. Or to be more precise, driving around with her ashes in a box.
The lady from the vet’s office called early this morning with a voice of mushy apple (if apples could talk). A voice that’s sweet but is past due, ripe and almost rotten, nice but lifeless. She informed I could stop by and pick up my dog’s ashes anytime.
Surprisingly this was the first time I felt a little better since she died five days ago. Now she was sitting on the seat next to me, exactly on the same spot where she was when we drove to the vet on her last day of life.
The card that came with the box was a heavenly one, really it spoke of heaven, a subject I know nothing about but wonder everything. So we went on about our day, lost around town, and it didn’t really matter where we were going. Driving was therapeutic and I could feel silence and could hear my thoughts.
But there was a constant desire to stop at the book store, as it is the only landmark in town that holds two and a half decades of my history. That’s where I had spent a good portion of my life, the place to sit down and do my French homework while drinking coffee, the place to read books and magazines while eating an apple pie, where I raised my kids when they were very young bringing them to story time or meet-he-author day. Where we used to go every Sunday afternoon and check all books and take some home. The book store was and still is my quiet place, my church, my second home, and my peaceful place away from the world. But I didn’t listen to the voice and kept driving, searching for art supplies while my dog rode around town with me.
Hours had passed, the day was coming to an end and finally we made our stop there. Sometimes life feels like an effort to avoid pain. It’s like when we have to do a task and find a gazillion of excuses not to do, or find other “important” things that need to be done first. Unconsciously avoiding the end.
Not knowing why I was there or what I needed, I grabbed a couple of magazines, ordered my apple pie and a pumpkin drink. Went back to the window for the tenth time to make sure my car was still there on the parking lot ( I know…) Clicked the lock button one more time to make sure nobody would steal her from me, action that I had repeatedly and compulsively done many times today.
Walked from table to table carefully choosing the perfect one because if I started to cry again I didn’t want anyone to watch. Went back and forth and came back to the first table to eat. While having my sugar loaded crappy food. my attention was called over this advertisement of a book on my table. Curious as hack I researched the book on my phone and realized that was why I had landed here.
Ran to the lady who worked at the shop and asked for the book, which magically enough we were standing right in front of it. She simply extended her arm and gave it to me without a blink, and standing there I read a good part of it and what it was about. Life, death, heaven and dogs, and other lives as well.
Now if you don’t believe dogs have a spirit, I don’t know what to say, but today I experienced a little miracle of my own.