On ‘Eating Shit Sandwiches’
We packed what we could and left.
Our first venture with an air mattress didn’t go so well. In our first go-round with balloon beds, we slept comfortably enough but would wake up two or three times a night. The air had vacated its dwelling place inside the mattress and decided the floor could hold us up.
We got a new one and saved our backs. For the most part, it’s holding up nicely; I didn’t wake up on the floor as I did with the other one. These past few nights have been kind to us. Both of us are grateful and humbled by the scenery, a good night’s rest, and the gift of the weather’s unpredictability.
I’ve neglected everything in moderation. I now fall asleep at normal hours, and I wake up before noon. Before, I was completely nocturnal. I’d be wired at 4. A.M. – watching the sunrise should never get that old.
The water here is different. Showers feel as if you’ve gotten cleaner. Soft water has a tendency to keep your body slick. In contrast, hard water slaps the residue from my outermost organ (if the skin is still considered an organ, anyway). Yes, hard water and soft water is a thing. I didn’t know that until a few years ago.
An address is the furthest thing from my mind, even though the fact that I’m writing about it says otherwise. I’d be lying if I said I was in a rush to get one. I’m not in a hurry, and this town isn’t either.
What a change.
As for me and my family, we were only able to leave with one of our animals. Letting go was hard, but we made the right choice as far as those kinds of painful choices go. It’s funny when we first moved into those duplexes, we were asked to choose which dog we would keep.
In the past, I was unable to make such a decision. It’s like picking a child, and though we all have those we gravitate toward, letting go of the one you don’t think could get their shit together always seems wrong. At the time, we could afford to pay to keep both, and it was the right choice for that timeframe.
This time we were faced with that choice again.
(It’s too cold here for him, too noisy, and we decided it wouldn’t be in his best interest to live with us). If there’s such a thing as a good parent, or parents, I believe it would look like the parent who puts the interests of the child before their own wants and anxieties. We wished we could take him with us, and we were going to, but our judgment stepped in, and everything worked out.
We opted to have an older couple adopt him, and they were more than happy to oblige; they said they needed his energy around.
We couldn’t prevent our pain and we couldn’t hold our back our tears. Before that day, I hadn’t touched a cigarette in years, let alone smoke one. Yet, when we brought him to his new parents, I took the one I was offered without so much as a second thought. I said goodnight to him, though nothing would quell the sharp pain we both felt.
My heart kept pulling me to his new home. I could say nothing; it was in the middle of the night. I gently tapped the part of the house where his room was and tried to ignore the fact that I probably looked as if I’d gone mad standing outside of the duplex. I told him goodbye and reminded him (and myself) that I wouldn’t bring him somewhere I thought he would come to harm, and that this decision, though devastating was the best I could do at this time.
My wife still misses him fiercely, but now that we’ve arrived we both agree that this would not be a sufficient place to house him, he’s nervous enough already. I hope he’s well. He never liked the rain, and so far, it has rained more often than not.
As I write this, I realize that this blog has become more about the conscious art of letting go than anything else I had intended. I’m okay with this. I hope you are too. I’m not the type of person that can write a niche blog, though it is wiser and perhaps more lucrative to do so. (I don’t care if you do, do your thing)!
It is true, isn’t it? We teach what we need to learn. I have never been great at goodbyes or letting go. I have trouble processing them, but the more I realize they are often inevitable, the less I suffer.
Pain can’t be avoided. Choices have consequences. Thinking through our fears and shielding our eyes from the terrors of a life lived well only works for a short while.
Letting go of my dog, Banjo, taught me everything about the pain of goodbye and marching forward after a decision has been made. Sometimes, there is no choice less shitty than the other.
Sometimes choice demands you to shed skin, to lose everything to gain something better. Sometimes you need to decide what part of the shit sandwich you’d rather eat, knowing that whatever side you choose will undoubtedly rip your heart out.
We do the best with what we have in the shed, and the tools we are given are all we have, so we might as well learn to build a home when the first house gets burned to the ground.
I love you.
You’re Safe Here.