Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Great Do-Over

Take a minute and think about one of life's great questions: If you could do one thing over, what would it be? Would it be a decision you made about a job, a house, a child, or a conversation about marriage or divorce? Would it be a day, or merely an instant in time? Over the past week, I've pondered this question over and over and for some reason mapped out the trajectory my life would have taken if I had done just one big thing differently ... where I'd be living today; what job I'd be working; how many kids I would've had; and the list goes on and on. The fact of the matter is that I love my life as it is now, so I wouldn't necessarily change its trajectory, but I would "do-over" an instant in time that occurred last week, but changed my life dramatically.
Last Monday was a regular day for me, in and out of the house, going back and forth between my writing/editing work and my house/farm work. Around 1:00 I decided to go outside and spray paint a silly fixture for our kitchen, so I let my two little dogs out. As I did my painting I looked over to the west and saw my Cairn Terrier, Pearl, gazing up at me, watching. Next I heard the mail man's SUV pull up. I called after Pearl, but she wasn't around. I called and called but she didn't come. I looked out at the road and saw the mail man pulling away and then I heard that sound. You know what sound I'm talking about. Can't even write it because I sob when I think about it.
Pearl was the great dog love of my life and she'll never be forgotten. If I could do one instant over, it would be that instead of going back to my work when I glanced over and saw her sitting there, I would have gone over and scooped her up, looked into her coal eyes, and told her how cute she was, just like I did practically every hour of every day, as crazy as that makes me sound.
Thank you to our friend, Matt Stallbaumer, for the beautiful painting of Pearl shown here, which he did in just a few days. It will hang proudly and prominently at home and will always remind me of her, and to love often and freely, even if it makes us incredibly vulnerable to pain.