I teared up a little, Luna at my side, sniffing away at the nearby mulch. I was so happy they chose to post this photo for all of us to see and pay tribute to their sidekick. To acknowledge that his life was a long one, a happy one, and one that touched all the people that crossed his path every day, even in a seemingly small way.

I have wanted to write about the topic of friendships at this stage in life for a long time. Because I think it’s an important one. But it’s not about the “best” of them. It’s about the impact of them.

They say that once you become a mother it’s like your heart is walking around outside of your body. And that’s true. But they don’t say what it does to the corner of your eye. How it’s always looking two steps forward and two steps behind at the same time.

It’s nice in a lot of ways. Learning to ease up on the pressure to produce, to constantly be in motion. Allowing oneself to just be and accomplish what you can and want to, without the guilt of what’s left behind.

And I quietly smiled at my best friend. I silently thanked him for being there, without even knowing it. For laughing at the scenario and helping me to do the same. For clearing the energy in the room and in my heart, allowing it to be open to more. And I realized right then that a lot of the work I want to do in the future, for my future, because of my future…will find its way from my past. And that I should be forever grateful for that.  

I have it all wrong. I could never be prepared for that to happen in my world. I can read 100 books on the topic. I can try to understand it, to analyze it, to imagine it. But I would never be prepared.

We didn’t get to know the couple very well. I don’t know their names, I don’t know what they do for a living or where they are from or even what street they live on in our community. You do that with fellow dog owners. You cross paths on regular walks and you meet their dogs, but often not them.

I have a DNA built on heavy. Some of it learned, some of it earned, some of it inherited. A heavy heart, a heavy mind, heavy emotions. And in years like 2017, when there was so much heavy in the world around me too, it was all just too much.