This morning I ran one mile on the treadmill while sobbing. At times, I needed to hang onto the handles to keep myself on the belt. I had one focus that I couldn't shake - my dog. If you have followed my blog I posted almost two years ago one serious tear jerker. I poured my heart out onto that page. I told myself that I wouldn't link to that post here.
So many memories of him running through my mind that I believe were triggered when I put the stupid tree skirt on last night. When I was 'mature' enough to put up a tree in my own apartment, my mom gave me a box of trimmings, which included a small, plaid tree skirt. But wait, it didn't stop there; a black felt schnauzer repeats around the base of the skirt. Don't misunderstand my words, for the skirt isn't too tacky. It's just, in my opinion, a random item from my mom's travels. We did not have a dog growing up and when we occasionally entertained the thought of getting a dog, a schnauzer never made the list.
Last night, as with every holiday season, I crawled around the floor, under the tree, to place the skirt around the base of the tree as best as I could manage. And there they were, random dog hairs. I made a Captain Obvious statement, "There are dog hairs on this tree skirt" and let the silence fall on my ears. I sighed as I dropped my shoulders to overextend my arm to the opposite end of the skirt. My head fell forward. I relaxed my arm to the floor and let my head hang for a few seconds, taking in that moment of another holiday tree trimming without the Buddy.
For those of you who remember, I still haven't replaced the bulb in the back porch light. Occasionally, I accidentally flip that switch mistaking it for the laundry room light. As if the future of mankind depended on that switch residing in the 'off' position, I quickly correct it, never once forgetting the symbolism of that beacon in the night.