White Dog and the White Dog Army sensed Steve and my inability to fully accept the horror that had happened in Houston. We both had a restless night filled with nightmares and tidal waves of grief over the incredible loss. This morning we cuddled all together and pressed close for longer than usual.
This was to be our "get things done, our Christmas Eve Open House is only six days away and we are so behind" day. I had mapped out an action plan that included cleaning and cooking and wrapping gifts. We were going to stay focused on the upcoming holiday...hard work now for big rewards later.
And then Dragon and Senji's dad called. It had been a neglectful busy week at their house and the boys really wanted to go hiking with the White Dog Army. Did we have time?
No, of course we didn't have time. We had things to do. We had cleaning (the fan blades have cobwebs what will people think next weekend). We had to finish wrapping and tagging gifts. No we didn't have time to spend with friends....sharing the sky and exercise and nature...being together and just laughing. We had STUFF that needed doing.
I didn't say these things, of course. Because simultaneously, I looked into every one of those floofy white faces that I love and remembered we held no guarantees that we'd have another chance. We have to live each moment and take every opportunity we are granted to let those important to us know their place in our hearts.
Is the White Dog Army more important than nose printless windows? No question! Does helping a best friend walk off stress take precedence over putting fancy ribbons on Christmas gifts? Don't be silly enough to even ask! Does sharing a moment that will never occur again trump a fifth variety of cookie on the dessert table?
The tears flowed as I thought about all the things that will never be the same for those in Houston. Things that no one would guessed the day before would suddenly change forever. And I looked around me with the aching thought that it could have been us...or Dragon's family...or any of us.
Time is a treasure. Spend it wisely.
"OK," I said when Gregg answered my return call. "Let meet at the Nature Center at 9am and give these pups a workout! After let's have brunch somewhere where the kids can have really really good bacon. We're celebrating the Christmas countdown."