White Dog sat on the floor with the rest of the White Dog Army. Puff was in my arms in the momma chair. All eyes were fixed on her. We had just returned from Dr. Julia's office.
Puff was exhausted from the poking and prodding and had experienced a seizure on the way home from the stress. Her voice, however, was as strong as her spirit is.
"Yes, it is a tumor. The c monster is replacing my leg muscle with its wretched tentacles. Dr. Julia thinks it has not spread and is encapsulated in this specific muscle...for now. She took my bloods and aspirated the mass but we all agree that there is not much more we can, or want to do. Once we get the blood work back she will give momma a prescription to manage pain but I am not in pain now. And we will know that all of my organs are functioning and reliable. She called it hospice but I call it just living an invested life through all of its stages."
Zsofia pushed to the head of the group to nuzzle Puff's face and the others hung their heads.
"Now, I do not want you to be like this. I have had a long life and some amazing opportunities...like being part of the White Dog Army. It is not like my health is good to begin with but momma and dad make sure that I eat well and get supplements I need, and Dr. Julia is a wonderful advisor. I am not planning to leave any time soon but really who ever is?
"Instead of looking at me and worrying every time I limp or sleep too deeply lets agree to soak up the wonderful meals we have yet to eat, and nap in the glorious enchanted sunpuddles of New Mexico's afternoon, and cuddle in momma's arms as she brushes us and let's sing to the mailman. We have LOTS of things that I am not ready to give up yet.
"It took me more than three quarters of my life to know the love of a family, and the kindness of strangers, the pleasure/pain of siblings. This Little Old Lady is NOT going to just lie down and surrender.
"My time WILL come and it won't be convenient or in the far distant future but it is not NOW. We have so many celebrations that still await us to share together...
"Like YoYoMa's Gotcha Day which was two days ago. We did not forget but were waiting until it was better timing and dad did not have to work late. Well, NOW is better than waiting. And besides, Brother, I know how you adore your tacos...and it IS Cinco de Mayo.
"On the way home from Dr. Julia's I asked Dad to stop and get a family pack of tacos for us to enjoy for lunch to celebrate Yo...and life. And we must have margaritas. So put away those glum looks, Dr. Julia said I can do whatever I want and eat whatever I want...so let's party!"