My morning unfolded in a way that I could not have imagined. I awoke just before 6:00 AM and decided to get up even though it was still dark outside. I had it in mind to take Jack to a nearby dog run at first light. Dan remained asleep. He is not a morning person.
Jack is not good around other dogs, but I know if we go early there is a good chance we will have the dog run to ourselves. It’s an opportunity to exercise him off-leash. Unfortunately by the time Jack and I arrived, two dogs were in the run.
I soon came up with Plan B and decided to walk Jack in the surrounding park space. I’m not very familiar with the park but started walking toward a small lake where I assumed there would be some good sniffing opportunities for Jack.
Off to the right I noticed a cluster of white flowering cherry trees in full blossom. Adjacent was a flagpole flying the stars and stripes. I realized that it must be a memorial site and decided to check it out. As we got closer I could see, beyond the trees, a replica of the twin towers.
As we came alongside the towers, I noticed names were inscribed on one side of each tower. Near the base of one of the towers the stone was darker. It occurred to me that maybe a child had run a dirty hand over a line of names.
We meandered through the site and over to the lake. We encountered lots of robins. Jack did some sniffing. And I was soon marveling at the sunrise.
As we approached the memorial on our return, I noticed a woman crouched near one of the towers. She was rubbing her hand over its surface, and I knew immediately that this action was the cause of the darkening of the stone. She then leaned in and kissed the stone where she had been rubbing. A lump rose in my throat. It was one of the most moving things I have ever witnessed.
I have been thinking about that woman all day. The experience reminded me how fortunate Dan and I are to have each other and how abruptly a loved one can be taken away. We need to treasure our time together… and our time with Jack.
live. enjoy. repeat.