Sunday, February 15, 2009

Leaving New York, Baltimore

I came to New York to bring my daughter home. She has been at rehearsals most days over the last five weeks and has been unable to return to Baltimore to say goodbye to her dog. I have not yet had the heart to make a decision about Pippi. He is deteriorating and I am sure many would have put him out of his misery weeks ago. I hope that once she spends some moments with him, she will understand that it is time to let him go. Whenever I tell her that he is failing, she bursts into tears and asks me to wait until she is ready. Of course, this is just my excuse not to experience the loss.

Eric and Maya took Elmer, the younger and healthier dog, to the dogpark today and left Pippi behind. Elmer has been depressed and hiding in his crate most of the last several days. I wonder if the dogs communicated about the trip to the dogpark. I am sure Pippi knew where they were going and what they were up to and I wonder if he cared or if he knew he could not go anyway. I wonder how much Elmer knows about  is going on with the older dog in the house. Pippi appears to understand when I pack my bags and take a trip. He wanders around with sad eyes and follows me from room to room. Now Elmer has sad eyes and keeps his tail between his legs as if he was guilty of something.

Somehow losing Pippi helps me let go of the house and our life in Baltimore. Eric has stayed home this weekend to continue preparing the house for sale. My ambivalence has prevented me from participating in the preparations. The house will feel emptier; Tara left for college, now Pippi is leaving; the house is getting bigger and we no longer need the space. Selling the house sets us free, cuts our ties, opens up possibilities for us. 

I have been concerned about Tara and what she will do next year when we are in Ecuador. I have encouraged her to make plans, either in New York or Ecuador. She is applying for a semester abroad for the first half of the year and time off volunteering in Ecuador for the second part of the school year. I look forward to having her close by. I am uncomfortable with being a whole days' travel away from her. So her plans reassure me.

After a weekend in New York, I am especially looking forward to a much warmer climate. It is springlike all year in Quito and it will never be intolerably cold. I forgot that New York is so much colder than Baltimore. The wind is howling and my feet are wet and cold and I can never get warm enough. 


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