My auntie is known for her gift of healing. We all grew up drinking her herbal potions, and enduring the occasional round of acupuncture.
On the day of my dad’s funeral, she examined our aching hearts. With the keen acumen of a seasoned diagnostician, she prescribed a potent medicine for us. She generously loaned us her sweet old dog, Pinot.
Pinot has been hard at work. She has tirelessly padded around the house after us, keeping us under her watchful eye. She is half toothless and elderly, yet she has bravely protected us from menacing squirrels and mailmen with her fearsome growls. She has cuddled up next to us whenever we’ve fallen still, and has lulled us to sleep with her old lady snoring. To fill the void after months of a harrowing round the clock caregiving routine for my dad, she imposed on us a new, gentler daily routine of walks, snacks, and belly rubs.
Tomorrow I’m heading back home after being away for more than two months. I’ll bring this old girl back to her own home too. We have been grateful to have the company of this fellow traveler, who helped us navigate a difficult stretch of this terrible journey.