Holding on | Letting go

This entry was supposed to be different. Producing web log entries has become more labored in recent months, and I had resisted all urges to blog about writer's blogkage. It would only sound like whining, I thought. Besides, I had my annual trip to Lewis Lake with my best friends and that would surely provide the impetus for new observations and stories. My time in Kentucky did not disappoint; I spent much of the car ride home mapping my next entry.

What I was going to write about was when I came home from the woods my son, Simeon, hugged me like he had no intention of letting go — and he didn't. I was going to write about how that gesture placed a fog over all the fun I had at Lewis Lake, and how I only cared about that moment. That's what I was going to write about.

Then MuShu, our family dog, died.

Shortly after we arrived home, MuShu slipped out the back door and through the open gate amidst the flurry of unpacking and related activities without us noticing. It wasn't the first time she had escaped. She would always take the same route we had walked her many times before -- leashed. I suppose she thought, I've done this a million times before, I don't need to bother my family with it, I'll just go by myself. But, she didn't have the benefit of us holding her leash taut in the face of traffic at the busy intersection of Talbott and 29th street, one block from our house. She didn't have us to look after her.

Some nice ladies found MuShu in the street and called the number on her little heart-shaped collar tag. I didn't drive fast; I was afraid of what I would find. When I arrived, I saw that these two women had moved MuShu to the sidewalk and laid her on a royal blue blanket. My heart plummeted. The strangers offered me their blanket, but I thought it important to hold her one last time. I thanked them for their kindness and made the difficult phone call to my wife, Sarah.

When I got home, Sarah and Simeon were visibly upset. Sarah wept over MuShu, and Simeon wept for us. I scooped Simeon into my arms and, well, he held me. Then he held Sarah — with no intention of letting go.


We'll miss you, MuShu. We'll make sure Simeon knows how much he loved you.


  1. I'm sad for all of you. So sorry about MuShu.

  2. Losing a dog... it's just awful. There's nothing anyone can say to make it otherwise. Just know that we're thinking of you guys, and that it may be a good thing Simeon is too young to fully understand the loss. At least *he's* shielded from the disaster somewhat. Maybe.