I arrived back home around 1:00 to find this girl waiting for me. She was sleeping. Frankly, she was having a bad day, poor girl. I spent a lot of time lying beside her on the floor telling her how much I love her. She’s not doing very well at the moment. And I imagine the very cold weather is very hard on her. I’m just grateful there hasn’t been a lot of snow and ice this winter.
We know that we don’t have that much longer with our girl, so we’re treasuring the time we do have.
It’s lovely being home, but it’s strange. As always in this situation, I feel like I’m between two worlds, my life here at home and my life on the road. Not quite here, because I’m only here for about 24 hours, and not quite in Hartford, because it isn’t my permanent home. But since I’m working in Hartford and I have a lot more work to do there, Hartford has the pull at the moment. Don tells me to just enjoy it and he’s right. It’s a gift to be able to just concentrate on doing my work, without the distractions that are always present at home. And by the time my work in Hartford is winding down, I’ll be ready to come home and stay home for a long while.
But Scout is worrying us. And that pull, that worry, weighs on me when I’m in Hartford, as it weighs on Don at home. She was in the den with me yesterday afternoon and she kept raising her head to look at me as if she wanted to make sure I was still here.
And I’m leaving again.
It’s a good time for us but it’s also a very tough time. Add to that my ongoing grief for my father, the moments when I am taken aback by the tears that appear suddenly in my eyes and that I try to hide from everyone when some part of the text in Romeo and Juliet speaks of death, or when I’m driving home, as I was yesterday, and I remember moments in the last hours of my dad’s life, how everything changed so suddenly, when I’m reminded of the look in his eyes as he knew he was dying – in those moments I gasp at how quickly I am overcome with sorrow.
I have to work and I love my work. And, to be perfectly honest, sometimes the distance that living temporarily in Hartford provides is welcome. There is an escape from worry, from grief, from facing the inevitable, as I concentrate on doing my job. Losing myself in my work, in getting to know the actors I am coaching, in attending to the task at hand, is a much appreciated respite.
I’m so grateful that Don is here taking care of Scout, keeping the drips going in the taps as the temperatures go well below freezing, watching over the house, salting the driveway, all the things that need to be done. But especially taking care of our girl.
I am reminded, when I am in Hartford, of my last stay there when Scout was with me. When she was still able to enjoy a walk in the park, when she loved meeting lots of people and dogs, when she magically galloped under the glow of the lamps in the park with a power that astonished me. Lovely and precious memories, though bittersweet. There’s no way I could have her there with me now.
Anyway. It’s lovely being home. It will be lovely to back in Hartford as well. And there you go.
See you back in Hartford.