For years I joked that we had to have a baby before our dog died, just so we would have something happy to focus on when it happened. Since our dog Stella was nine years old, we figured that time was far in the future; when she was old and grey and was done swimming and playing tug-of-war and racing after the tennis ball. It turns out that day was Saturday, when an autoimmune disorder took her in 36 hours.
Frances is young enough that she doesn’t notice anything is out of the ordinary. She doesn’t even notice the tears as she pokes my face while I’m nursing, which makes it almost harder to remember to smile. But smile we must, because life goes on. The more joy you have in your life, the more devastating the tragedies can be. We can’t control the worst, but we can certainly seek out big and little pleasures to keep as memories, and to have something to look forward to.
It’s too soon to reminisce, as much as I want to keep her fresh in my mind, so instead we’ll make new memories. And get in as many kisses and giggles as Franci can handle.