Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Summer.  Though it doesn't officially begin until June 21, it begins early, and unofficially, with Memorial Day and ends early with Labor Day.   Two holidays that too easily become associated with three day flankings of summer and without a true understanding or honoring of spirit of the holiday. 

While leaving my neighborhood to meet the other transport volunteer coming from Williamsburg, I ran over a neighbor's dog.  I did not know the neighbor nor the dog.  I'm a careful driver, and the only dog that I have ever run over is my own.  She was a miniature poodle that came running out on  dark rainy evening.  Something she had done a hundred times before, but somehow she ended up under my front wheel.  The anguish that I felt in hitting this lovely dog was no less.  At least she was killed instantly, and I can say in all honestly, there is not another driver out there that could have avoided the outcome.  She came flying out of a wooden fence enclosure (intent on chasing/confronting whatever vehicle she heard) where there are tractors housed (so I had no chance of seeing her movement sooner nor even anticipating that an animal would dart out).  She then stopped right in front of me.   There was no place to go, and veering right or left would have had a more noxious and gory outcome as she would have been pressed beneath a wheel.
There I was kneeling beside this jumbled body sobbing in anguish, " No, no, no." The owner obviously heard me and the nature of my lament would have been unmistakable.  He came out, knelt on the other side of her.  After a minute, he straightened her out and said, "This is going to be very hard for them." He  offered some comfort to me, as he was overcome as well.  He picked her up, and carried her across the street to her home. 

I left to meet my transport.  I was so overcome (and I'm generally pretty calm during disasters), but I was deeply shaken.  I managed my transport--a beautiful Brittany named Phoebe.  But I ended up with a stress induced headache and a general sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that did not abate until yesterday.  The irony of the day did not escape me.  Dogs, cats and children are no match for a car--and try as we might, those cruel intersections of time and space create grievous emotional wounds. 

I stopped by the home of the dog later, but they were not home.  I went home and wrote a heartfelt note and delivered a basket of flowers.  In my note, I mentioned that I wished I could have turned back the hands of time and expressed all of my heartfelt sadness--knowing their own sadness would be amplified even more so.  I also mentioned that I wished I had known her name to mention it in my letter.  I put my e-mail address on the letter.  I received a kind acknowledgment of the note and the flowers, as well as their concern for my own feelings.  Her name was Roxy, and they had 8 good years with her.  Their note back meant much to me.

With Memorial Day, the names of the fallen should also be known.  I had the opportunity to watch "Taking Chance:"  It is not a movie I had seen before, and Kevin Bacon plays the lead character beautifully.  It was a fitting movie to see on this weekend of remembrance.  The movie is based on a true story.  Rather than my telling you about it, you can read about it here. I hope that you'll take a minute to do so. And if you have a chance to see the movie, I think that your time will be rewarded.

Our fallen warriors and our workers on whose sweat 'stuff gets done'...they bookmark the time of the year where procreation and recreation fill the long days. I've not looked at one stock chart this weekend, and I'm happy for that.