Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there, or those who use their mother energy to nurture the world in other ways!
I’m so thankful for my mother who happened upon this path accidentally about 38 years ago! She was young when she had me (17), but I’d say she did a pretty fine job!
And I’m proud of my friends who have become mothers in recent history. It’s amazing to see their little ones grow. I’m so thankful for Facebook, because I can’t always be there in person but I can still share in their triumphs and failures and parents. And, yes. I want to be part of both so I can support my friends as best I can in their highs and lows.
But I “celebrated” Mother’s Day in a different sort of way. It occurred to me that I still haven’t fully said good-bye to Willow yet. Her ashes have been sitting in the box that the crematorium returned them in. I just don’t like the idea of anyone’s ashes to be confined in a little box or urn for all eternity.
For Willow, I decided to spread the love. I scattered some of the ashes over the river at my apartment complex. I think she’s really liked her walks up and down our stretch of the river bank. I like the idea that her ashes will start circulating to the rest of the world from Tampa. It’s where she was born, and it’s the primary place that I’ve lived while we were together.
I also spread some of her ashes at Weedon Island Preserve. There’s a portion of the boardwalk that overlooks a small lagoon where birds like to eat. Pets aren’t allowed in the park, so Willow never got to experience this place. But it’s peaceful there. I like the idea that she’s helping to build the ecosystem of this beautiful place.
The final place I spread her ashes was Vinoy Park in St. Pete. Again, it’s not a place Willow ever visited, but it’s one of my favorite places. I like to think she’s playing with the dolphins. Or maybe she’s popping up under the pelicans, making them take off.
It was hard saying a final good-bye to my pup.
And, who am I kidding? I’ll keep saying good-bye.
But it felt fitting to say this more final good-bye on Mother’s Day. Though I don’t really buy in to the “fur baby” thing, some of that emotion is there. Mothers wipe butts and patch up boo-boos. I did those things for Willow. I fed and nurtured her. She gave me what I can only interpret as her affection when I was at my best or my worst.
No, Willow wasn’t my daughter, any more than any of my past pets. But it takes that motherly (or fatherly) energy to care for a pet…
To go a bit nerdy, in Star Trek: The Next Generation there’s a character that’s an android. Data doesn’t experience emotions, quite. Yet, he does experience friendship.
His definition is: “As I experience certain sensory input patterns, my mental pathways become accustomed to them. The inputs eventually are anticipated and even missed when absent.”
Sterile though it sounds, that’s really it, isn’t it? We get used to the people that we love. When they aren’t around, we miss them dearly.
I miss her dearly, but I’m glad to have shared a portion of my life with her.