Saturday, July 8, 2017


Not very far, but still…

Since October, not long after my son’s transfer, he and his little family have been sharing my home, living in the basement apartment, but not really; most of the time we were all upstairs in the kitchen/dining area.

It was a bit hard on the three doggies at the beginning. They were not used to a tyke smaller than them running around, and she wasn’t used to dogs. It didn’t take long before everyone could move about freely. Miko learned to step aside when the dogs were barreling through, and she and Sam, my 100 lb pittie mix who thinks he’s a Chihuahua, fell in love. If Miko woke and cried during the night, Sam would be down off the bed and at the apartment door, cocking his head and listening. He would return to the bedroom and look at me. ‘Are you coming? She wants us down there.’ When I didn’t move to get up, back he would go to the door, then come and try to rouse me again. This would go on until one of her parents would rise and he could no longer hear her.

For the past two weeks the family have been spending their days painting and readying their new house in the village, and we would meet for supper when I’d get home from the office. Last night was the first time they were actually sleeping there. Last night was moving out.

Yesterday it was as if Miko knew the change was happening. She came to climb on my knee more often than usual.  Sam, too, sensed something, because he followed her around constantly.

For nine months, each evening after bath, Daddy and Miko would come into the kitchen and that sweet child would wave nite-nite and blow me kisses before going down to bed. It became a ritual. When Daddy picked her up to leave last night, telling her to say bye to Mémère, she turned and put her arms out to me. I took her, and she hugged me close, putting her head down on my shoulder and not moving. It was a prolonged farewell, and the love swirled in my soul and out through my eyes as tears. Glancing at my son I saw that his eyes were as wet as mine. It became a group hug.

They’re only moving a half hour away, and we’ll see each other often. Imagine how I would feel if they were moving to Japan, where her maternal grandparents wait for their yearly visit?

When the car left the yard, the doggies and I came back inside. I was still for a moment, listening to the silence.  The three of them stood watching me. What now? Sam turned back to the window, staring down the lane.

‘Doors.’ I said aloud. ‘Doors and squeaky balls. You guys can make as much noise as you want tonight!’ They followed as I opened the doors to every room. Stairs were no longer a problem with little Miko gone. When the balls hit the floor they were off, racing back and forth from kitchen to the living room that had been closed to them for this long. The racket they were making was a happy one and bothered nobody.

We were once again alone until....who knows??  I turned the music up loud, and I smiled.


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