Tim_Starbucks“There are no bagels available in any Starbucks today!” the Starbucks employee says. “What!?!” I reply. Pause. “Then it looks like I will not have a bagel today.”

 

This is the mood of the day and a reminder of the way I am adjusting to change in my life. Tomorrow Brian leaves for Los Angeles to begin his new journey. I will stay behind until we sell our condo and I find a job. Sounds easy enough. After all, that is what adults do as life throws changes at them. Right?

 

Living a life of uncertainty is quite a feat. I guess we fool ourselves when we think we aren’t living that type of life already. Prime example being, who would have ever guessed I would be a married man at 52, working at Jewish United Fund for 8 years, have a dream job I’m giving up and moving back to Los Angeles. But hey, these sound like good things. Maybe trusting the universe is not so bad. But the reality is that the universe works with those who cooperate. After all, I have had some hand in my destiny. The universe delivers a script idea and you get to write the narrative.

 

It reminds me of the moment, when I was 19 years old and came home from work and told Jamie, my first partner, “I am moving to Los Angeles. You can come if you want, but I am going.” I was going to pack my guitar and live my dream in Hollywood. It sounds cold, but for a determined independent teenage loner, it seemed quite normal. Jamie pulled out a roll of masking tape and priced everything we had for a yard sale and we left in a car with only what we could fit. My script was about to change. I was nervous and excited all at the same time. Over the next 33 years the universe offered up some exhilarating and terrifying scripts to which I have had to write narratives. I’ve done okay. I have always stepped up to the challenge.

 

So tomorrow when I take Brian to the airport, I will feel the same way I did then – nervous and excited for the narrative I am about to write. I am excited for him. I am grateful for the support of friends and family. I am grateful for the script and oddly for Starbucks not having bagels. A reminder of 400 calories I didn’t need to eat.

lindsey_1From the moment we picked her up in 2001 at the Glendale, CA dog pound, Lindsey had been filled with animated love. When she first saw us she ran the 50 feet from her cage and just kept rolling like a water bug between our legs. It was as if she was being reunited with her long lost owners. I had never seen such energy in a dog.

 

She was one year old then. We brought her into our family of two other dogs, Molly and Lana. We had just lost Joey, a small tan wired hair terrier, to liver cancer. So, Lindsey was the lowest on the chain. And she knew it. Molly made sure she knew who was in control on the first day they met. Lindsey sniffed and Molly barked, snapped once and Lindsey fell to her back showing Molly her belly. She had no idea of her Pit-bull strength. And we liked it that way.

 

It wasn’t always easy. She tried to find her place by destroying all my belts, zippers and shoes until she moved onto the wood furniture. Once she emptied the kitchen pantry of flour, grains, sugar, beans and everything else before ripping open a five-gallon jug of water to mix it all up. It was quite a sight to see when we came home. Molly and Lana were huddled up in a dry corner of the kitchen, while Lindsey stood smiling, covered in mess. It was clear who was having the fun. But we loved her anyway.

 

She finally settled down at about four years old. By 2006 Molly had grown ill and too old to make the move from Los Angeles to Chicago. She lived out her last year with someone who gave her an enormous amount of love. It was hard to have her gone, but we were grateful that our friend, David, asked to have her and would love her as she was. Lana became ill in 2013 and we were told she had cancer. We held on until she couldn’t really walk much anymore and had to say goodbye. It was hard as hell, but we knew the responsibility that weighed on us couldn’t be ignored.

 

Lindsey_2Now Lindsey, never sick and always filled with life, was now left as the alpha dog. The only problem was she was alone. She started to slow down, perhaps because she missed Lana or because she was now 15 years old. We weren’t sure.

 

The time came last year when she suddenly started peeing every minute. We tried to isolate the problem with our vet with x-rays, ultra-sounds and many blood tests. After six months we were told it was bladder cancer and there was no cure. So after 24 years of having our family of dogs, we are saying goodbye to the last one, Lindsey.

 

Lindsey, the one I always asked as I gently caressed her head between my hands, “Who are you in there?” Always respecting that there was a life inside her and it wanted to love, play and please. All of our dogs made our life more special. I am so grateful that we were able to give them a safe, trusting world to live while they were here on earth. Something we all should have.

I would not change being there when she moved on. I needed to know she left to meet her family – from our eyes to theirs.

 

Lindsey_3I recently had a dream, as I sometimes do, about Molly, Joey and Lana. They were running around as if they were in a dog park. It was good to see them all, but this time Lindsey was there too.

 

I guess you just know when it is time. Run free “Bindsey, Bindsey.” Thank you for choosing us to share your life-story. Good girl. You did well.