Finding the sunshine

“I’m crabby,” I told my pup Rex early yesterday, but he wasn’t listening.

He seems to know when Sunday’s rolls around again, and that day is his fun day.

Rex wasn’t going to let my foul mood and gray skies get in the way of his plans.

He knew an extra long walk was already on the morning agenda for just the two of us.

Just like we do every Sunday.

With my senior canines softly snoring in some kind of post breakfast bliss, Rex and I quietly snuck out the back door.

As we got closer to the lake where we typically walk, my mood was still heavy.

The heat and humidity generated during the week hadn’t come from just the weather.

Ignoring his usual stop to smell sweet cinnamon bread cooling from the oven at the bakery, Rex’s nose instead led me to a display of flowers on the steps outside an old church across the street.

I found myself taking a picture, but it wasn’t one of the typical pretty nature shots I try to take on our walks.

It represented the ugly horrendous side of human nature.

An act of gun violence.

Before us stood a makeshift memorial for a beautiful woman, and one of great peace.

A yoga and meditation instructor who had taught in the rooms inside.

She was shot accidentally by whom some call a trigger happy police officer last weekend.

Yet there were other victims as well, including:

-Our Somali community, as that police officer was the first Somalian officer in his precinct.

-Our police chief who was soon fired in the aftermath.

-And perhaps soon our mayor, who’s still directly in the line of fire from all the finger pointing.

I also believe many members of our police department and their families are suffering from the often unkind discourse on social media.

I feel too for the children in the community and their parents. How does a mother or father even begin to explain an accidental police shooting to a son our daughter?

Our city continues to grieve.

Rex and I stood for a while on the church steps looking at the brightly colored chalk drawn hearts surrounding us and small animals displayed next to the flowers.

It seems the woman who lost her life was also a trained veternarian and animal lover.

I read a sign written by the spiritual community that she was a part of inside the old church.

It spoke of “recognizing her message of love, peace and non-violence.”

Rex and I stood a minute longer in reflection and continued down the hill to the lake.

As we walked we found some serenity in the boats sailing by. And later a peace garden provided some comfort for our weary souls and feet.

As we turned to go back home I spied a patch of sunflowers and blue skies across a field.

I smiled and I like to believe that Rex did too.

Before we finished our walk, we decided to stop at the neighborhood Farmer’s Market.

I saw many shoppers carrying single white roses with their radishes and arugala.

As I turned the corner a smiling couple at an unmarked table ask me to take a rose “for Justine”, the beautiful woman who was killed.

They told me they were her neighbors and we peacefully spoke of the pretty day unfolding and the wonderful market.

I smiled again as well as I recalled from my days working in a flower shop that a white rose represents hope for the future.

As Rex and I left the market with our white rose and red radishes, I noticed a Laughter Yoga session was still scheduled down the street for later in the afternoon.

Perhaps life does goes on as it should, but we never forget.

Though I did choose to forget about that yoga class.

Maybe next week I thought, as I carefully placed the white rose in my most elegant vase at home.

Commited to Love

“You could divorce your husband,” the young man on the other side of the desk told me sporting a somewhat pained expression.

I sensed it wasn’t his favorite option.

Mine either.

I’d made an appointment to gain advice on how to survive an approaching tsunami of expenses involved with caring for my husband’s early onset dementia.

That conversation with the professional is like many other heart wrenching memories of caring for a middle aged 200 pound man whose memory was fading fast.

Fortunately I find the toughest recollections have now faded a bit as well, stopping by for brief interludes on holidays like Valentine’s Day along with the very good ones.

I said hello to a little photograph in the red frame this morning of my late husband and me.

It was taken the night before our wedding at my parents’ home.

They’ve also since passed on from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

But I smiled as I held it.

It was a great celebration filled with love.

And today I will celebrate only my good memories.

In addition, I will honor the new ones I am making this Valentine’s Day.

I’ll be coloring bright red and pink paper hearts shortly with some little ones.

Then spreading sweet cheer later on with some very special seniors.

And finally, I will rest well this night with my loving four legged furry friends at my feet.

It seems anyway I look at it, love is still a wonderful commitment.