I never thought Dali would ever slow down, but she is. She’s nine now and doesn’t have the energy she used to. Some days, we can still go for a 2 hour walk in the morning and other days it’s a slow half-hour walk. Some of it is the heat and humidity, I’m sure, but Oskar could keep going if Dali were willing.
Barring anything unforeseen, I am sure that I have many more years with Dali. Her signs of aging impact me, though. Dali is a willful individual and it’s like I’m being let in on her secret. Her vulnerability and fragility are peeking through her indomitable spirit.
One day, I made the mistake of insisting that I pick her up to help her make the walk. She struggled in my arms until I put her down. Now, I just pretend that I don’t notice that we’re walking slowly or shorter distances. I want to give Dali her dignity.
Oskar has to adjust, too. He doesn’t always have his partner to run with and chase squirrels. When I can, I take him out by himself. Sometimes he’ll go with me and interestingly, sometimes he wants to stay back with Dali. Even though I don’t think they would have picked each other as friends, they have developed a bond and look out for each other.
Recognizing and honoring the losses, as well as remaining flexible in the face of change, helps us all find our way together through this new phase of our lives.
What has helped you get through some of your life transitions?
(professional website: http://www.bethlevinecounseling.com)