I woke up this morning feeling Mina’s absence strongly. It’s one of the parts of grief that I find most disturbing, this sudden and unexpected surge of sorrow and tears. It happens to lots of people as I’ve found by talking to my friends and my Dad. It’s a short trip down bad memory lane because the good memories don’t usually make me feel sad and cause me to cry.

This morning’s trip was the last day Mina and I spent together, Sunday, November 8, 2009. I did smile a little remembering that long morning walk she took us on, marveling again at her ability to pull herself together for this last tour of her stomping grounds. We took a couple more shorter walks during the day, but that last long walk was incredible. Mina hadn’t walked that far in a couple of weeks, at least, and I wondered where she found the strength to hold her tail high and even bring out her perky walk for a few moments.

Mina has strength in abundance. Looking back over her months in chemo and her last weeks of life I realize it was Mina keeping us strong. It was Mina showing me, for the last time, how to live in the moment and to treasure every moment we had left together. Others have said it and I know it’s true, that last day together was her gift to me. She pooled all of her strength and left this world, and me, on a high note.

Now it’s my turn to make something of this day. I’m annoyed at the high winds blowing tree pollen all over and keeping me inside, but Mina wouldn’t let that keep her from enjoying every moment, no matter what she was doing. If she were here right now, she’d be napping in front of the living room window and I’d stop my chores to rub her belly now and then. Something about watching Mina sleep always comforted me.

Miss you, baby, every day and twice on Sundays