When Mina died five months ago many people told me that “time heals all wounds.” I don’t think that’s true, really. I think time can lessen the pain but the loss is always present. I can’t imagine a day in my life, whatever I have left, when I won’t miss Mina and her soft brown eyes.

Today marks a sad anniversary – it’s a year since I learned that Mina had canine lymphoma. I can relive that trip to our regular vet’s office just as clearly as if it were yesterday. I see on the exam room counter the lab report from the fine needle aspirate of one of Mina’s enlarged lymph nodes. I see the word “LYMPHOMA” in the diagnosis box. I remember Dr. Cliver telling me our options and I remember tears running down my face as I slowly processed the information. “Mina has cancer. She has to have chemotherapy. She might die.”

I called everyone I knew on my way home to Mina. I tried to pull myself together so that when I opened the door Mina wouldn’t know I was upset. That never worked. She was just too smart and tuned in to my emotions not to know something was wrong.

How has it been a year since that awful day of learning what caused her loss of appetite and muscle mass? It seems impossible to be at the one-year mark for anything related to Mina’s cancer. What I wouldn’t give to have that time with her back …

2006, looking out over my shoulder as we drove through Halfway, VA