When Mina died my Dad told me that, months down the road, there’d be the occasional day when I’d feel that overwhelming feeling of grief that I felt on November 9, 2009. Today is one of those days which have been, thankfully, very few.

vint hill road in summer timeToday I’m close to tears whenever I think about Mina’s sweet, furry face and her beautiful and expressive brown eyes. So this morning I decided to enjoy the heat and humidity and take a little drive. I haven’t been down Vint Hill Road since the day after Mina died because it’s the route we took to her vet’s office in Warrenton. But that’s where I decided to go today, just to see how it looked in summer and to try and feel a little closer to my girl.

mayhughes' storeThere’s was more traffic than I liked but that made me drive slower and enjoy all the farms and oddly-misplaced gigantic houses amid the charming farm houses. We passed Mayhughes’ Store, where I stopped once on a drive with Mina just to see the inside and buy a Coke (an orange one for you fellow Southerners). Mina waited for me by sticking her head out my window and trying to peer inside the store. I could see a couple of people stop to pet her on their way to their cars. It’s pretty country out that way but it’s wedged between subdivisions and a burgeoning nearby town.

I’d explain all this to Mina as we drove along, so that she’d enjoy the ride and not be worried about our destination. We visited one vet or another at least twice a week while she was in chemo last year. I wish the end of her life had been less full of vet visits and more about car rides and sunny days.

I don’t think there’ll ever be a time in my life when I don’t think of Mina while driving down a country road. Just today I heard from Carole at Chow Now Petfood, who was on her way out to Sperryville and said they’d be thinking of Mina along the way. That’s near where we first met Carole and Norm and I’m always grateful that people still remember my Mina and were so impressed by meeting her. She was somethin’ else.

I expect this sadness will pass at some point today and sunny, hot days will remind me of happy, sweet memories that won’t make me cry. But for today, all I want in this life is to wrap my arms around Mina’s neck and kiss her face.