On Saturday afternoon I stopped at Safeway and bought two flavors of gelato and then I came home and scrubbed my floor.
I’m a stress-eater and a cathartic cleaner. By the size of my physical self, I have too much stress in my life. By the state of my house, I could use more catharsis.
I realized as I knelt on my floor, scrubbing and buffing my hardwood-esque living room/dining room/kitchen floors, that it was precisely a year ago that I was scrubbing my other house’s floors and needing catharsis over ending that chapter in my life.
So much has happened in a year, and yet many of my emotions are exactly the same at this moment as they were at other times in my past 46 years. It occurs to me that life is not a journey resembling a road with a start and a stop. Instead, my life looks like one of my Spirograph doodles from childhood: hundreds of loops and circles overlapping in disarray that doesn’t look like much until you step back and see it’s wholeness.
I can still smell it, a Spirograph creation. Feel how the paper ended up being embossed by the repetition and pressure. The tiny green pushpins, the clear plastic wheels turning opaque over time and use. My favorite creations always started simple but then got complicated as I had added loops and embellishments.
Pushing and pulling the microfiber cloth across my floor, following it with another cloth to rub out the water spots, my hands made circles and loops until the water transformed into nothing at all. A catharsis for a hurting heart.
For five weeks, a dog was a part of my life. For the four days she was lost, I was a wreck. Then things got better until they got worse. And on Saturday I added a new term to my life: failed adoption.
Remember how I told Meli that I wouldn’t give up on her? I didn’t. But I finally had to accept that my loving her wasn’t enough for her. That for my dog, I wasn’t enough. Her issues are too big for my heart to help her heal.
It turns out Meli is afraid of men. And I live with 3 of them. Three wonderful, kind humans of the male persuasion who never raised their voices to her but they were still male voices. And what had seemed like timidness and shyness slowly became more and more pronounced until she was so anxious that she refused food, hid under my bed for hours, and cringed when anyone tried to interact with her.
First she refused dog treats from me. Then bits of hot dogs. Then bacon. I returned her before she stopped licking peanut butter off my hand because I wanted her and I still have something.
We got a dog to help Mister Soandso’s grieving heart. It didn’t work out that way. Now my heart is doubly bereft.
I hope the Humane Society is able to find a home that can foster Meli until she works through her fears. Her other option isn’t one I particularly want to think about. In her favor is the fact that she has such a sweet face with such soulful eyes. Beautiful disasters get more chances.
I really wanted to be the one who helped Meli find out what a loving home is like. It just wasn’t meant to be.
Because sometimes loving someone isn’t enough. Sometimes the stars just don’t align and that love ends up being anything but a balm. And that is what happened for Meli and me.
Goodbye Meli. I still believe in you. And I’ll keep holding you right here in my heart.