August 7, 2011

A Little Love Story

Even though I'd been promised a breakfast of lox and bagels with the works, while lying awake in bed in the wee hours, thoughts of lemon buttermilk pancakes kept popping into my head. I tried to push the pancake thoughts aside in between thinking and fretting, contemplations both anxious and excited. We've not been sleeping well at night here lately. Yes, there are lots of exhilarating future possibilities bubbling below the surface, but the thing that mostly keeps us awake is sorrow. Our beloved Murray the Amazing Wonderdog is slipping away from us with cancer and we are preparing ourselves.

Lying awake with so much on my mind makes me hungry, so I bumble out of bed before sunrise and gather pancake ingredients from the pantry. This is so unlike me, whose internal clock tends toward the night owl setting. My vigilance over Murray has heightened other thoughts and observations about this morning, too. I notice the cool morning air which pours over the hills outside our east-facing door and windows, filling the house with a subtle pressure before its escape out the westerly door and windows. I notice that Murray, who pants and breathes hard at night, has a little wag to his tail this morning as he joins me in the kitchen, a hopeful sign that our days together aren't yet ready to end. I walk out on the east deck to see golden and pink sun rays reach over the hills. I notice a softly lit wispy layer of low-lying fog puff around the huge hay bales in our farmer-neighbor's field out our north-facing front door, and hear the intense low buzz of a hummingbird gathering its dawn breakfast.

I know My Baby hasn't slept much either, and after putting the kettle on the stove for tea, walk back to the guest room bed where we are sleeping (our bedroom is up a flight of stairs which Murray-Dog is having trouble negotiating so we have temporarily moved to the guest quarters for him) to kiss his forehead and ask if he wants pancakes and tea before trying to capture a little more rest. Yes, he drowsily says, if you bring them here and we have some together.

Back in the kitchen the teapot begins singing softly, its bubbling contents awaking Darjeeling leaves. My 32-year-old copy of Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook is pulled from the shelf and nearly flips itself open to the stained pancake page. I reach into the refrigerator for buttermilk, an egg, and a lemon and only now notice that I've purchased low fat buttermilk, and wonder how that will work in the pancakes. (Note to self: Make optometrist appointment. Label reading has become impaired by outdated Rx.) I smile when I pull the cast-iron skillet from its hook and appreciate that My Baby had just seasoned it yesterday. Perfect timing.

Even though it's early and we are sleepy and heavyhearted, I take the time to dust the pancakes with powdered sugar and drape a lemon slice across both platefuls, because life is just too special to not make it special.

We sip and nibble in the quiet, then are able to fall asleep in each others arms, Murray the Amazing Wonderdog settling in near the foot of the bed. When we awake, there will be lox and bagels and strong black coffee. And whatever else the day brings.

18 comments:

  1. Dear Pam - We know what you are going through. http://www.tastewiththeeyes.com/2011/04/a-very-special-kind-of-cupcake/
    Please give Murray a kiss for us.
    LL & Wilson

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  2. I am so sorry to read this.Our sheltie passed away this year. He was 14, died in April. Was heart wrenching. Much empathy!

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  3. Aww that is a tough situation. We lost a beloved dog this year as well. Murray is lucky to having such a loving mother though!

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  4. Sooooo sorry to hear about Murray. You two have traveled a lot of miles together. When we lost Joe, I had a new puppy within a month. We'll never forget how much we loved Joe, but the sloppy puppy kisses really helped the healing process.

    Love, Cathy Driver

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  5. Oh, You are in my heart. Your pancake love story is very touching. Please keep us as up-to-date as you can and know that we're thinking of you...

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  6. Your pancakes look tasty and I am sorry to hear about your beloved pet. My thoughts are with you.

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  7. Murray is so lucky to have such a thoughtful and caring owner. Treasure every moment with him. Dogs are definitely (wo)man's best friend. Your pancakes sound like the perfect comfort food.

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  8. Your post made me cry. I can relate. We lost our Happy at 14 years and 2 months and the time leading up ... it was hard. Tell your dog constantly how much you love him and thank him for being such a wonderful companion. Smiley almost died a week ago, so this was hard to read.

    Bless you, Pam. You have a very beautiful gift for writing by the way. I said a prayer for you and Murray.

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  9. Thanks, everyone, for your loving support. Murray had a good night, thanks to your well-wishes, thoughts and prayers.

    This kind of loss surely is a universal experience, and I appreciate all of you sharing about your dear pups as well.

    Hugs, Pam

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  10. Pam, I'm so sorry to hear about Murray. What a lucky dog he's been to have you two. My George is 16 and has kidney disease and we'll be lucky to have him at the end of the year. Our furry critters give us so much love and affection and it's so difficult to lose them. Hugs, Kate @ kateiscooking

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  11. I'm really sorry about your dog :( I've had a dog die of old age, and my beloved cat slowly die of cancer not too long after. I've always tried not to think about it too much, but every time I do, I remember how much I miss them.

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  12. Never pleasant. Bless your little family!

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  13. Pam...I too share the experience of losing a "family member" to cancer. Murray will let you know. Copious number of Photos (thank you iPhone!) taken seemed to help me....and I agree with Cath...when you are ready or even a bit before, puppy love helps ease the broken heart. ~holly~

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  14. Pammom,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We lit a candle last night in honor of Murray's sweet heart.

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  15. Murray was a very special granddog. I believe that he would agree...his life, though brief, was blissful...because he spent it with you.

    Dad

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  16. Hope you are okay, Pam. (((HUGS)))

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  17. Pam what a beautiful post. I'm happy that you were able to see the beauty of the day and still find joy in it. I am so sorry about Murray and know exactly what you were feeling. My Panchito died of heart failure and his last days we also didn't sleep much. Keeping you in my thoughts and hoping that we both will begin to heal and only remember the love and joy that Murray and Panchito brought into our lives.

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