|She truly was transcontinental.|
You know, I’m sitting here staring at the blank screen and can’t even bring myself to type the words that she’s gone…and she’s been gone for two months now. I still expect to come home and hear her whistling from the bedroom, demanding that I hurry up and let her out. But the whistle has fallen silent.
I listen for her toenails on the hardwood floors and remember how, when we lived in the UK, she made no sound at all on the carpet and could sneak up on me, suddenly jamming that needle nose into my ear and exhaling. There’s nothing in my ear now, no cold nose or loud exhalation of warm doggie breath. It’s just silent.
I call the other two dogs by her name and they look at me, with a mixture (I think) of confusion and sadness, wondering simultaneously who I am talking to and where Daisy is. I wonder that too. Is she with the Fab Five Plus Clowny? Are they now the Magnificent Seven? I don’t get answers, though. As always, my Bridge Pack is silent.
We see things that she would have loved, go to places that made her happy, and the memories are sometimes so strong that I can smell her Frito Feet and feel her nose pressed up against my neck, as she would do to make sure of me. I think for a moment that I can hear her Snappy Jaw that should have struck fear, but didn’t, not in me…but there is no snappy jaw, not anymore. Everything is silent.
She was a larger sized female for her breed, but she was Bryn’s Little Big sister. She was a good foot taller than Willow, and lorded that size over her Little Little Sister. They still run and play and I can hear their tags jangling as they bound up and down the stairs. But Daisy’s tags, still on her purple dragonfly collar, remain silent.
I want a do-over. I want more time. I want for her to not have suffered through the heart murmur and the heart disease and the Lasix. I want to take her to Ireland and to Canada. I want her to have the jacket with all the little patches from everywhere she was able to visit. All these things I want…and all she wanted was to be able to rest. Rest well, my world traveler, my Psycho Puppy Girl, my Angel…my Mei Mei. You earned it. I just wish it wasn’t so silent around here.
|Proud Racer: An American Greyhound
in Yorkshire, by Nancy E. Dunne
Just wanted to give you guys a little heads up that Daisy’s second book, An American Greyhound in Yorkshire, has been entered in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest for 2013. I don’t expect that it will go anywhere but…you never know. Three cheers for Daisy Mei Mei, international dog of mystery…and for her mommy for finally sprouting a pair and going for a contest. Fingers and paws crossed!
See that look there? That one is how my Daisy says, “Seriously?” as in “Mommy, seriously, take the camera out of my face and give me the whateveritis that you’re holding over my head to make me look at you, already.”
That is how I felt when I posted this back in August of 2011:
I was still fairly newly repatriated and I was still fairly raw about the entire experience, mostly due to the fact that the three most important souls in my universe (Hubs, Daisy, and Mills) were four thousand miles away from me.
I’m reminded of that post because now, a year and change later, Simon is here and I’ve been back from my expat adventure almost two years…and I still have moments where I’m not sure where I am or, even better, where I belong. I still have moments where I struggle to make myself understood and have the urge to go all Tanzanian Chimp (see? There is a Big Bang Theory reference for EVERYTHING) on someone that giggles if I say wheelie bin instead of trash can.
We have a new captionist on staff here who loves all things British and I have to say I’m probably rambling on and on to her more than I should, bless her, but she gets it and that’s cool. Andrea, if you’re reading this, ta very much. I still say lift sometimes, I still say mobile, and I still ring people up if I absolutely have to do so, and I don’t imagine that will change much.
But last night there was a new experience to add to my list of “only other US/UK expats will get this” weirdness: Last night we saw the Black Watch and Band of the Scots Guards at the BiLo Center and as any good British programme does, it included Jerusalem, the hymn that is the unofficial national anthem of England.
Y’all, I got teary listening to it. I almost let out a choked sob. The feeling of belonging but not belonging, of home and homesickness all happening at the same time was just overwhelming. Hubs got a bit of a giggle out of it, not of my distress but of how surprised I was at said distress, I think. These were “my people” due to my Scottish ancestry, but they were also “my people” because they were British and I feel like I was getting close to that, for a time anyway.
I said on Facebook: “Well, it happened. I teared up at ‘Jerusalem.'” The only people who have liked the comment are expats or have them in their lives.
And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
I would like to say when, but for the time being I will say if…IF we make it back to live in the UK, they will have to burn me out to make me leave a second time. It is my second home…and I can’t wait to go back for a visit, at least.