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Life, Loss and What's Next

Recently, I was messaging with one of our former exchange students. He's from Argentina and was in a layover in Baltimore waiting for his flight to Indy. His boredom at sitting in the airport started the conversation about the five years since we've seen each other.

He's always been a very philosophical kind of kid. He's a musician, free spirit, and a talker. He and my husband were kindred spirits in the talk department. We chatted about how much change has happened in both of our lives in the last five years. He's not a kid anymore, but in that shoulder season between student and full-fledged adult where deciding which trash can to buy is actually a decision not taken lightly.

As I reflected on my last five years, I shook my head at how much life happened in 1,825 days.

I visited three European countries, a few U.S. cities I'd never explored, won some professional writing awards, completed a half marathon, joined a gym I still go to, made new and awesome friends, had my best friend move back to our home state, attended thirty-two concerts, published a book with more on the way, and developed a whole new love of wine.

Two of our former exchange students turned thirty. One got married and another had her second child with her husband. Family members moved away and family members got married.

While memorable, not every event was happy. I lost my mom, three brothers, a sister-in-law, a nephew, and two pets. I had three surgeries and my husband two.

Last week I had to take our dog to the vet. She was ill, but she's also an old dog, and we don't even know exactly how old because we adopted her from a shelter. All we know is how long we've had her--nine years.

As I was driving, I was convinced her time with us was coming to an end and thoughts of where to bury her drifted in and out of my head. And then I cried because she is the sweetest dog I've ever had, and I'll never be ready to let go. After a shot, medication and bloodwork, our veterinarian called to tell us that yes she was sick, but she wasn't dying. Two days later, my dog was back begging at the dinner table.

A little more time.

Nearly every evening I watch the sky turn from blue to pink, and to orange before it closes the book on another day. No promise of a tomorrow, but proof I lived this day.

While Friday wasn't all that great, Monday through Thursday were amazing. Friday might have been great if it weren't for all of the roundabouts Hamilton County believes is the solution to traffic. By the way, Hamilton County is wrong.

It's true that the older you get, the more precious life becomes, and the things you believed important ten and twenty years ago seem frivolous now. And five years seemed like a mere tick of the clock until I contemplated the timeline of events in 1,825 days.

So I sit here at the kitchen table sipping tea with one of my birds sitting on my shoulder as I write. He's the stupid one of the three we have. And I can say that because he's mine, and he's actually stupid, but he's sweet, loving, and makes me laugh.

The more I think about it, that's want I want for the next five years, sweet days, loving moments, and lots of laughs. Other than popcorn, that's about all I really need.

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