My Love... my sweet Hjalmar...
You were such a good papa to Rosco. It is a sign of his brilliance that he found you, an old gentle soul whose presence is ancient like a rock whipped coarse by the ocean.
You found him at one year old, and for 14 years he got to live by your side running free, chasing squirrels, swimming in a freshwater creek hole more beautiful than most humans ever even get to see.
When we began dating and took a road trip to San Diego, I was startled to find you spooning him during a nap in our rental van. So open to showing love for your dog. I'll never forget that sight, and I'd come to see that it was the way you were with him. You loved being with him, next to him, two gentle, patient souls who had found each other.
He was ready to move on, and in this time of grieving for our family I just want you to know how grateful I am that you shared him with me, and how proud I am that you are the father of my child. The patience I have learned from you -- true, old, wide, ancient patience -- I now see that you learned in part from Rosco. You were mirrors for each other in this way.
And he waited, to die. Fifteen years in human time, 105 in dog years. He really liked being with you, part of your family. And he stuck around, even with at least 14 years of seizures, to show Helena what Dog Love is like. I remain convinced it is Love in some ways evolved beyond what humans know.
And as you feel appreciated and seen for the spectacular man and father you are, I also ask that you fully grieve the loss of your sweet boy. He feels it, I promise you that. The grieving is part of the love.
So here is a sweet song, my favorite instrument as you know (piano) and my favorite in part because of how much it helps us humans to feel. I picked a song by a Korean composer because of how much beauty you've shared with me from the Japanese and other Asian cultures. www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2Oeg32zW3E
Rosco, the dog who "smiled" when he ran. The dog who could have taught the world how to heal with physical touch, simply by his loving presence and soft, willing body.
I love you outside of words and far beyond this lifetime. It feels empty here without our Zubby around, waiting for an affectionate foot or an elbow, or hand...
Our featured free recording for September is a 35-minute conversation with mailman Sean Lanham called Mailman Magic and the Power of Letters. You can listen here!
Jessica Rios, Founder of Leaning into Light, is a mother, coach, lifelong letter writer, and eternal fan of Mr. (Fred) Rogers. This deeply personal blog and our free recorded conversations are devoted to one of her greatest passions: illuminating the beauty of the human spirit.