1. Tiny altars everywhere. The one above is on the dining room table, my primary work space while Eric works from home. If there’s a space where I spend a lot of time, I start to build an altar without even realizing that’s what I’m doing. First it was the plant because that particular spot is the only place it gets enough light. Then I found the Buddha in one of the last boxes I emptied from my CSU office. It was the one that sat in about the same spot in relation to my computer screen when I was still working there. Then some dear friends dropped off a gift that included the rock, paw print on one side and “A forever friend, always in our hearts” on the other. And finally, another friend sent a card, and the picture on it looked so much like our Sam, that I added it too. In my “old” office at home, where the dog crates are, there’s also a little altar on top of the empty one with Sam’s ashes, paw print, and his collar.
2. Strawberry and ice cream season, which is good because I’m currently eating my way through my feelings — my sweet delicious feelings.
3. Practice. If I had to get up every morning not having a routine, a plan, a constant, I’d be so much more lost.
4. Peony season. They are abundant this year, as is the grief they represent (all of them were planted in memory of someone I’ve lost; I’m going to add a pure white one for Sam).
5. My tiny family, which is sadly a bit tinier this week.
6. I’m still here. As hard as things get, I haven’t given up.
Bonus joy: the love and care of good friends, seeing Chloe’ and Chelsey and Jon even though I couldn’t hug them, hanging out with Mikalina, Wild Writing, money to pay our bills and buy groceries, technology that allows me to keep in touch with people I love, resting in a dark room, Ringo (he likes Eric more than me and I lost my shadow, but there’s still a dog here), Sam’s presence which is still here or at least it feels like it in those moments I forget he’s gone, the new rubber broom we got to get dog hair out of the carpet (so satisfying!), good TV (I highly recommend “Work in Progress”) good podcasts (new episode of DYNAR this week), reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.