"Take some space, Gal." So wrote my boss in yesterday afternoon's email. "The Cubs are playing tomorrow, right? Order some takeout and watch the game."
If we'd all been at the office, I would have taken time off to recover from losing Reynaldo because I cry unexpectedly. But with work-from-home, I'm able to write and sniffle. So I have been. But that night when I decided I couldn't let Rey live this way anymore, I knocked off some digital banners* and sent my ideas to my boss Wednesday morning. At 6:30 AM, as I was getting ready to take Reynaldo to the Emergency Vet and the end. In my email, I told my boss I'd check in with him again, via email, after I returned home, carrier empty.
He of course responded that I didn't have to, but I thought I did. He and his girlfriend just moved from an apartment to a house, he hadn't taken any time off, and was working amid boxes. I didn't want to be unfair to him.
|Rey in meeting prep|
I've been surrounded by kindness. Which is good, because I need it.
• Wednesday morning, in the drizzle, as Reynaldo and I were waiting for the Lyft and his final car ride, a couple walked by, sharing an umbrella and looking like a greeting card. They stopped, the woman peered in and asked his name. "Reynaldo is a cutie," she said. He always liked new people, he knew his name, and even though he was very weak, he turned to lock bright eyes with her. I was grateful that they stopped and that she used his name, not "Kitty."
• Shortly after he was gone, I was outside at the Emergency Vet, trying to get my phone to work so I could call a car and get the fuck home. Phones always crap out at the worst time, don't they? Anyway, as I was fighting with it, a woman came up beside me and said, "Hi. I'd kill for your hair. Where do you get it done?" Now it was still humid and drizzling, and she still liked my hair! As my phone was restarting, I told her how to find Tony. It was a nice respite from how awful I felt with that empty carrier beside me.
• People slag Facebook all the time, but I have to tell you that reading the condolences truly made me feel better. Real-life friends, people I met at the TCM Film Festival but haven't seen since 2019, coworkers who drifted away, even both of my sisters chimed in. I loved seeing the parade of names and comments.
• My oldest friend sent me flowers. She told me she admired my courage in doing right by my little man, and that now Reynaldo was atop The Rainbow Bridge, merrily knocking shit over as he waits for me. She is broke, she has health problems, and yet she did this!
He weighed less than 5 lbs. at the end, but my buddy had a larger-than-life impact on me. And I am so grateful for the kindnesses I have received since we had to say goodbye.
*Someone actually writes those animated ads that appear off to the side of the web page you're looking at. Someone like me. And we're usually on a deadline because clients tend to only think of those ads at the last minute.