Lately, the thought of brackets enters my mind. Each time they seem clearer, more defined. When you hear the word “cancer” they go from a translucent form to something with more substance. It’s not that I didn’t think of the reality of beginnings and endings for in some way these markers have always informed my living. It’s just a deepening of the reality that you don’t get to make some choices. And here the ethereal substance of faith and hope becomes more well-defined.
But the brackets… This week our faithful dog, Ace, went from a healthy, vibrant being to a struggling-for-each-breath shadow of his former self. For the second time in four months, cancer came in through the front door uninvited. Ace’s lungs are riddled with cancer, something that happened since a healthy checkup less than a year ago.
But, his soul remains a beautiful expression of life, evident in his eyes, his welcoming howls at the front door, and his attempts to comfort the crying eyes all around.
In a few weeks, I hope, Ace will be 11. And for the eleventh time, I hope, we will relive how he came to brighten and forever change our home. Back then Melanie had posted: Every boy should have two things. A dog and a mother who lets him have one. A “puppy jar” full of coins, and the wish of an unrelenting boy later, those words came true….
A father’s path does offer the choice of who to love and how to love. Sometimes the lessons come from the two-legged, and sometimes four. The how to love that we learn along the way allows new eyes to realize that the more you love, the more you can love… Within these brackets, a sense of the infinite. The same as the infinite joy forever felt, blessed by and expressed in the beautiful expression of life that is Ace.