Two days ago I saw the first few leaves flutter down. I guess it's time. I just hadn't realized.
Today I really cried over Little Bit for the first time. I was walking Miley after getting back home and doing fine until we approached the former home of one of Little Bit's friends, Lucas, who passed on a few years ago. Then I just started sobbing as I walked down the street, all the way home. I came in the basement door and curled up on the couch and cried some more. He was such a sweet, loyal dog. He had such a sweet face, such an attitude of trust and love and patience. I cried for the loss of his spirit from our home. I cried for the loss of his constant, quiet, steady companionship over the last fourteen years. For the way he walked with me alone at night in seventh grade, when I was so depressed I wouldn't let anyone else near. For the way he always walked steadily and patiently beside me. For the way he always ran to greet me when I came home, bounding toward me and then toward the door, wagging his tail. And later the way he looked wearily up and wandered over, and brightened when he saw who I was, and then still plodded up the same path toward the door, just alongside. For the way he used to run ahead up the street when we reached our block, and look back to make sure I was following, and the way he felt better and ran easier when the air was cool. The way he even followed in the snow after ice built up between his toes, followed until he limped and we saw and turned back. And then I started to cry for all the times he wanted to walk just a few more blocks, and I said no. Or the times he wanted to cross the creek and walk in the woods, and we didn't go because I didn't have shoes on that I could get wet. We hadn't walked across the creek together in years. I am so sorry. I am so sorry.
And then I came home, and just cried. I miss him so much.
Tomorrow I'm going to a meeting in support of Kelly's mentee, who is in a very bad foster care situation. Prayers for her and for her sister (who was removed from the home earlier) and for her brothers (from whom she and her sister were separated some years ago) would be greatly appreciated.
Friday I have an interview at a school nearby, for an MS English and History position. Prayers would again be appreciated.
Saturday we leave for Arkansas, and break the drive in Knoxville at Beth and Zach's house. I'm really looking forward to seeing them.