(Written by Lincoln’s Mom, Lincoln’s off living large, too busy to blog!)
It’s here. We made it. The Summer of Lincoln 3.0 has begun. As is normal for me, I approach any new beginning with unwavering trepidation. What begins, must end. On the other hand, I’m completely and totally grateful for the possibility of another summer with Lincoln. Every day with him is a gift. I know that, and I know I must be more Lincoln-like, and live in the moment, but old habits die very hard.
It is far easier to be apprehensive and worried and troubled about what is ahead. It is instinctive for me to seek comfort in what can, at times, be a glorious sense of sadness. I find it simpler to sweep hopes and dreams off to the side, leaving the worst-case scenario front and center, so I am forced to prepare for its arrival, imminent or not. Admittedly, this is an armored approach; a defensive tactic I’ve used successfully for years. When you expect the awful to happen, and it doesn’t, it’s a good day. If you aren’t tactical, you’re vulnerable. Then the enemy can sneak up on you when you’ve let your guard down and blindside you. When that happens, it takes the breath from you and leaves you feeling as though your soul has been snatched from your body. I’ve been there, and I’m not anxious to visit again. It’s innate, now, for me to fortify.
I do make every effort possible to emulate my dog. I’m a work in progress, for sure. I still have a hard time accepting that things could go well for Lincoln. Mostly I worry.
In fact, there are things I’m reticent to speak aloud, just in case they can some how, some way, draw power from my verbal acknowledgement –
Lincoln has cancer. Lincoln’s brain tumor is back. Lincoln’s seizures are becoming harder to control. Lincoln is slowing down. Lincoln is gray. Lincoln is getting old.
Funny thing is, though, nobody told Lincoln the news. He’ll be 11 this year. He’s out-lived two expiration dates; three if you consider he was left at the shelter to be euthanized.
He was his typical, regal self at the Tripawd party, loving up on whomever came close, but most especially Micki, who seems to be his new infatuation.
He swam and drew applause from the boaters last weekend. They hooted and cheered when they saw him jump fearlessly into the water for his official first “Summer of Lincoln 3.0” swim. He basked in his glory. Deservedly so, especially since he was wearing his new harness, thanks to Brett, Fortis, Elizabeth, and Sammy.
He joined us at the winery, and, as always, soaked up the sunshine as well as the attention. He was in his element.
Lincoln doesn’t lament or worry or pout. He just continues to live and love and thrive as he has done since the day I brought him home. He doesn’t feel sorry for himself or refuse to participate because life dealt him some difficult cards. He doesn’t forget to live in the moment because he’s worried about what may come next. He doesn’t hide or become distant or withdraw to protect himself. Instead, he greets each day with an exhuberant wag of his tail and acts as if only good things will come, the first of which will be breakfast!
He is fearless and strong and resilient, this dog of mine.
It’s a challenge, but every day I try to be more like him. It’s not easy, and he’s a tough act to follow, but I’m working on it. Thank you Lincoln, for being wise beyond your years, for having the courage of a warrior, and especially for showing me the right way to live.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill