Bereavement Days

My mom called around 6:30 this morning to stop me from going to work.  She told me my uncle had left us early this morning.   Right now I’m thinking back to the conversation I had with my dad about a week ago in which he said, "You had better go see your uncle on Sunday."  My dad never says things in anger or in a bossy way, he just states the facts.  When he says you better do something, you had better do it.  That’s the way it’s always been.  I expressed some fears about it to Leeanne last Friday and she said, "you better do it."  I’m fortunate to have wise people around.

I didn’t really know what to do after I hung up so I kind of just proceeded to get ready as if I was going to work.  I made some coffee and looked out the back door.  I tried to read.  Finally I thought I’d take the dog for a long walk.  We actually ended up just walking our usual route but we poked along and I let her smell everything she wanted to so it took a long time.   What are you supposed to do on a bereavement day?  I’ve never figured it out.  I always feel better when I’m working so I work through this stuff and I have only just discovered the predicament  that’s gotten me into.

At the park I sat on a rock and Chloe secured the perimeter.  After awhile we both got bored and I let her play on the slide, which is completely inappropriate, but good fun.  It was from atop the slide that Chloe spotted the mail carrier all the way on the other side of the street and took off full throttle towards her.  Apparently that stereotype about dogs and mail carriers isn’t just a stereotype after all.  I ran after her in utter stupefaction, watching my dog bolt across the street, plant herself in the middle of the sidewalk before the mail carrier and fix the woman with her most menacing bark.  It’s not a menacing bark at all if you know even a little bit about dogs.  In fact, everything about it says, "I’m petrified of you yet for some reason I feel obliged to protect the weak female human who accompanies me."  But I can see how if you were on the receiving end of it you might not appreciate it for what it really is.

It all seemed to be taking place in a kind of slow motion and I had time to think to myself that mail carriers should really have to take some kind of dog training as I looked on, horrified, while the woman did everything wrong, convincing the dog even more that she was a threat.  I literally had my left hand holding Chloe’s haltie and my right hand hooking her up to the lead when the mail carrier spat, "Hurry up and get your dog!"

I honestly should have been more kind as we were clearly in the wrong but I spat back, "What do you think I’m doing?  She’s not going to hurt you."  Afterward I wished I had said, "What the fuck do you think I’m doing?" Usually I wish that I hadn’t sworn.  She sort of shrieked, "Yeah well you never know!" and I shrieked back, "ACTUALLY I DO!

I’m going to go hang around with my mom and dad in a few minutes and Mack will be there which is great because that kid is the magic smile machine.  I still don’t really know what to do on a bereavement day but something tells me that my Uncle Evan would think it was really funny that I got into an altercation with a mail carrier this morning.  Sorta in his honour.

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