Yesterday was a long day. We set off with Coconut around 9:00 to drive to just north of Chicago to see my father-in-law. He’s ninety-eight and not doing well. He’s got congestive heart failure needs full time caregivers, and before long, this wonderful man’s heart will cease to beat.

We decided that instead of asking a friend to watch Coconut, or paying for daycare, we’d bring him with us. It was a perfect travel day, no snow or ice on the roads and sun. We stopped once so that Gary could stretch his leg and I went into TJMaxx and found a replacement dragon since he destroyed his earlier this week. I also got him some treats to enjoy while we ate lunch.

I have lived a messy, messy life. Two of my brothers-in-law, one a nurse who was bathing his dad’s feet and helping the companion aide to apply medication, were leaving as we arrived.

My sister-in-law was exposed to COVID earlier this week and so she was MIA for obvious reason. The last thing Grandpa needs is a case of COVID.

My ex-husband, the father of my children, was there from the Philippines to spend time with his father and to be an extra pair of hands as needed.

The divorce was acrimonious to say the least. But about ten years after it ended we somehow found our way back to a friendship. One of yesterday’s highlights was chatting with my current and ex-husbands, enjoying our shared histories and each of us getting to know new things about each other.

And through it all there was Coconut. Grandpa didn’t talk much yesterday, he rambled and dozed off, but Coconut seemed to know this was not the time to jump on this frail man. Instead, this little dog stood next to him as the blue-veined papery thin hand stroked the soft fur. When Grandpa’s hand fell, my dog found the patch of sun near Grandpa’s feet, content to be in a room full of love and conversation.

I wish an easy transition for this man who opened his home and his heart to me, who loved me when his son and I parted ways, who has loved and admired my new husband, who has loved my sons and grandsons in countless ways.

And I wish everyone who needs one can have a dog; even those who don’t know it yet.