I haven't cried today, but I will. At 61, I no longer try to hide it or feel self-conscious about it. I figure I've earned that right after all these years. I can move through the house today--even looking at the spots where Stinky Wink liked to lie down--without crying. I just get a strong grip in my heart. But I will come across a renegade toy or a bunch of Corgi fluff somewhere unexpected, and the tears will flow. He did love his toys! I gave one to each of my sons for their dogs, but I'm keeping the rest. I went to the basement family room last night, and there was his Transformers ball lying on the floor. That's the one he used to bounce off his nose when my wife threw it. That was their game. She would toss it and he would bounce it back. Sometimes they kept it in the air for 5 or 6 bounces. When I was in graduate school, one of my favorite poets was Tennyson. In his long elegy, "In Memoriam," which he wrote after the death of his dear friend, Arthur Hallam (who was engaged to Tennyson's sister), I found a verse that is so appropriate to my feelings right now:
I climb the hill: from end to end
Of all the landscape underneath,
I find no place that does not breathe
Some gracious memory of my friend.
I love you, Stinky Wink, my forever friend, and "my besses puppo ever."