My Wednesday post this week is a bit different. First, it is even less wordless than usual. Second, the WordPress theme does not resonate with me. “It’s Not This Time of Year Without..” is supposed to be the topic of our photo(s). The one thing without which my holiday season could never be complete is … my husband, Mark. I know this sounds cocky and very unimaginative. And, I am sure he would not appreciate being the center of my blogging attention this week, having his face (or both of ours) splattered all over this page. He already cringes when I take photos of him and, this week, I just happen to create a 2017 calendar for our parents and my oma with a different photo of us livening up every single month. 🙂
Why does the holiday period not resonate with me? There are a few reasons. When I grew up in Belgium, Christmas was never a big thing. We had a nice tree inside, rooted in a bucket of dirt. It would still loose needles, driving my dad crazy. Just so we’d have something to do on that holiday, my parents would buy a few tiny gifts for my brother and I. They joined the bigger New Year gifts under the tree. New Year’s Day was our time to celebrate, read New Year’s letters created in class and spend time with family and friends. Of course, I loved the two-week school vacation as well.
With Mark in my life, I have experienced the real holiday season in the States and a couple of hectic family Christmases. We are not fans, preferring a quieter and less commercialized end of the year. Our many seasons away from “home” have been unintentional, yet wonderful escapes. And then, there are all the unfortunate events in our life that have saddened this time of year. My aunt Monique passed away one December (2011), Mark’s sister struggled through her last months on earth in 2012, our first dog Kali passed away the day after Christmas in 2008, and our other rescue dog Darwin followed suit right after my birthday in 2010. It is in memory of him that I am posting a poem today. I wrote it after he died, exactly six years ago.
Darwin, the Boat Dog
All of a sudden the sky turned dark
For Caribbean sailors Liesbet and Mark
Their happy family consisting of three
Would not remain the way it used to be
Multiple trips to the vet didn’t lie
Their beloved dog was going to die
Malignant tumors while still in his prime
It would only be a matter of time
They cried and hoped and did their best
But all that occurred was his final rest
Nothing else they could have done
Darwin, the boat dog, is forever gone
These cruisers never wanted to find out
What life without dogs would be about
Who will protect them out at sea?
Who will greet visitors on SV Irie?
No more Darwin to hug and to pet
No more good times at the beach to be met
No more dog kisses right in the face
No more barking to guard his space
The Caribbean Sea is salty from tears
This empty feeling will last for years
Waves of sorrow lap onto the beach
“Time heals all wounds” is what they preach
Darwin, the boat dog, was special and smart
He found a spot in many people’s heart
He sailed and trotted all over the place
Wagging his tail; a smile on his face
Wherever he went, no matter the joy,
He always looked like a comfy boy
He lived a great life before passing away
He’ll be missed and remembered every day!