I’m on the plane right now. Heading to Boston to watch my daughter race at the Head of the Charles. I believe I’m a to-myself kind of person. My kids say I’m not. Right now. With COVID. I’m a to-myself person. Until tonight.

I was in a quiet area of the airport, grabbing some food and a man came up near me with a dog carrier. He sat down and started to eat. I couldn’t help ask (because I already miss Lily) what kind of dog was in his carrier. His response broke my heart.

At 63 he thought he and his wife would enjoy retirement, their dog and their kids (and grandkids). They had all the resources to retire early and just could not wait for the time together that they had waited for during their 33 years of marriage. Hard stop here.

It began with her being tired. Then a cough. Then the doctor. Tests. More doctors. Results. She was dying. They got 9 months. He said they were the best of their lives.

They had a dog. The dog was really “hers” as she was home with the puppy during the day while he worked. The dog was completely distraught after her death. The poor dog developed cancer. He died within three months of his wife. F***.

He wasn’t sure he could keep going. I get that. His kids knew that a new dog would help. Hence the carrier. He was flying to get the start the new part of life – a puppy. He showed me pictures. We cried together. I told him Lily ate a paper towel today. We laughed together.

Life is just so crazy fragile and unexpected. I am grateful I have a dog. It made me notice the carrier. Which caused me to ask him about his dog. Which allowed me to gift of meeting him.