January 2007 will be a very eventful month.
We move on January 2, so we start the new year in a new home, our fifth home together. As much as I'd rather not leave this neighbourhood, I'm really excited about the new place. It's a nicer house, in better shape than our current rental, and it comes without the insecurity of a non-renewed lease. The backyard is still large, but more manageable than the one we have now, and more private. And the neighbourhood, while lacking the small-town feel of Port Credit (which is very rare in today's suburbs), is spacious and leafy. Once we get past the enormous inconvenience of the move, I think we'll be very happy there.
On January 3, we celebrate 20 years of domestic partnership. Twenty years! I can hardly believe it. And we're probably in the best place our partnership has ever been, both figuratively and literally.
On January 22, we take a very special, slightly crazy trip to celebrate that anniversary. I don't want to write about it yet, but will soon.
And on January 29, we bring home Tala, the fifth dog to join the Kaminker-Wood fambly. We lost Buster last November, which makes it the longest we've had only one dog since finding our second dog, Clyde - Allan's baby, and the sweetest dog in the world - in 1989.
Having fallen in love with Tala, I find myself finally moving out of my deep grief for Buster. As I've said so many times here, Buster was a very special animal, with a long list of complicated special needs. His death was a huge wound, his absence a gaping void. (Some of that story here, here, here and here; the story of how we found him here.) All through this year, I missed him so much.
Every once in a while, I would mention this to Allan, wondering when I would get to the place I reached with our other dogs' deaths, where we could remember them fondly and happily, talk and laugh about their quirks and their personalities, and feel happy and lucky to have known them, not just stricken to have lost them. I assumed it would happen one day, but I couldn't seem to say two words about Buster without starting to cry.
This month, I find myself looking ahead to Tala more than I am looking back to Buster. I can talk about him without crying. I think I turned a corner.
Of course I'm crying as I write this! But still.