It’s been a weird week. I started this post by saying that it had been a rough week, but then I thought back and realized that my week has had some really lovely things in it to counterbalance the roughness and perhaps I should focus on those.

B’s test results showed that his heart is enlarged and he is in the early stages of congestive heart failure. Before the vet appointment, I did my best to not dwell on the possibilities, to not prepare myself for bad news, which is totally unlike me. Turns out, hearing bad news is actually not any harder if you haven’t spent two weeks focusing on preparing for the bad news and in fact, might be easier. And in the long run, I’m no worse off now for not having spent two weeks dreading what I would hear and then hearing it.

But I’m still sad, of course. Everyone with a dog knows that our time with them is not going to be long enough, could never be long enough, but that doesn’t make it easier to find out that the time is going to be measured in months, not years. On the other hand, I now have heard a couple stories from people whose dogs did live years, so I’m not going to think too bleakly. We’re living one day at a time and today, B is a happy, cheerful, entertaining companion who is not suffering at all, just has a good excuse for his extreme laziness.

It was still a low to have gotten that news. But the high that balanced it was my nephew, seeing me, saying immediately, “I’m sorry,” and giving me a hug. Twenty-one years old and such a sweetheart, so kind. And my brother checking in three times during the long day of waiting for news, knowing I was worried and worrying with me. And my son, getting to hear his voice on the phone, when he told me how sorry he was, and and all the friends who called and texted and commented on Facebook and sent messages. I never felt alone in my sadness. I felt lucky to have so many people who were sad for and with me.

Of course, now I’m all tearful again, but that’s okay.

Another low–and high–was helping my dad help my sister move. I’ll skip the details on the low part, it’s not entirely my story and probably more personal than appropriate for semi-public consumption, but I feel/felt a remarkable amount of anger and frustration around the circumstances. I managed not to say anything totally unforgivable, (in my opinion, anyway) but I sure thought some unforgivable things. And you know how it goes with anger: when you’re furious, you wind up carrying it around with you, ruminating on it, brain going in circles of nastiness. It’s been tough to let go of those hostile feelings and it’s really darkened my days to be feeling them.

But within that, I got to spend some really nice time with my dad and stepmom, who are both such terrific and wonderful people. I feel incredibly lucky to have them in my life. My stepmom should probably be nominated for sainthood. My dad is so, so fortunate to have found her. And on two evenings this week, I got to escape to spend time with friends — the kind of friends who once upon a time, several years ago, were acquaintances with a single common interest, but who have become people I hope to have in my life forever, truly for the rest of my days.

For a long time in adulthood, it seemed impossible to make real friends — people through work drifted away when the work was done, people through school (either the kids or my own) never became more than friendly acquaintances, neighbors always stayed casual. And maybe that was all me, but it felt like it was part of adulthood, too, that everyone was having the same problem. But there are people in my life now who are like… ha, like characters in a Maeve Binchy novel. Unexpected friends. And I got to spend time with them this week, which really helped balance out the stress of the other stuff that I was going through.

Tomorrow it’s back to the vet, then this weekend I’m headed to Sarasota for a couple of days, which will include taking care of forms and financial aid paperwork. Next week, it’s back to central Florida to do some final van stuff, I hope–an oil change, tire rotation, and finally getting the fan fixed. And then… then!… finally adventures begin!