My dad gave me roses for Mother’s Day and I have been appreciating them all week. They’re perfect roses — they opened nicely, they look lovely, and they smell beautiful.

This morning I found a trail map of Oscar Scherer State Park — the place where I’m staying, and where I’ve stayed several times before — and I realized that there was a long trail that I’ve never been on. It leads to another lake, one that I’ve never seen. I’m leaving today, so I don’t have time to do it on this visit, but I mentally noted it for the next time we’re here.

And then I wondered whether Z would be with me the next time I’m here. She’s not doing great. She ate breakfast a couple of days ago, but now she’s pretty much turning up her nose at any food unless I hand-feed her, and even then, she eats a few bites and then turns her head away. The one exception was beef with sweet potatoes yesterday afternoon — she nosed out almost all the pieces of beef on her own, avoiding all the sweet potato, but at least she ate.

This morning, she was restless at 5AM, so I took her out, but she seemed confused: she just stood in the campsite and trembled, no peeing, no walking, no sniffing. I brought her back in again and put her up on the bed with me (she’s been sleeping on the floor, her choice) and by 7AM, she’d pretty much covered the sheets with pee. So today will be another laundry day, which is fine. But then instead of telling me at 6:30 that it was time to go out, she had to be persuaded to come for a walk. She did walk, eventually, with lots of very normal sniffing, but her walks are getting slower and shorter.

All of that added up to me being very sad when I thought about the trail that we’ve never seen and wondered whether I’d ever see it with her — and then I remembered: R is graduating tomorrow. My frequent visits to Oscar Scherer are coming to an end, because I’ll no longer have a reason to visit Sarasota. Maybe I’ll come back someday — it’s a great park and I love it here– but it’s not like I’m looking at a guaranteed return in three months or six months or even ever. So yeah, maybe I won’t have Z with me when I come back and maybe she’ll never see that trail, but life is change. Sometimes that means it hurts, but I wouldn’t want time to be frozen.

And meanwhile, we have today. It’s going to include — well, laundry, obviously. But also some good work on Grace, I hope; some texting with friends; some family time with my son and dad and stepmom; some delicious food, including a celebratory restaurant meal at a place where Z gets to come join us on the patio; and maybe even a movie.

Also, some appreciation of some lovely roses. They won’t last forever, because nothing does. But today they are beautiful and I am grateful to have them in my life.