Expected surprise

|Author: Amber|

We went to Goa this weekend to celebrate the birth of our two great companions, Evan Ponto and Henry Weigand. I was expecting a weekend full of blissful serenity, soaking up the sun and salt of the beach. I can confirm that my sponge-like hair and skin did in fact soak up a marketable amount of salt and transform my skin to a bright pink that is hot to the touch. A successful achievement in itself, but overall it still lacked the care-free attitude of a get-away tropical vacation I had in mind for several reasons. It is clear that escaping reality is not as feasible as one may think—even in Goa. Friday morning began with an hour long walk to Baga Beach—a bustling strip of sand, restaurants, and lounge chairs, stuffed with foreigners and locals alike. The eagerness for a beach destination was apparent in that we all managed to smash onto 4 chairs and encircle the area surrounding them as our hang out spot. However, we were all constantly reminded that registration was that same evening at 7:30pm IST— the normal 6am PT for Seattle registration. The anxiety I experience with registration every quarter has not faltered, and this one also held true to this theme. In the sunny afternoon heat, time seemed to have slipped away and a few of us ended up walking home from the beach instead of hitching a ride in a taxi—a cheaper choice but with the time management in mind so we could meet our registration deadline. Adding fuel to the fire, at our Airbnb we had what you would call a shoddy WiFi hotspot providing just 2 gigs per day—and with 11 of the 13 of us registering that night, the odds of having reliable service for those 2 minutes was low. Miraculously, we were all able to register for our classes. Having to think about spring quarter at UW may not have been something we wanted to do, but it was inevitable and expected. Getting updates and news from Seattle friends and family has also been somewhat somewhat strange. I have received many messages and photos of the unusual weather from my friends and family back home. It’s been years since it snowed like this in Seattle and although I enjoy the heat and sun of India because of how grey and drizzly Seattle usually is, I do feel like I’m missing out on something special and important to those back home. Not all messages we receive from our loved ones are as lighthearted though. My dear friend and bathroom buddy Casey was alerted late Saturday night that her childhood friend and family member was to be put down. Dino, who was Casey’s 15-year old border collie-golden retriever mix, had been one of many pets Casey and her family have loved over the years. Growing up along side their cat, Tigger—who they got on the same day as Dino— his importance within the family was equally split between animals and humans. It is always hard to hear news you knew was coming, but couldn’t quite tell when it would arrive. I remember when my first dog died: her name was Cookie, an Australian Shepard and good little furry mama, passing at the age of 14, about two and a half years ago. I was at work when I got a text from my dad that he had put her down just minutes before. I knew he wouldn’t be able to talk to me on the phone without crying, as she was our well-loved smart girl who was a better vacuum cleaner for food spills than the machine itself, so I had to just take a minute to myself and cry alone. As Casey put it, it’s hard to feel the same about another persons pet, but that’s why we relate them to our own. Only minutes after Casey had come into our room to tell us the news, I received a text from my dad: “Dixie has little to no idea where she is at-caught her standing in the middle of the street last week”. Dixie is another good girl of mine at home. She is a blue heeler/black lab mix, about to turn 15, is blind and deaf, and hardly eats anymore. We often refer to her as the “bone bag” because she has gotten so skinny in the last few months. All I reply to his text is a request to keep her alive until I get back home. The surprise-expected death of a loved one is so hard, especially when life goes on and takes you places, and you’re not sure when the true last time you would see them is.

I feel for Casey and her family and all those who have lost amazing pets, friends or family. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t necessarily get better. I’m just glad she told me. And now our doggies Cookie and Dino (and Dixie soon) can meet and play in doggy heaven.

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