Old Dogs, Children, and Watermelon Wine

This song by Tom T Hall lies at the heart of the reason why I haven’t written a post in a while… anger. While this is not a song about anger, all the title characters share a common trait that I am angry with… aging.

It’s funny that I have come to accept the pain associated with my own aging. Even though I am still relatively young, less than a week shy of 49, the abuse I’ve put my body through over the years is paying me back in chronic pain. But that pain is nothing compared to the anger I feel at the toll aging extracts on my loved ones, both canine and human.

Lashing out is a funny and shameful thing. I think for most of us, it’s a natural reaction to things we don’t want to face. It’s also a great way to build up a mind clogging late night snack of guilt.

As I listen to my mom repeat the same things over and over, struggling to come up with the right words, I get angry and frustrated at her. I get angry and frustrated with my dog Gavin as I watch him snap and growl at the other dogs because he is sore and doesn’t want to be disturbed.

To be sure, I reserve a good deal of anger and frustration for myself; knowing my inability to control my frustration only adds to the anxiety and pain of those I love. Only on rare occasions, like the writing of this blog post do I allow myself some respite for being human.

It’s funny to equate anger with love, but there you have it. I wish I could better show my love by always hiding my frustration, but I know that I will slip sometimes and let my frustration show.

If you are like me, I have few words to comfort you other than the fact that you are not alone. There are others like you and me out there who sometimes show love through frustration and anger. After all we’re human.

“That night I dreamed in peaceful sleep of shady summertime, of old dogs and children, and watermelon wine” Tom T Hall

Enjoy your loved ones while you can, whoever, and whatever they are.


6 thoughts on “Old Dogs, Children, and Watermelon Wine

  1. Seems like whenever I finally gain the grace to accept the latest batch of wrinkles or aches the next batch arrives. I remain in denial about the true age of my dogs once they pass 8 yrs.

    But remember when it gets really bad you can always meet up with me during a chat somewhere and we’ll heckle the moderators.

  2. As I am staring down the barrel of an approaching birthday, this is a great reminder. On the other hand, getting older is a lot better than the alternative … getting dead. =)

  3. It is hard to watch the people/dogs we love age, and frustration is a natural human response. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy them while we can 🙂

  4. Very well put, Kevin. And a timely reminder to really Be Here as much as possible. Hang in there, and remember, anger’s a much cleaner emotion than guilt. Be Here with the anger, too. I don’t mean dwell on it, but acknowledge that it’s there, that it’s real, that it’s legitimate and nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty about. It’s more likely to wander off once you’ve acknowledged it.

    Thus endeth today’s session with my therapist… 😉

  5. Just discovered all these wonderful articles (90 min late for bed. Thanks.)
    This post particularly got me as this year I hit F.I.F.T.Y and my girl, Serena is hitting 4, But why is she already getting greys?? She’s my first dog and I don’t know how I ever got this old without a true companion before. I simply can’t stand the thought of losing her one day.
    But for right now that day is , hopefully, a very long way away and she is here and I’m going to go play and cuddle with her. And as for me, I’m younger than I’ll be tomorrow…
    Thanks for all these great entries.

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