I was going to finish and publish the post about my improved workflow methodology with Things, but something more pressing (and infinitely more important) came up: Stella the rat died.

Stella belonged to Logan, and her death obviously affected him; however, it was Kaia who was most deeply affected. When I arrived at the vet’s in Pet Smart, both my kids were crying, yet Logan recovered quickly after a hug. Kaia did not. She would be okay for a moment, then break down and look at me through tears as she recalled another interaction with Stella. The pain of the loss was staying with her. The moment that almost made me cry was when she looked up at me with red-rimmed eyes and said, “It hasn’t been a very good Valentine’s Day so far, dad.”

This is the first time she has lost a being that she had truly formed a bond with. She had connected with Stella in a completely open and unreserved way, and she had nurtured and interacted with her on a daily basis. She is a natural and enthusiastic animal lover. Now I wonder if she’ll moderate her emotions next time, if loss will affect her ability to be completely open with the next being she connects with. Some people would be affected in that way, would learn to avoid that pain by withholding the love.

Not Kaia. She has a personality that will bounce back and re-engage with the same vigor as before. Loss will make her sad, but it won’t make her timid. Evidence of that is in the homemade Valentine’s Day card I hold in my hand. There are no less than a dozen penciled-in hearts on it.

Times like these put all my posts about efficiency and such into perspective. They seem important to me, and I suppose they are in a certain sense, but not in the same sense, or with the nearly the same depth, as experiences such as this. They make salient the question: what do I want to do with the time I have?


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