“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ― Marcel Proust
Peter had travelled to Mumbai on business a few times. We often spoke of returning there together. My trip to India today is not without him. In the nearly three years and nine months since Peter passed, I have come to realize that he is with me wherever I go. And how amazing it is that I not only see the world through my eyes, I also see it through his.
I’m aboard Air India Flight 102, bound for New Delhi. Arriving twenty minutes after my flight will be Peter’s parents, brother and sister-in-law; my loyal travel companions. Omi had always wanted to travel here with Peter as well. I think she knows that Peter’s senses will be absorbing my experiences. What you see in the photo is a last glimpse of Pakistan. Afghanistan was pretty awesome from the air,but I missed that photo op.
The trip couldn’t have been more timely. Less than two weeks ago, on the 40th anniversary of the day Peter and I met, our beloved Kerry died suddenly. She was more than a dog to me. Her soulful presence in my life, my heart, and my home was enormous. She was there for Peter during his long illness, and saved me in the lonely days that followed. The outpouring of love and support since she died has been a comforting testament to the value of the six+ years of therapy work she did. I have to believe that, even if just for a moment, she was able to give so many human souls a glimpse of what is good, what is possible. Oh how I love that girl. Boo Boo.
A week following Kerry’s death, my dear friend Caroline came over. She has recently retired as Volunteer Coordinator at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Caroline and I met because of Kerry; as Kerry and I logged more volunteer hours together there than anywhere else. After our hugs and tears, she gave me a very touching book called “The Forever Dog”, which her nephew had written; perfect for anyone who has lost a beloved pet. We decided to go out to Alice’s Tea Cup on E. 81st Street for tea and a scone. Alice’s Tea Cup is not normally on my radar, but seemed this particular morning the appropriate choice. The guy who brought us our tea looked SO familiar. After thinking about it for a moment, I realized he looked just like a wonderful young man from the court-mandated group which Kerry and I had visited in the South Bronx with A Fair Shake for Youth during the summer of 2014. He was very shy, somewhat slow to warm, yet had been so moved by Kerry that he bravely shared his feelings with the group, both peers and adults, via a PowerPoint presentation which contained the following text about Kerry.
“Animals have the sensibility to feel your emotions…and can make a huge change in your loneliness…Try It I guarantee you’re hearts will soften”
Kerry is a 7 year old German Shepherd who was trained to be a seeing eye dog but because they found a serious tumor in her eye she had to get her eye removed and had to be returned to her owner. Kerry may not have been the best eye seeing dog but she didn’t really care about not being able to see with one eye. But she has been for sure one of the only beings in this world I actually felt really attached to in my whole lifetime. I was a kid who in my past has gotten bullied and had no friends; until this day I’ve never met anyone who has had a little sympathy for me not even a little. But once I saw Kerry enter the Center I realized a dog can actually be a man’s best friend, a loyal being you can trust and talk to and they would listen to you. After I met Kerry I stopped feeling lonely & every time I don’t see her I miss her like if she was a human being.
Another server at the restaurant confirmed his identity. I called him over and told him of Kerry’s passing. With tears in his eyes he said he had kept Kerry’s picture, that when he gets to heaven he knows he will see her.
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ~Roald Dahl
I’m so looking forward to this journey, full of new sights and sounds. And I’m quite sure a bit of magic.