Abroad & Below: Many Memorials

July 8th
We started today with a boat ride through the surrounding archipelago. There are so many island it really is difficult to keep track, especially since each is as gorgeous as the rest. Maybe I will just buy my own private island for a vacation house! Wishful thinking. Anyways, we stopped first at Vaxholm’s Castle which served as a fortress protecting the “mainland” of Stockholm. We actually had a good laugh looking at all the memorials on the walls since none of them were for men in actual combat. The deaths of these were men were all accidents. Of course it’s not really a laughing matter in itself, but it does align some reasoning as to why Sweden prefers not to enter into wars; they have enough casualties in training! Okay okay, that’s not really appropriate to say.

After lunch on the side of the lake, I went waterskiing for my first time! It was actually much easier for me than wakeboarding and it was a fun ride through the water. Of course Mikaela and their neighbors showed me up in skill but I think I was still having the most fun! Even my dad was able to go out for a bit, not bad for the old man.

And then after what seemed like a perfect afternoon, my mom called. The dog I have had since I was 5 years old had taken a turn for the worse in the last couple days. She is 17 years old and  my mom had actually stayed home to take care of her. When we left she was still running down the stairs and playing with our other dog, I never would have left if I had thought she wouldn’t be alive when I returned. But as my mom explained, dog’s life progress very quickly and luckily she had the intuition not to leave her at a kennel or with a friend. I insisted on flying home right away if the vet could just get her to hang on a little longer, but I had to come to terms with the amount of suffering that would continue to put her through. Besides, there was no promise I would even make it in time. So I spent the entire night crying.

I will be writing a separate memorial post for my baby, Hanna, in the next few days. I know the death of a dog may seem silly to some people, but if you have ever had a dog like ours, you would know exactly how I feel. She was my best friend. Since I am an only child, she went with us on all our family vacations and she has always been my confidant and source of comfort. She was a beautiful dog with a personality that removes any doubt that dogs have souls. I am heartbroken to know she won’t be there when I get home.