A bunch of years ago, I dropped my kid off at preschool. The other moms milled around, sizing each other up, trying to figure out who to socialize with. I’m shy, so I escaped. As I was heading to my car, I noticed a little girl in another car, getting her hair combed with a plastic fork, by her mom? Grandma? I wasn’t sure. But I knew this was a story I wanted to be part of. I HAD to meet this woman.

A few days later, at pickup, this woman cornered me, telling me that all her daughter talked about, was my son. One mystery solved. Then she said, ‘You’re not from California and you look smart. Let’s take a walk after drop off tomorrow.” Our friendship was born, or rather launched!

We didn’t start with small talk; it was like we knew each other from some other place and time. We also didn’t talk about kids – a welcome respite from all my other interactions at that time. Our children’s lives wove in and out with shared schools and experiences. We grew to love each others’ kids, but they were not the reason for our friendship and they did not rule it. We walked and talked and helped each other figure out the meaning of our lives at any given moment. Something only a mature person would demand of me.

When I saw Sioux’s photo online, I melted. She oozed wisdom and serenity – two things sorely lacking in my day-to-day. She reminded me of my childhood dog. She reminded me of my friend, who would accept no excuses or small talk, she said, ‘Let’s get to the heart of it, please.’

I dreamed about Sioux and schemed of ways to bring her to me. I followed every move that was made on her behalf to rescue her from a sanctuary that needed help. I inquired, I tried to make space, I wished for only one thing for Christmas. But I couldn’t get it all together and promise her a better life. Yet she wouldn’t leave my thoughts and finally everything fell into place.

Serendipity and one hour’s notice brought Sioux up from the south on New Year’s Eve. After a long car ride, she settled into my house, slept a little and had a calming affect on all of my dogs. Something magical. But her hips aren’t in great shape (mine either, baby!), so the back stairs are too much for her. She’s at my neighbor’s house now. It’s not the end of her story; she has lots left to give. I’m just glad I get to be a part of it.

Seniors. There’s just something about them that makes you get to the heart of it.