Yesterday at work I broke my $1000 pen.
Two years ago when Jasmine was sick, we made multiple visits to the emergency vet. These usually involved an overnight stay and a scary bill. Each time I signed, I kept the pen. It was my own small rebellion against her illness.
Over time I accumulated a collection of cheap plastic pens in an assortment of colors with the vet clinic’s phone number on them. They came to be known around the house as my $1000 pens.
Most have disappeared into the depths of desk drawers, but the light blue one became special. It complemented my uniform nicely, and it became my spare pen for work. It has spent most of the past year in my shirt pocket or my day bag. Yesterday I broke it.
My instinctive reaction was sadness. This was Jazzy’s pen.
I quickly realized I was looking at things the wrong way. These pens are a symbol of the darkest time in her too-short life. Keeping them around doesn’t preserve her memory. It preserves the memory of her tragic illness and death. While I want to remember and cherish her, these are not the memories I need.
I disassembled the pen tonight. I salvaged the spring to use as a strain reliever on my phone charging cord. She always was good at relieving my stress. As I find the others, I will do the same with them. I may have spent the cost of a good used car acquiring them, but it is time to let them go.