2020 has been a tough year for so many people. Saying goodbye to jobs, social gatherings, shared meals, friends, family members, travel, toilet paper, and pants has affected all of us in varying degrees. Forfeiting some of those things is hard to do on a good day. It’s even more debilitating during a bad year. Normally, I am not one to reduce things down to ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ (I tend to reduce them down to ‘interesting’ or ‘not interesting’), but these are not normal times. Within the span of four months, I had to say goodbye to both of my beloved Siberian huskies, Cowboy and Nugget, which explains why it’s so quiet here on the western front. I no longer hear their excited howls as I walk back to the house after working in my studio. I dread walking past their empty pen, but I still blow kisses in their direction as I pass. I feel gutted. Deflated. Hollow. Fragile. Angry. Sad. Grateful. It’s complicated. I will not bore you with examples of how we shared a special and unique bond, only to say that I never felt that traditional motherhood was for me, though when people would ask if I had kids I would answer, “Yes!” And when people would ask if Cowboy and Nugget were adopted I would answer, “No, they are my biological children.” These two were an integral part of our family. They helped me be a better human. So much of my time, energy, thoughts, and money revolved around their well-being and happiness. I feel a bit lost. Of all the challenging plot twists of 2020, I was not ready to say goodbye to these beautiful boys.