A Broken Heart Can Repair Another

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Old man devastated after death of wife. bonds with rescue dog and finds reason to live again.

Submitted: September 04, 2016

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Submitted: September 04, 2016

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Sixteenth of June 1953. The happiest day of my life. I married the girl of my dreams. With rich dark hair cascading down her back and her delicate hands gently grasping a perfectly arranged bouquet, Eleanor was without a doubt the most stunningly beautiful girl I had ever set eyes on.

 

***

 

By the time you get to my age you’re used to going to funerals. As devastating as they are, they do basically become part of the weekly regime. However, no amount of tragic losses could prepare me for the pain and destruction that the passing of my dearest Eleanor left me with. Eleanor and I hadn’t spent a day apart since we were in high school, where El was the most gorgeous, smart, amazing girl that all the boys loved and all the girls were jealous of. Her whole life she had the kindest heart of anyone I have ever known. I don’t know how to live in a world without her and the only thing holding me together is the idea that even though the world will never be the same again, heaven has gained an angel and one day we will be together once more.

 

As autumn passes and winter creeps in, I find myself staring out the window; watching the world go by, searching for anything to look towards. Not too long until Christmas, but without Eleanor it might as well not come. Even though El and I never had children, we still celebrated the season with carol singing until out throats were numb, the most extravagant roast dinner that we were still eating in February and a six foot tree that was just short enough for El to put the angel on top.

 

With ‘Silent Night’ softly echoing surrounding the room and a blanket tightly wrapped around my legs, I sit down to my milky coffee and this morning’s Press and Journal. As I flick through the thin sheets, a certain article pops out at me; a devastating image of an extremely malnourished chocolate Labrador - so forlorn, with a mournful face and pronounced ribs. “Dog deserted after owner’s fatality.” As I read on, it becomes apparent that this poor mutt was left alone for weeks when her owner unexpectedly perished. A tear slowly trickles down my cheek. It is uncanny how alike our lives are right now, and I feel suddenly bonded to this ill-fated girl.

By Saturday, I can’t stop staring at my reflection in the article, the dog mirroring myself as if it was me pathetic and limp staring up with wide lonesome eyes. Eventually I decide to phone Dog Rescue and meet my K9 equivalent, face to face. With the image of the sorrowful pooch imprinted in my mind, I dial the number at the bottom of the page. “Good afternoon, this is Sue from Dog Rescue - how can I help you?” The overly bubbly voice says.

 

On my arrival at the centre I am met by the same eager receptionist from my phone call. She directs me to the visitor’s room where I anxiously wait to meet Georgia, as the staff named her. As soon as the door opens, my stomach tightens. I am so eager to see her but I fear she will be afraid of seeing me. A bearded man emerges from behind the door, but I’m not paying any attention to him. At his feet stand the most beautiful dog; with her head bowed she whimpers shyly. Cautiously I slide off my seat to meet her level on the floor. The second Georgia strenuously lifts her head to look at me with her deep emerald sad eyes; I know this pitiful pooch is just as lost in this alien world as I am. Tentatively, Georgia makes her way towards me, and when she is only a few feet away I carefully offer her my hand. After sniffing my fingers for a long while, she stoops her head as if to tell me I can stroke her. The moment my skin brushes hers, shivers rush trough me and for the first time since her death I am not thinking of El. After sitting with her for an hour or so, I can feel Georgia and I have connected; she is already more confident around me and I know I cannot bear to leave her here. I sign the papers and take her home.

 

It is Christmas Eve, and I feel like I have a reason to live again. Georgia and I are inseparable. She is back to full health and bounds about the house. She’s obviously feeling much happier, and so am I. Our broken hearts perfectly intertwine, filling the emptiness in each other’s lives. I take Georgia down the promenade, where El and I would walk every Sunday after church. A lump forms in my throat as we pass the weathered wooden bench that Eleanor and I would sit on, looking out at the boats on the horizon. I have finally realised Christmas doesn’t have to be the same, to still be enjoyable. With the house alive with decorations, I finally place our angel proudly on the top of the tree, taking a step back to examine my work. I can only hope that just like this angel, El is looking down on us too.

 

Despite the permanent scare El has left me with, I know that the wound of my heartache shall heal in time and Eleanor’s spirit will always be there, guiding Georgia and I towards a brighter future.

 


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