A Letter to a Friend

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
just missing a friend

Submitted: August 16, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 16, 2011

A A A

A A A


I think of you mostly when I am vacuuming. Is that strange? I move the couch and notice the lack of auburn fur tumbleweeds and sigh. I find a partly chewed red plastic toy that has found a home under our bedroom dresser and my mouth turns down as I toss it into the garbage can. I'm carried back to those tough days before your death.

In my mind's eye I see myself trying so very hard to gently prop up your one hundred pound, three-legged body so you can get outside to take a leak; the hosta plant beside the front door is stillcrooked and sadfrom the weight of your fall. Your limbs are swollen and I can see the pain in every attempted step.

I call the vet, your kind reaper, to tell him, “I think it's time,” and he agrees to come to our home the next morning. Jim and Odette come to visit and lay with you and talk softly. I cannot hear the words, onlymurmured whispering and choked-up sounds. No one will stay with me though. It is only you and I that morning. The kids have been taken to happier places and I am laying with you, my head on a pillow next to yours. I am looking into your giant brown eyes, those lovely, pain-filled eyes, and I tell you how much I love you. I think you know what all of this means- the goodbyes and the tears.

The knock on the door. The man and his assistant. The white case that holds medicines and syringes. He speaks about what is going to happen... peaceful... something.... something... I don't quite listen.

He's shaving a small part of your only front leg for the pinch of the needle and you know. You won't look at me. I want your eyes to meet my eyes, but your gaze remains steady on the floor. You look so sad and I break. I want to get you on the bed so you can be more comfortable, but it would be too painful to get you there.

The sharpness of the pinch. You turn to him, teeth showing, weak growl. Your resistance quickly ceases and you look up at the cross on the wall. I know you are looking at the cross. You lay your head down and my head follows. I just want you to look at me. Your eyes roll in slow motion and close. They close so very slowly. I think I am in some wormhole where time is not what I know it to be. I am talking to you so softly. I hope you can hear me. I can't speak louder. Whatever is holding back the swell of saltiness behind my eyes will break if I speak louder. Then I know you are not here.

I go outside for a smoke. Man, I quit smoking so many years ago and I'm standing in the backyard- the placewhere you would chase away deer and other critters for your family- smoking away like it is my job. I have a vision. You are running so fast. You have four legs, but I don't think you even need them; the swifness of your movements makes it seem as though you are flying.Your fur looks like spun copper, rolling in shiney waves under the sunlight.You are in this lovely field with tall grass so green it overpowers my senses. There are other dogs there too and they look like you, but I spot you right away and without hesitation. I think they are happy to have you home and welcome you so sweetly.

The smoke cloud lifts and I am in our backyard again missing you, but hoping to see you again.

You are my friend and I miss you.


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