Thursday, September 06, 2007

a love like no other

When you grow up with someone, when you share a home with someone from the early days of childhood, you grow to love them, care for them, think of them as a member of the family. You feed them, give them water, take them for walks, pet them and sing to them and give them treats.

When she gets old, you put diapers on her, cover her with a blanket if it's cold, carry her up and down the stairs when her arthritis is acting up. You sing close in her ear so she can feel the vibrations after her hearing has gone.

She'll have good days and bad days, sometimes bad weeks. But eventually, a bad day will come that simply never ends. Instead of carrying her down the stairs, you'll lift her from the blanket and carry her all the way to the yard, then back to the blanket when she's done, and there she'll stay. You'll bring food and water to her. Only her eyes will follow you as you move about the room. And you'll know that your friend's time is near.

Then one night, after seventeen long and happy years, she'll go to sleep and never wake up.

But although the sadness is nearly overwhelming, the sense of relief for her is pronounced. And through your tears you try to remember the good days, when she was young and vital, frolicking 'round the yard and sticking her head out the car window.

This life is circular, and everything that lives must someday die, taking a little piece of our hearts with it.

There's no use in weeping,
Though we are condemned to part:
There's such a thing as keeping
A remembrance in one's heart...
-Charlotte Bronte


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