The Call… a short story

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I clamored for the right words to say as I stood and watched my friend cry over the death of her long-time, sweet little dog.  While I no longer have animals in the home I know how devastating it is to lose a family member like this.  My mind raced for anything to say, but in the end, I believe just being there for support was the best thing for her.

The sobs continued for what seemed like hours when it was more along the lines of 20-30 minutes.  When she finally came up for air, wiping the tears from her cheeks, she smiled and thanked me for being there.  She reminisced about when her furry little family pet was just a puppy, and how that bugger loved the water.  She laughed at that and clarified that her precious dog loved the water as long as that water didn’t involve soap and scrubbing.  It was good to hear her laugh and then go on and on with more of those fond recollections.

We sat on the sofa and drank a glass or three of wine while she continued her soliloquy.  You see, her husband had passed a few years earlier, and I was a friend from church who visited regularly.  It is a difficult job at times, but it is also a most rewarding endeavor.  A couple times a week I would visit, and on other days I would simply ring her up and chat.  Most of our conversations revolved around her lost spouse and the kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and a few great-great grandkids.  Pictures around the room supported that love of family.

I finally left her to her own company and went home.  I felt a bit drained, and a bit light-headed from the wine, but it was so worth it.  Nothing is better than good company in the early afternoon with a few libations to boot.  I do love that sweet lady, and I know how much she loves me.

My heart sunk when the phone rang later that evening.  Even before I picked up the receiver, I dreaded the news I would hear.  It was the pastor.  He had received a call from my friend’s daughter.  She had stopped by after work to visit and have dinner with her mom as she usually did on Wednesday’s.  She informed the pastor that when she arrived and went into the living room she found her mother sitting on the sofa with a photo album on her lap and what she could only describe as a peaceful expression on her face.  The daughter is a nurse and knew right away that her mom was gone.

My heart is broken, and I have cried for a while now.  I sure am going to miss my sweet friend.  God’s speed until we meet again.

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