Friday, October 08, 2004

Week Six (theme)

The room was growing colder by the minute, but she didn't want to get up and leave her side. Stretching across the floor she grabbed a worn afgan from the seat of a chair. She knew it was only a matter of time now before it was over. The dog's breathing was becoming raspy and short, as if each breath shook her insides and each exhale hoped to be the last. It was earily quiet; the place couldn't have felt more lonely at that moment. This dog had been her one last connection to a husband who had been gone for three years now; what was it going to be like without that last link? She rested her hand on the old black lab's head and spoke softly, "It ain't gonna be the same around here with out ya Min... don't know what I'll do... I'm so sorry for the times I hollared at ya and told ya to go lay down... wish we had gone for more walks... I know you and Dad loved walkin down by the river... you loved the water... I'll find ya a nice restin' spot, I promise..." Silence settled in around them; the only sound was that of the wall clock counting off the seconds of life as they passed, tick, tick, ...tick. Old Min's breathing had slowed to a shallow, steady pace. For a hopeful moment she thought perhaps the dog would pull through and everything around her would remain as it had been. That things could continue in some form of the life she had accepted as normal; that was her fleeting wish. There was so much she couldn't control, couldn't line up neatly like the canisters on the counter that stayed the way they were supposed to. Why was it that just when you started to feel like you were getting it back together, that things were back on track and organized again; that life refuses to cooperate? Min let out a low whine. "So sorry old girl, wish there was something I could do." Quietly she began to humm Dad's favorite hymn, The Old Rugged Cross. The clock announced the change of the hour... dong, dong, dong, dong... 4 o'clock in the morning... the sun would be coming up soon she thought, as she lifted her eyes to the window. She could draw the view outside that window from memory; the gentle slope that leads to the water, every tree in its spot, the way the river curves just so beyond the huge oak. Even though the sun would soon signal the beginning of a new day, it wasn't a day to look forward to. Inevitably there would be the task of laying old Min to rest... perhaps down by that huge oak. Patting Min's ears, she tried to straighten out her leg - it had long ago fallen asleep pinned under the big black dog's head. "Awh Min, ya still manage to get the best of me... couldn't you've at least chosen to lay in front of the fireplace tonight instead of on this hard, cold floor?" she chuckled at the thought of Min finding a way to get at her like in her mischievous puppy days. The clock continued to tick; the sun peeked through the window, brightening the dark panelled walls. Min's body was beginning to shake, even though rays of warmth were now reaching for it. The coffee pot gave its recognizable click and started its days work; without taking her eyes off Min she knew it was 5:30. Tick, tick, ...tick. A new day was dawning, but it would dawn without Min; her long black body shuddered as she drew her last breath and let it out with a sigh. Visions of Min running to meet her master played in her mind as she planted a kiss on the old dog's head; after all, only God knows. Slowly she slid the blanket from her shoulders and over her faithful companions still body. Begrudgingly one leg cooperated to get her up off the floor; the other would take awhile to thaw. Wincing at the tingling that was making its way up her leg, she shuffled over to the counter for support. The cold water on her face mingled with salty tears and washed away the tell-tale signs of sleeplessness. Pulling a tattered towel from the drawer, she looked out the window. There stood the huge oak; strong and reliable. It would make a fitting resting spot for a strong and reliable companion.


Blogger Nikki said...

This was an incredible entry. It brought tears to my eyes as I read it.

October 13, 2004 at 11:43 AM  

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