I had the worst day since I can remember, she said softly in the glow of her barn high in the Rocky Mountains. I spent it tending to my sick dog, trying to work at my marketing and real estate, wondering your feelings for me and my place in your life. Feeling so very alone with the leftovers of my former life. I’ve heard nothing from you, of any possibility of wants for me, and I am only left to live in Perhapsville and Wonderland.
And then, she continued,
MY DOG UP AND DIES!!!
Diane burst into tears again. Hard sobs, she was once again at the bottom of her life, wondering where the next step would lead.
Fred reached into her, kneeling into the hay, caressing her beloved Blue Heeler/Aussie/Border mutt, Cody.
I was afraid, he spoke softly. I was scared, to step forward. I didn’t know, how you would respond. I didn’t know…
She hugged him back, this time the passing of her beloved Cody felt an essential goodbye. He was her former’s dog more than hers, though she had rescued him and insisted upon their adoption. Something in his passing brought to reality yet another ending.
I love you Fred, she said. But I don’t know if you will ever love me.
I love you Diane, he quickened his response, deepened his embrace. I want a life with you. I want to be here for you and with you, always.
Together, they buried her beloved Cody, as Fred stepped into the dirt under the Ponderosa Pine along the creek, still in work dress shoes and striped business shirt. Measuring, as he was want to do, the circumference of the grave for Diane’s beloved dog, before they began. He was, after all, a measurement guy. And Diane would love him forever and always, for the measure of joy he gave her in all ways of life…