one thousand words {day twenty-three}

We're doing something different today.  Today marks six years since my life changed.  Today marks six years since we received the phone call from my father- "It was a rough night."  This song was my go-to after.  It was my sad song.  I'd listen to it over and over and try and remember what it felt like to be home.  I still miss it all, the house, the smells, the things, and of course, my little dog Sadie.  She'd be ten this year.  I wish I had pictures to show you, but those are all gone.  This is the best I can do, this is the best I have.

For you, dear writer, dear friend, you can write as inspired by this song, or you can choose your own.  Your sad time song.

I wasn't sure where my human went.  I was so used to waiting until the sun was leaning into the horizon before she'd come home in the shiny metal box and call me, not by the name she had given me, but the name we had both chosen. Beautiful.  But she could call me anything, and I'd come.  Unless of course it was bedtime and I wasn't done playing, then I'd let her chase me until her face looked like a stone and her calls were less sweet.  That's when I knew it was time to sit at her feet, and look up at her.  She's the forgiving type.

I remember the first time she came home after being gone.  I knew it the moment I heard the front door click, I could smell her, hear the sound of her footsteps against the floor.  She held me and cried, though I don't know why.  It was a happy moment, one of the happiest in my life since she picked me up from the soft bed of my birth and took me home.  She was there for a three sleeps, my human, before she was gone again.  We'd play that game.  I'd count the sleeps until she was home and as constant as the setting sun she'd be home.  And then I'd curl up between her knees or with my head against her neck and be happy.  Happiness is my human home with me.

She took me to the water sometimes.  All the smells were new and the roll of the waves lulled me into naps. She stroked my nose and fed me things I wasn't allowed to have at home.  And later when I fell into the blue water that didn't smell alive she rescued me from the steps I couldn't climb up. She was there, she was always there.

It was the most sleeps I had without her there, that I know.  The smaller human I slept with while waiting for mine to come home wasn't there either.  I played with the other dogs, but I waited and watched for her to come home.  The air was hot and the wind strong enough to blow me from my steps.  The oldest Human was there and he was shouting and I was scared.  And then the winds changed and the heat moved toward us.  My human sometimes kept a fire in a box for warmth in the winter but it wasn't like this.  This was a wall, a creature of its own devouring and destroying everything in it's path.  The rabbits and coyotes ran together.  I remember panic.  I remember fear.  I remember seeing the door of my house cracked open just enough for me to fit in with the others just behind me.  They hid beneath the wood boxes.  I ran to where the food was.  I cried for my human the way she cried for me sometimes.  I wished for her.  As the blackness filled my lungs I tried to remember the way it felt when she stroked my nose and told me it was okay.

And then there was a man.  I had never seen him before, but I knew him.  I knew him like I knew my name and that I loved my human.  And he held me, he whispered the things I knew my human would whisper as it grew impossible to breathe.  He told me I was going home, and that I could wait for my human and watch her as she cried for me too and as she found a mate and made little humans that I would have loved to know.  He told me that it was okay, that it was all okay. 

And I know she thinks of me, my human.  I know that when it's time for sleeps she wishes I was there to keep her warm.  I know that when she's sad she remembers me curled up in her lap to make it better like the time she hid in our secret place and I kissed her tears away because that's what you do when you love someone, you comfort them, you make it better.  I hope she knows that I'm waiting for her, that the man who held me is waiting for me too.  He's like the sun, always there even when she doesn't know.  I hope she remembers me, because I'll never forget her.  

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