It was true. She was still here.
There was a small woman seated on the ground. Her shoulders slumped, and her head was bowed. Her hair hung limply in her face. She rocked slowly back and forth. She was a thin shadow of the robust beauty she once was. The grass where she sat was wet from the early morning dew. If she noticed, she gave no indication. She hummed softly as she rocked. She had one outstretched hand placed gently on the mound of bare earth in front of her. I tried to place the tune she hummed but couldn’t. A lullaby perhaps.
Her rocking stopped as I came closer, so did her humming.
The air was still and heavy around me and a chill ran through me as she turned. This was a face almost unrecognizable. Her once sparkling blue eyes had turned a dull grey. They were the color of today’s gloomy sky. Replacing the vibrant woman of my childhood was now something else.
Her glance was brief. Her attention was once again focused before her and the humming resumed as did her rocking.
“Mom.” I said softly. No reaction. Louder this time, I looked down at her. “Mom, what are you doing here?” Nothing.
Peggy had been Mom’s constant companion for nearly 20 years. Mom knew that the last couple of years Peggy had been declining, but that didn’t make the loss any easier. The services yesterday was a small group. Just a few people that knew how much Mom loved Peggy, were in attendance.
I knew it was bad, but I had no idea she would take it this hard. Alice, a busy-body from down the street, called me this morning when she realized that Mom didn’t come home last night.
I stooped down and gently help Mom stand. She had been on the ground for hours and she was stiff and sore. “Come on Mom, let’s get you home. You must be cold!” At first, she resisted, trying to stay, but gave in. She just looked up at me and nodded a small, defeated nod.
The walk to the car was a long, slow trek. Mom would occasionally stop in her tracks and look back the way we had come. So I would have to coax her along.
Eventually, we made it to the parking lot and I got her settled into the front seat. I pulled a blanket from the back and wrapped it around her before climbing behind the wheel and starting the car.
Before I put the car in gear, Mom looked at me and in a small voice, said: “Peggy’s really gone now, isn’t she?”
I reached over and cupped her right cheek gently in my hand. Looking into those lost, grey eyes, was heartbreaking. There were trails down both cheeks where her tears had fallen. “Yes, Mom. She’s in Heaven now.”
Mom simply nodded and looked down at her hands in her lap.
I started the car and pulled out. Just as we were exiting the Rockford Pet Cemetery, the sun broke through the clouds. It looked like it was going to be a nice day.
Copyright © 2018 Penny Wilson
It seems that I’ve heard of a lot of beloved pet’s deaths just recently. Some people brush it off, but I realize how devastating it can be. These innocent, loving creatures are such a huge blessing in our lives. This little story is fictional. I simply wanted to demonstrate how earth-shattering an experience this can be.