Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Life of Importance

He sat on the deck awaiting our arrival. There was a calmness to his presence that had come with advancing age. The frenetic energy was now but a memory. We had visited with him sporadically over the past 4 years. It was more than time to pay our respects.

Alex hadn't seen him in over 3 years. The demands of life and the distance to travel had made it impossible to reconnect until now. When she walked up and hugged him, she cried.

He was now deaf, as well as blind. When he first came into our life, well over a decade ago, he dazzled us all. We had expected him to be full of rage and fear. After having been beaten blind, and had the remains of his eyes surgically removed to prevent infection, he should have been consumed by suspicion and mistrust. He was not.

Rather, he loved without qualification. He navigated his environment without any hint of disability. He was more than normal. He was astounding.

Through the years, being with him every day, we did not consider him to be different. He didn't demand any additional attention. He only wanted what all of us do, to be accepted and embraced.

When we had to part company that day over 4 years ago, it broke our hearts. When our family drove away, not quite sure if or when we would ever see him again, we hoped he understood what he meant to all of us.

We spent a few hours in his company today. I couldn't tell if he even remembered who we were. I know he has been surrounded by love from the moment he left our presence. We are grateful beyond words. But there is always a sadness when we leave him, never quite certain if this is our last goodbye. I hope he has considered his life a happy one and I hope he has many more days of pleasure to come.

As I bent down to plant a kiss on his nose when I was heading out the door, I am sure I saw his tail wag. Maybe he remembers me after all.

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