Tessie’s Last Day

I’m sitting on the naughahide couch at Deb’s.
The sun is shining brightly through the large windows and it’s warm, almost too warm inside. Outside, the first snow has left its dusty mark on what was a green, casually manicured lawn. I can hear the water dripping off the eaves as if after a light rain. It feels like summer, it looks like winter, and it sounds like spring.
But in here, it’s like the twilight of a dark day at the end of the Autumn. It’s the last hours of Tessie’s life. The house smells damp with intermingled essences of the oils and potions Deb has been using to sooth the old airdale. Deb is on the floor, laying on a stained sheet, reading Rumi to the dog, who lays quietly in her arms. Tessie’s mouth is swollen and slighly bloody. Nick, Tessie’s twin, lays quietly beside them. It’s almost time.

A sitter for Nick is coming soon and we’ll take Tessie to the edge of the Rainbow Bridge, where we’ll set her soul free. Her painful body is old and wretched and riddled with cancer. I doubt that Tessie will miss it for long. Her spirit, though, strengthened and infused with Deb’s loving tenderness, is ready to soar.

I, too, want to die looking into the eyes of my greatest teacher. I want to be stroked, read to, hugged, and annointed with peaceful oils. I’ll cup my remaining life in my hands and then, when the moment comes, let it sift through my fingers and be carried away by the wind. Nothing is lost, nothing is gone, form has just shifted a bit into thought.

Copyright 2004 (c) Mark C Robinson