Thursday, June 12, 2008

Callisto Died in My Arms This Morning

I always called him by his name, even when I knew it would raise eyebrows. I didn't care. He loved me more than I ever could. Even when I'd abandon him through forgetfulness for days at a time he'd always forgive me.

My father didn't care much for him even though I pointed out his good qualities. He was convinced that there was some kind of animosity between them. There was none. Father made wrong assumptions from time to time.

When I thought he had cancer, I worried that I wouldn't be there for him. It turned out it was benign. He didn't have health insurance so I had to pay all his bills, as much as I could. Sometimes it made helping others difficult. I'll still be paying off his medical bills for some time now.

I always knew that Callisto would leave me some day because he was so much older than I was. And yet, he was younger in some ways.

The Sabbath day and the weekend were special times for us because I could tend to his ill health and enjoy his company more than at other times.

Mornings and sunsets and quiet TV moments were among the best as he was always there waiting for time to take its customary slow course.

Sometimes he couldn't sleep at night as I slept since he spent so much time resting while I worked to pay his medical bills and all his other basic needs. Perhaps he watched me as I slept or fell asleep on the sofa. He was too polite to wake me or to complain.

If I could meet him again for the first time, I would be as patient the second time around as I was during our first 15 years together.

He only got mad with me once when I moved him from one side of the bed to the other as he was in the last stages of his many diseases. I guess I inadvertently hurt him and he had a right to be mad.

Minutes before he died I told him we'd see each other again in another land, in another time, when we'd both be born again. I don't think he understood, but I've used those words before when I've lost a loved one. It was natural for me to say it to him, as well. As long as these words live on, the life we had together will live on, as well.

Callisto was my golden retriever.

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