Heart Mending at the Lake

Sitting by water helps me feel closer to my husband David who died years ago. I will often go to the lake that was behind the last house we lived in with our children before he died. I’ll walk my dog around and around the lake remembering what it was like before he died.

If I use my imagination while I’m circling the lake, I can almost believe that he’s just away on a trip and will be home when I get back from my walk. I often walked to get my thoughts straight so that I could work on a writing project for my graduate degree. He would encourage me to take my time; he’d fix dinner on the grill.  It was always nice to come home and smell the aroma of burgers on the grill. I would usually hear the basketball bouncing as Andy was practicing his shots at our new Gorilla Goal. Our golden retriever puppy would start getting excited just like me and tug hard to get me moving faster to see them. We would bound up the driveway and find them sitting at the patio table near the grill just enjoying the sunset and talking about basketball.

Sometimes, I’ll almost have myself convinced that my family is waiting for me at the grill. Then, a child will ask me, “Can I pet your dog?” I turn to gaze at them…. and say, “Of course you can she loves the attention!” When I look down at her, I realize her face is very gray these days. Her puppy days have passed as she nears her thirteenth birthday. She was just almost nine months old when he died. I taught her how to retrieve the paper and take it to him each morning in the bed.  When he died, she had to be sent away as I couldn’t bear to have her hunt for him beside our bed in the mornings with the paper in her mouth.

It’s just my golden and me now, but she is faithful and loving. No matter how hard it gets for her to get up these days as her hip hurts, she always gets excited when she sees me grab the lease for a walk. When I stop to sit on my rock on the other side of the lake, she sniffs around the edges of the lake.  Yes, this lake is an oasis for us.  Maybe we are both looking into the glimmering waters for the reflections of those who once walked beside us.

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