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Time to Move Forward

Story ID:6896
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Montreal Quebec Canada
Person:A Friend
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I chatted with a dear friend the other day.
Like Ginny and I, she lost her spouse.
She mentioned her dogs behavior. This story
is written with her permission. I don't
use names out of consideration.

Time to Move Forward

She remembered that morning every day for a year. She woke, reached for her
husband, but her hand fell to the sheets. His side was empty. “Nothing to worry about.”
she thought. He sometimes fell asleep in his chair while watching television late at night.

She brushed her teeth, headed to the kitchen to fix coffee and then strolled into the
living room to wake her man. There he was, in his chair with the television still on. “Silly
boy!” She laughed, reached to wake him and paused. Something was wrong. His normal
snore was missing. Her fingers touched cold skin.

“Oh Lord! Help me, Lord!”

She ran to the phone, called 911 and raced back to her husband. She rolled him
to the floor and began CPR. Her tears dripped onto his face, as she worked to revive the
man who had been hers for many years.

The paramedics arrived. They did their best, but it was too late. She was alone.

The days of loneliness stretched out. At first it was OK. Friends and family called
or visited, but soon they went back to their own lives. It was just her and her pets – a couple dogs and three cats.

The cats seemed to sense something was wrong, but went about their daily
routines. They followed the sunny spot across the floor for warm naps, played with their
toys, and chased each other around.

The dogs were different. Evening came. They sat by the door at the time their
master normally came home. It was their time. They’d hear the garage door open and
greet him, when he walked through the door. The love he gave them! The playful
scratches behind their ears they enjoyed so much. And when the day was done, they
gathered around his chair. He read or watched television. They curled at his feet and
knew another day would come, another day to wait for their master, and get petted and

Month-after-month they sat by the door and waited. He never came. After a few
hours, they gave up and went to sit by his chair. They had that at least.

She gave them her love. Their hearts all grieved for him.

A year after she became just one, she noticed the dogs no longer waited at the
door. They moved on to other routines. It was then she realized, “The dogs don’t expect
him anymore. Why should I? It’s time to move on. It’s time to move forward.”

Michael T. Smith