She Was Named After The Queen of Scots

Last night, I had a heart-wrenching nightmare that my dog, Mary, had died. If I ever woke up in a cold sweat, it would have been then. I vividly remember my eyes flaring open while my chest constricted from a mixture of stress and fear. When the throbbing of my heart began to recede, I could hear my dog�s congested snoring to the right of me. Unsure of reality, I gingerly moved my hand towards the floor and felt for her warm white fluff. My fingertips touched her ear and I then rubbed her head, causing her to start from her slumber.

Maybe I have no faith in this world, but I always imagine that were anyone to be in my place they’d be relieved when my dog dies. She’s old (albeit healthy), and has had a good life. But most of all, it’s not easy taking care of a dog while struggling with school-related financial troubles. I have lost count of the times someone has told me to get rid of my dog because she’s a financial burden. Their advice may be practical, but do they understand what Mary means to me?

Mary has been my companion since I was ten years old. She has stood by me for over half of my lifetime and is the only true friend I had before college. None of my friends, not even Tyler, have been there for my most pleasant childhood memories. Mary was by my side during the lazy summer days I spent with my nose shoved in a book, swinging under grape vines. She’s the only one who knows the delightful taste of the blue grapes I would strain to reach, and how they popped in one’s mouth with a burst of flavor that I have not found elsewhere. Only Mary was there for me throughout my three years of High School- the same three years that saw my mother’s beautiful body turned into a crippled and hunched shell of pain. And most important of all, Mary was the only one who stayed by my mother’s side during the long hours I worked throughout High School and after I had moved to the dorms for college. Not even my father can claim that he spent as much time taking care of my mother as my dog did. She may not have been able to cook fish sticks, but the extent of Mary’s selfishness was to sit next to my mother in order to receive attention. That simple act of constantly being by my mother�s side, comforted her during the peak of her pain.

I have vowed to return my dog’s loyalty with a loyalty of my own. I will take care of her and attempt to provide the best life possible while concentrating on the joyful moments we share with one another. Money is a small price to pay for the joy that Mary brings me on a day to day basis. Most people cannot understand this, but that’s okay. All that matters is that I understand.

So why all of the depressing posts? The period of September and October is a time of reflection for me. It’s the time that my mother’s health took a major turn for the worst three years ago, followed by a choice or two that I regret. What I write here helps me reflect upon my past and my present. It also helps me continue my healing and self-improvement. It’s a somber time of reflection for me, a time that trumpets the coming winter months which often dampen my spirits. But Spring always follows, and with it all of my favorite flowers and the ability to play in the soil for yet another year.