Monday, November 22, 2010

A Man and His Dog. . .

I was busy switching a load of laundry when curious James came running into the kitchen from the schoolroom.

"Mom, what is Mr. Cole doing??? He is outside with a huge pile of dirt! I think he is digging!!"

My heart sank. I knew exactly what he was doing.

Bruno, Mr. Cole's fourteen year old sidekick Labrador, had died the morning before. Bruno has stood stately and proper on Mr. Cole's front porch everyday since we moved here ten years ago. We all loved him. Mr. Cole walked him twice a day, everyday ~ rain or shine. You could set your clock by those walks. He would bark every evening at about 5:00 when Mr. Coles' truck neared the final turn onto our road. He would greet his owner with barks and excitement ~ anticipating his evening stroll. We'll miss Bruno.

I walked to the window and looked out, and, sure enough, there stood Mr. Cole with a shovel working alone. My heart sank. I grabbed a handful of flowers from a vase on my bar, put Joshua in charge, and headed out the door.

(The flowers were from an altar bouquet Erik bought in memory of his mother. I know she smiled as she saw me getting one more use out of them before they died. She was ultra practical like that! :-)

As I walked out of the house, I was struck by the beauty of this warm autumn day ~ the sun was shining, the trees were bright with color. And, there stood Mr. Cole, shovel in hand, working. He was burying Bruno in the shade of several large oaks. As I walked I listened to the leaves crunch under my feet and wondered exactly what to say to him. By this time, I was teary thinking about a man saying goodbye to his faithful friend.

As I approached him, he smiled at me. Mr. Cole, I think, smiles in his sleep. In the ten years I have known him, I have never seen him without his smile. It is his natural expression. We talked for a few minutes. He showed me the box he built for Bruno. My heart hurt. I handed him the flowers. He assured me he would place them on top after he finished. Then, I ran back home to my boys.

They were concerned about Mr. Cole.

"Was he crying?"

"Is he sad, Mommy?"

Then, Joshua asked for a piece of paper and a pencil. And, I knew what for, sweet son of mine. I gave it to him, and a few minutes later, he handed me this. . .

He knows how Mr. Cole "fills." I thought that was so sweet. No doubt, he was thinking of his Grandma in heaven with Jesus. So, later that day we took Mr. Cole some peanut butter brownies with chocolate buttercream icing and Joshua's note. Just our way of letting him know that we are thinking of him.

There is just something about a man and his dog.


Anonymous said...

aww sweet!

Jenna Lane said...

this post made me blubber cry... joshua's note did me in.

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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