WHAT HAPPENED TO SPUNKY?
by: Linda Law
It has been a rough few weeks, and after surviving..barely..the HlNl virus...my normal brilliant, enthusiastic self is still attempting to remember who I was before this attack on my health. No energy, hard to breathe, exhausted, can't hear, cry at the look of anything sad, and wondering..."when will I be normal again?" Normal...what is normal? Well, let me share a few things with you...
The flu has not kept me from showing up for work...I am that dedicated...honest. That is not normal I know, but...for me...that's close to normal. The beginning of each month is torture at my place...everyone has to pay their rent, hundreds of them paying...some forgetting how much they owe, or if they paid...we are all senior citizens...so those small moments of senility are normal...at least for most of us. Managing to get my rents posted, balanced, deposited, and reports run and printed on time...I gasped relief! One more hurdle....a bookkeeping meeting to go over all the paperwork, the balancing, etc. No worries, I knew I had done a good job, considering I did it in spite of being almost alive...or worse.
The bookkeeper is a lovely lady, one whom I truly enjoy meeting with each month, in spite of the work that awaits both of us. It was at one of these meetings a few months ago that I met her husband of many years, Sonny. She explained that he had been ill for quite some time, and had been told he didn't have long to live, but he had surprised everyone....he was doing so much better, and she knew they had experienced a miracle. I agreed.
Sonny was a slight man; yet his smile was beautiful, and he radiated joy throughout the room as we chatted for a few minutes. It was at the company Christmas party that I saw him once again. He looked very nice, and didn't look ill or weak, and it was obvious that he loves his wife, and vice-versa. A handsome couple they definitely made.
I arrived for my meeting on Thursday morning, and the sweet bookkeeper invited me into the office. She looked tired and sad, which was quite unusual. When I inquired about how she was, she dabbed her eyes with a tissue, and said something about grieving beyond belief....and that she didn't know how she had gotten through the past week or so. I was stunned. Then she added, "I miss him all the time, but especially when I reach over the bed, and he's not there...his pillow is empty!" You can't imagine how I felt....I wasn't close to Sonny...but I really love this lady...and I know grief very well, so I looked into her sad eyes, and said, "Oh my...why didn't you call or let me know? Is there anything I can do for you? I am soooo sorry....how awful you must feel.." I went on and on....tears springing to my eyes, and sorrow for my friend, that was genuine indeed.
She said, "it just happened so fast....I wasn't expecting it." She also added, "He was loved by so many......we had a regular column in the newspaper and we wrote tales of some of his experiences. We visited nursing homes, and other places where the elderly, including old friends of ours were now living due to age and/or poor health. He gave them such joy. They are all sad about his loss."
I sat there watching her, dabbing at her tears, and feeling the pain as she expressed the grief and sorrow of her loss. In a few minutes, I said, "I didn't know Sonny very long, but he seemed like a very special person, and I know how very happy you both were.... I wish I could help you."
"Oh no....not Sonny.....it's Spunky who died!" I looked at her and said, "Who is Spunky?" She said...."Oh Linda...I guess I never told you about my little puppy...we never knew what breed he was...he was just this tiny little ball of fur....like a living teddy bear....all fluffy and happy and he brought such joy. He was eight years old, and I miss him so much." Please forgive me....but I began to laugh....not loud mind you...but...sort of like a smile that grew into a huge grin...then a little giggle.... followed by..."I'm sorry... I don't mean to smile...but...I thought Sonny had died...and well, I was shocked...and felt so much pain for you....and I know that losing this precious little puppy is a terrible loss to you...well, I just am relieved it was Spunky..and not Sonny." I felt as if I were sticking one foot inside my mouth, and then trying to shove the other one in too...but my throat wouldn't swallow either of those huge big awkward feet!
She was sweet about it, and she smiled...but...I hope I didn't hurt her with my stupid assumption...as wrong as it could be....and then with my attempt to dig myself out of the embarrassment....although I was happy and couldn't hold it in....I didn't know Spunky... she loved him...so I know her pain and sorrow at the loss....but...cheez....I left there so glad that her precious Sonny was still able to give her comfort, and maybe she'll get that comfort when she touches Sonny as she reaches for Spunky....
You know what they say when one assumes......you got it....