Everybody had remarked on how well June had handled caring for both her mother and brother through their terminal illnesses. No matter how bad things got, she always found the strength to keep going.
After every grueling chemo session or surgery, Missy would be waiting at the door for June, tail wagging. The love they shared carried June through both ordeals and the crushing grief after Mom and Bill had died.
The day the vet told June Missy had terminal cancer, something broke inside her. June held her dog as the vet freed her from pain. June’s pain had just begun.
Her friends urged her to get another dog. None of them understood that Missy wasn’t a broken mug she could replace.
One year passed, then another. June’s grief stayed with her. She resolved not to have another dog.
On a day nearly three years after Missy’s death, June stopped to pick up food for the family cat. As she entered the store, she saw a corral of puppies. She started to walk by, but one of them scrambled over the enclosure, running to her.
June knelt to pick the puppy up. He snuggled against her chest and promptly fell asleep. As June held him, not wanting to disturb his nap, something started to thaw in her chest. Her resolve wavered, then crumbled. Still holding the pup, she took her first step toward the adoption table and toward healing.
Thank you to Justin Deming for the prompt to write a story about something breaking or being put back together in fewer than 250 words. This story is semi-autobiographical. My dog, Worf, did die after the loss of some family members, but Jace, the pup who insisted I pick him up in the pet store, was with me through my mother’s and brother’s illnesses. The names used in the story are fictional.
I took the title for this story from Ecclesiastes. The Byrds created a song from this bible passage, called Turn! Turn! Turn!
Here’s a link to it on YouTube.
Here’s a link to Justin’s newsletter, Micro 2 Go. He sends out prompts every Wednesday.
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