Tuesday = #Blogbattle
#BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge using a single word for inspiration. Hosted by the talented Rachael Ritchey. Feel free to join in, or click here to read the current week’s stories and vote for your favorites.
This week’s word: Time
Sparkles in Time
“It’s time Mr. Jensen.” The nurse quietly says as she gently rests her hand on my shoulder. I look up into the most caring eyes I have ever seen. How can she do this every day and still be so compassionate?
I pull myself up from my chair, and she says kindly, “Go down to the end of the hall, make a left and it’s the first door on the right.”
I begin my journey down the pristine hallway, brightly lit with a faint scent of disinfectant. Behind my eyes flash all kinds of memories; sparkles in time like fireworks that split the night sky. Memories of our walks along the beach, with the sun warming her face, and the cool water splashing her feet. She always loved nature, I ‘m not sure which season she liked best, crunching leaves in the fall, walking in the first snow fall, or finding the first flower bud of spring. She also loved being with her family, on holidays, during the mundane day to day tasks, or just watching movies…and oh how she loved our kids, how she would do anything to comfort them and keep them safe. My heart is heavy as I try to fathom how we will manage without her. I loved how she would greet me each day when I came home; you could just see the love and joy radiating from her body. But how can I be sad when I know she had a perfect life, filled with happiness and love, she, the perfect companion. I am then taken back to the first day I laid eyes on her. I was introduced to her on Christmas Eve, and how fitting it was that her name was Holly, and she even wore a red ribbon, this memory causes me to smile, she looked so adorable.
Just then I reach out, my hand grasps the door handle and the cold steel jolts me from my reverie, and plunges me into reality. I know once I cross this threshold, my life will be changed forever.
I open the door, and there I see my wife. Our eyes lock and its almost as if time stands still. Even though her face is blotchy, her eyes are the most vibrant green I have ever seen, probably intensified by the red puffiness that has overtaken her lids, but she has never looked more beautiful to me. The absence of tears makes me realize that she is now trying desperately to be strong, which makes me love her even more, if that is at all possible. My arms ache to hold her, so I quickly close the gap between us with two long strides. When I reach her, she collapses in my arms, all I can do is hold on tight. I strengthen her with my embrace and then I look down at where Holly is lying, her breathing a bit labored. I stroke her soft, auburn fur, and I say to her, “Hey girl, it will soon be over, we’ll miss you so much.” Together my wife and I continue to caress her fur, whispering comforting words as the vet injects the serum that will bring her peace. Her eyes flutter closed and she takes her last breath.
That same nurse is there by our side, she ushers us into a room where we can spend a few more moments to grieve. Before she leaves she places Holly’s collar in my wife’s hand. The familiar jingle of her tags, which once symbolized vibrant life, now clanged with a hollow sound of a life gone but never to be forgotten.
Holly was my wife’s Irish Setter, a gift I gave her the Christmas after she started her chemo treatments. My wife always wanted an Irish Setter, and Holly was there by her side on the good days, and the bad. I knew that love from family and the unconditional love of a pup would strengthen my wife during her battle. Holly grew to be the life force in our family, always there for each one of us, with a warm nuzzle or just her comforting presence. My wife is now cancer free, though the irony is not lost on me the fact that the reason Holly was brought into our life, is the same reason she was taken out of it. I am grateful that her cancer came later, after she lived a full life and that she didn’t suffer long. Still, knowing that will not fill the whole in our hearts. Only time will mend that void in our hearts with memories that sparkle so bright from a love so pure.
© Carrie Ann