"You know he waited for me," Ty said as he cussed and chiseled at the cement-like red Georgia clay.
"He did," I answered in between sobs.
Thirty minutes later, the young man cradled the old man reverently into the top of his dog house and moved him next to Bear, another old soul that broke our hearts when he left. Even though Silas had lost weight, he was still hefty and he was going to make Ty work for it. Ty laid him into his space within sight of our front porch. We borrowed Bear's rock - just for a while, we assured Bear - and placed it on the broken dirt. "Grow old with me. The best is yet to be." Thank you for growing old with us, old sport.
Silas was about 13, at least that's what we think. The kids found him at Pet Smart in 2008 during one of their pet adoptions, and assured me, he was the one. They forced me to take a look, and when I saw him, I was afraid he would eat all of us. His pit-bull/boxer mouth was primed for force, and I wasn't sure. I caved, of course. He came home with us and never left our side, except for when he chewed up all my leather shoes within the span of one week. You can't do something like that in front of the world.
He was a happy chap, but it was obvious when you went to reach for him, that he had been hurt once upon a time. He would draw back as if he expected a slap. We tried to work through that but that reflex never left him.
We became a family of five when Silas came home with us that day. The three kids, me and a dog. All of us were broken, and miraculously, Silas mended all of us. Who says God doesn't send what you need when you need it?
Thank you for your extraordinary life. When I speak of the important people in my life, you'll be at the top. Companionship, loyalty and unconditional love sat on your mighty shoulders.
As Ty and I walked away, he turned, "No more animals. You got me?"
I nodded. They give you everything and then in one swoop, they take it all back.
No more, that is, until the next time I need mending.
Whether it is exploring this amazing world or being content on my own piece of real estate near Athens, Georgia, I'm spinning stories and fashioning tales from a Southern perspective. As an editor and writer, I get to meet incredible people and share their stories. As a photographer, I get to cement these moments in time. As a wife and mother, I'm always excited to see what's around the next corner, For it's anything but ordinary.