There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone
(Grateful Dead - Ripple)
There's a land beyond the river
That we call the sweet forever
(Harper Lee - To Kill A Mockingbird)
Two photographs taken on 35mm film in 2003 or 2004.
Digital pictures taken in 2010
and 2011, respectively.
A digital photograph and another
picture taken on 35mm film, 2012.
It was not so long ago that I thought that my dog, Ringo, would be around for a few more years to come, and hoped that he would pass away, peacefully, in his sleep… not leaving me with the choice to make that I had to make now - twelve years, one month, and fifteen days after Ringo was born…
In bold defiance of the many hot summers and cold winters that had passed in his lifetime, Ringo remained young at heart to the very end and continued to bring joy to my life… the youthful desires of his mind at times exceeding the physical realities of his age… running through the fields, chasing his green rubber ball, carrying his cuddly toys around the garden as if they were his own puppies…
On a routine check-up half a year ago, the vet diagnosed Ringo with a tumour, which, by the time it was discovered, had grown too big inside his nose to remove. Despite the fact that with every week that passed by, he’d breathe harder, he never gave up on being alive, right until that sad day when he was too weak to get up, which was when I had to have him put down and looked into his eyes for one last time.
It’s on occasions like this that sometimes I wish I could just believe in the hereafter, like so many other people do… a world beyond this one, a place where he’d be allowed to forever run through fields and jump across creeks and chase that rubber ball… free of all our earthly bonds, forever young and wild at heart. But I can’t…
Nevertheless, his memory will always remain… his dark brown eyes, his fur, the way he’d always reach out for me with one paw when I’d sit close to him. Time heals all wounds, so they say… but I’ll be working on this one for a long time.
And when your sorrow is comforted
(time soothes all sorrows)
you will be content that you have known me.
You will always be my friend.
(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
I will miss you forever, my dear friend, and I will think of you – every day – for the rest of my life.