GOODBYE, MR. BEAN
Mr. Bean. Upgraded from three to four legs May 1, 2021, 1:15pm
How cruel it is that dogs don’t understand our words. Words are all we have in the final hours with these amazing angels the creator gives the luckiest of us; words, and tears. And sadly, none of it can even begin to express how our dog of more than a decade loved us, blessed us and gifted so much hope and peace and joy. Mr. Bean, you don’t know it right now as I write on a Friday night, but this is the last night of your journey on this planet. You probably won’t understand tonight why I’m picking up your old and broken body to hold you under the stars. You probably won’t understand why the sound of my words are halting and mingled with gasps for air as I offer you all I have; words and tears. And you probably won’t know that those words and those tears have a message for you. Here it is, handsome boy: THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. I want to tell the world why you have been my own personal super hero. I want people to know, deep inside themselves, that there is a loving creator who helps us through our pain and our loss and our trauma and that which haunts us in the night. I want them to know that the creator gave me you, my 3-legged rescue pup, as my helper and savior in moments that felt so hard I didn’t think I’d survive. I want what I have to tell them about you to pass along on some energetic breeze between hearts, a bit of your magic, your grace, your kindness, your attentive and obedient and unfailing soul, and your example of being happy every day even when you’ve had a loss. I want you, Mr. Bean, to be the figurehead of a message that tells people God sends helpers when we hurt. I had twin toddlers in the back seat of my car on Easter Sunday when I spied you next to a trash can outside a Miami Wendys. Skin and bones. Staples bound up wounds I didn’t understand in your hindquarters. You were missing a leg on the rear left of your little body and covered with matted black fur. Not many months before, I lost a part of me with the (I can’t say death) loss of my Wesley Cowan at the age of four. You had suffered a loss too. And yet, you dog-smiled at me. Heartache and trauma and pain untold and never to be known, you dog-smiled. You acted as if you weren’t abandoned in the world. You acted as if losing a part of yourself was survivable. And, I said, “get in.” THANK GOD I DID. You were the message of hope I needed at a dark time in my life. People who suffer in the night from flashbacks to traumatic events that rob sleep and cause panic to know what it’s like to walk back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, waiting for the sun. After I found you, I never had to do those walks alone. I can’t ever say how many hundreds of nights I woke with a start, hitting the floor to leave the bedroom to pace. What I can say, is that EVERY TIME the hurts hit, you left your bed, rain or snow, to follow me back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Because of you, I never walked alone in the night. Because of you, I had a living, breathing example of living in spite of hurt; of loving in spite of loss. Yes. Words are inadequate. So are tears. I cannot fathom a world without you in it. I cannot fathom a night without you at my side. And yet, both realities are coming. Damnit. Damnit. Damnit. Bean, can you do me one more favor? When you get that fourth leg back and the hurts of this world can’t reach you anymore, will you please think of me as your own, no matter how far over the rainbow bridge you bound? Can you please go find our golden-haired Wesley and tell him you faithfully and heroically did his bidding to watch over his hurting dad? And, when my journey and work are over, will you both come get me? I’ll give you all the loaves of bread you want. I’ll look the other way and promise not to scold when you stand on strong back legs to thieve slices off the countertops; something I regret doing while you were here. I should have given you more bread. I should have taken you on more rides. Thank you for teaching me there are angels all around us and that the creator of this, and other worlds, wants us to heal and sends help to make it happen. Tomorrow, I’ll hold you and put your nose right up to mine so you can feel my breath and I can feel the blessing of the last of yours escaping a body that has lived beyond its purpose. And when your breath becomes air, and you become a part of everything all around us, I hope you feel release and relief and joy and peace and hope and happiness in even greater portion than you gave to us. My friend; until we meet again. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.