by Catherine Van Alstine
There was no denial of it, there was no covering it up, there is only the raspy, labored breaths and the harsh reality that all that lives must end one day, and bitterly underneath that was the fact that I cannot change it, I can only witness it. My husband is driving like a bat out of hell and talking but I do not hear him because I am lost in my storm of desperate and maddening thoughts while Boo stands in the backseat trying to balance himself in the middle, sticking his Bulldog face up between the front seats. He is drooling like never before and now there are secretions coming from his nose, as I wipe at them I wonder if this is how it ends, drowning in his own fluids? I look out the front window crying like a child for a moment, in an attempt to escape this ache in my heart but then sucking in a deep breath and unbuckling my seat belt I kneel on the passenger side seat so that I am facing into the back where Boo looks at me, stops pacing and for the first time in 24 hours lays down. I put my hands on him and he is still breathing as I begin to softly talk to him of how I love him and how wonderful he is, I plead for him to hang on a little bit longer, we are almost there I tell him, attempting to reassure myself. Within less than a minute, I realize he has stopped breathing, he won’t respond to me, not my voice, not my touch, he is gone and I am changed forever.
Catherine Van Alstine uses writing as a tool to learn about herself, people, and the world around her.