Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Light in the Darkness: A memoir of the remarkable friend and dog named Sunny

The Light in the Darkness
A memoir of the remarkable  friend and dog named Sunny

This book in your hand is the gateway into the true story of Sunny. She was a true warrior, even though she fought no battles. There is nothing to compare her kindness to, for there was nothing that matches up. Sunny was the picture of magnificence. Who would have thought a small, slow, old mutt would have touched my life in the way that she did?

Remember as your read this that you are reading the recollections I have of a beautiful girl. A beautiful dog. A beautiful friend. Remember that Sunny helped me through the hardships, even after she was gone. Sunny still helps me. She always will.

Enjoy this book, reader, and remember who you are, even when your true self is hard to find. Remember who those around you are, because they may be gone someday. Remember that love can come from small places, and even the smallest love is large.

Never forget to remember.

Sunny and the Child

Sunny, Hershey, and Shiloh weren’t sure what they thought about this... Thing. It looked enough like them. Though, it had naught but a hair on it’s body. Completely bald! What an ugly thing.

Sunny didn’t think it was ugly. Sunny thought it was beautiful. What a wonder of nature! What a beauteous creature! Sunny followed the family, as did Hershey and Shiloh. They followed them into a small room with a small crib in the center for the small newborn. The room was painted a sunny yellow color.

The infant reached an arm through one of the bars in the crib. Sunny cautiously walked over to it. The infant touched the tip of Sunny’s nose, gently and lovingly. It was then that Sunny realized she was supposed to watch over this wrinkled, small, rather wet newborn.

And so she did. From that day on, Sunny walked next to the child. Sunny followed the child everywhere she could.

Sunny watched over the child. She kept her from harm. The child was convinced that Sunny was magic. But Sunny was just a dog. Nothing more or less. Of course, everything had its own kind of magic, whether with spells and wands, or miracles all in themselves.

Should the child wander far in her life, or stay close to home, Sunny vowed to be there for that child, even after Sunny’s life was over.

Sunny’s canine companions soon passed away all around her, but Sunny didn’t mind. Sunny knew that they wouldn’t want her to be sad for them. She knew they would want her to be happy, even though they had died. Maybe death was the true adventure, and life was just a holding pattern? Sunny truly believed that. Sunny knew that no matter what happened, she would be happy.

They all moved to California when the child was one. Beautiful weather, but no rain. Sunny loved the rain.

The child was four years of age now. After Sunny was the only dog, the family acquired a second. This dog was name Jessie. Jessie was larger than Sunny and much younger, but both of the girls got perfectly along. Jessie was completely kind to Sunny, and Sunny was as she always is. That is to say, Sunny was so very kind.

Soon after the dogs were familiar with each other, the family moved back to Florida. It was a five day trip, but Sunny didn’t mind. She got to be with her favorite friends and family.

After they arrived, Sunny noticed she was quite old. She was around fourteen years of age, now. Her muzzle was graying, she was aching all over, and she was tired. Sunny knew she was nearing the end.

But the end came not. She grew older yet and the child aged with her.

The child and the dog grew close. They were inseparable, it seemed.

Then the child turned six. Sunny was fifteen. She knew her end was close, but she didn’t mind. She was okay with that. Sunny knew that, no matter what life threw at her, she would always be okay. She would always be kind.

Two days before the child turned seven, Sunny knew that the end was very near. Death was taunting her with its blissful peace. It was drawing her near, and Sunny-- No. Sunny had to stay a bit longer, to tell the child she loved her.

That she did.

On the night before the child’s birthday, Sunny was dying. Sunny tried to get to the child, to say goodbye, but her legs had none of it. She was dragging herself in a circle in fruitless efforts to get to the child. Sunny knew it was the end. Her mother picked her up and took her to the vet. The vet gave her some sort of medicine and she grew sleepy. But Sunny couldn’t die, she wouldn’t die. She still had to watch over the child! But sleep was tickling her eyes. She closed them, and didn’t open them.

This may have been the end for Sunny, but this was not the end of Sunny. She was gone, but she was still here. She could still help the child.

The Child and Sunny

The child awoke.

The child knew something was different.

She was seven, yes, but that was not the difference.

Was it darker? Yes, it was raining.

Didn’t Sunny like rain? Yes, the child recalled, she once tried to escape into a rainstorm on the first day they had arrived in Florida after the move.


Why was she thinking of Sunny?

Sunny was right down the hall, wasn’t she?


Where was Sunny?

But the child knew. She didn’t allow herself to think it, but deep down, she knew.

Sunny was gone.

But she was still here.

She never left.

She has always been watching over the child.

The child knew it.

The parents knew it.

And most of all, Sunny knew it.

Was Sunny watching the child right now?

Maybe she was.

And Sunny was.

Of course the child was sad. Who wouldn’t be? Her best friend and dog had just died. She was allowed to stay home from school that day to mourn for her friend.

Oh, how it pained Sunny to see the child so sad. She dearly wished to go to her, to comfort her, to sit with her. But she couldn’t. She wouldn’t. Goodbyes are harder when you know there has got to be an end.

Sunny couldn’t bear to leave her, but she knew she must. As did the child. The child held no resentment towards Sunny for leaving her. The child knew it was coming. She had always known. And for many years after, the child was sad.

Until one night. The Night of the Visit, as the child called it. She dreamt she had come home to find Sunny waiting for her. The child gave her so much love. And again the child awoke to find Sunny was not there. Though that visit left the child in tears, the child cried of happiness. She knew Sunny was still here, somewhere. The child just had to find her in herself. And Sunny would always be there.

Now, ever since, the child thought of Sunny and did not cry, but smile.

And the child never forgot her love for Sunny, or Sunny’s love for the child.

Never forget to remember.

Author's Note

Now that you know the story of Sunny, you know what it felt like to lose a guardian. And here the child sits writing this.

Sunny was my light. She was everything. Because of her I have learned how to remember things happily, even when the memory is slipping away. She taught me to grasp love with my hand and to never let go, even when the subject of that love has let go of life. She taught me to remember love, and forget death. It is not that Sunny was everything, it is that she is everything.

And I will never, ever forget to remember.