tribute

Iris: a haibun 

A strong, witty, tough, yet gentle soul, my grandmother was, I say with loving bias, truly one of a kind. Having been raised on a rural farm, in a large but poor family, she wasn’t particularly refined but she was filled with charm and grace. Of average stature, she could certainly seem intimidating when she had to, and she wouldn’t hesitate to use that skill when needed. It was hard to see the way cancer ravaged and slowly destroyed her body. This robust woman of barely 60 years old reduced so quickly to a shell of her former lively self. 

Beautiful iris
Vivid blooms healthy strong stems
Blight wilts overnight

This haiku/haibun is dedicated to my Granny; her name was Iris. 

Linked to CDHK challenge #720

Morkie: Tanka Tribute

It’s hard to believe
Five years since you had to leave
You’re missed every day
Thankful for the time we had
And for the memories glad

I was so upset the day I had to take my little buddy Morkie to be put to sleep I couldn’t recall the exact date; it was on March19, 2010 (I looked up the post I’d made when we lost him to know for sure). But I vividly remember the day he came into our lives – September 5, 2000. 

He had been sent to the shelter some months earlier; his owners were old folks and when one died the other went into a “home” and Morkie and his sister went to the pound. His sister was adopted but Mork wasn’t. A few days before his “time was up” one of the workers called a rescue group about an hour away and they saved him. 

At that time I was doing some volunteer website work for the rescue. During a batch of updates I came across Mork’s photo and bio and left him off the update list, opting instead to show him to my wife. His bio said he was older, seven at least, and hated men and could be a little snappy. But we liked him. 

I called the lady that ran the rescue, Theresa, and she tried to talk me out of coming to see him: he hates men, especially balding ones (should I have been hurt by that comment? LOL) and had already been adopted and returned – twice! I said we’d be there to see him in person the next day. 

It was a solid hour drive to get to the rescue and we were all excited to meet Morkie: me, my wife and two kids. Theresa met us at the door and warned us again about how he was and how she was concerned it just wasn’t going to work; I simply told her he hadn’t met the right family yet – he hadn’t met us!

We went inside and saw him cowering in a far corner; Theresa has a dozen or more cats waiting to be adopted and he looked like they’d take a swipe or three at him. I sat down about six feet from him, gently laid my cane aside – another concern she had – and reached my hand toward him. It took about two minutes before he came to me, gave me a good sniff-over, and sat right at my feet. I petted him gently, all while Theresa stood with her mouth agape in astonishment. He came home to his forever home that day. 

Morkie had a good 10 years with us, doing whatever he pleased, whenever he pleased, which wasn’t much. But he sure enjoyed plopping himself in one of our laps and being petted so that was his primary activity. 

Mork had what we think was a stroke one night around 10:00; he was a pitiful sight that long, dreadful night. I stayed up with him all night, holding, petting and talking to him. And crying because I knew it would be our last. 

In the morning I took him to the vet. There was nothing to do but let him go peacefully; he had suffered enough and wouldn’t last much longer as it was. The vet asked if I wanted to be with him when he “did it”; I didn’t even pause to think before I told him, “Of course I do, he deserves that”. Holding him, saying we would be going home soon seemed to comfort Morkie; he knew what it meant when we were out and I told him it was “time to go home”. And soon he was home again, for the last time. But not before a long, tear filled time spent in “the room” after he was gone. 

All this came rushing to my mind as I read about the newest Carpe Diem challenge “experience” last night. From seeing Morkie’s photo and bio to wrapping him for burial, he gave me quite a few experiences, running the gambit from funny to very sad. This is one of the last photos I took of Morkie; he always “chased the sun” moving about to nap in the sunshine, as he was doing here.