Best Friends a journal by Barbara J Duell

Best Friends

In all the books I have written, you will find three significant components. Families struggle as they deal with life, someone will eventually end up in the hospital, and there is always a loveable, sometimes, crazy dog.

I did not have a dog as a child, but as an adult, I’ve never taken a step without my furry friends. The love we share is pure, without restriction―unconditional. And this week I again, treasured this bond.

A few months ago, my best friend in the world left us on her final journey, and I miss her so much. I needed to talk to her tonight, to tell her about my new book. I almost picked up the phone, then realized I could not do this. Our friendship knew no bounds, safely wrapped in honesty, love, joy, and laughter.

We could say and share everything, all the good, and more importantly, the bad. She could tell me my hair looked terrible and I’d believed her because we never lied or sugar-coated life. Oh, how I miss her.

Where do we gain our strength to move forward in this world gone mad? But even as I type this, I know the answer, from God, who never leaves us alone to travel a new road, one filled with anguish, and from the love of our family, a love that sustains us.

From our friends, both new and old, even people we hardly know that have read what we post here and reached out to our sorrow with words of love and prayers.

And this evening, I experienced another kind of understanding, love offered without conditions, the purest kind. I have written before about my two girls, my little dogs, Maggie Mae and Suzy Q. At night, after the dishes and such, I usually sit in my old chair, and after putting my legs up, a glass of Port or Brandy nearby, I read.

I have also written how there are times when the girls want to talk, and the book is all but pushed to the floor as they jockey for that coveted spot until it seems they are all but wrapped around my neck. Another time, they are content to snuggle down under the book and Brandy and go to sleep. But tonight was different.

Tonight, I did not want to read. I sat, with my legs up, just water at hand, my head back against the cushion and my eyes closed. And although not exactly maudlin, I struggle with my emotions, praying for wisdom, for the strength to face this loneliness, the loss of my dear friend. My beautiful little girls sat at my feet, for a moment, and then they very carefully climbed up in my lap.

There was no mucking about; they were still until ever so slowly Maggie placed her head gently against my heart, and Suzy stroked my arm with her paw, not demanding that her belly be rubbed, just a light touch as if to say, I know, we know.

If we listen to those we love, all God’s creatures, we will realize that all life is capable of communicating. As I rested there in my chair, as my two girls shared their love and understanding with me, I know this to be true. How truly blessed I am.

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