Dear Thelma Lou,
When I first brought you home, I couldn’t quit saying, “You’re the sweetest puppy I’ve ever known.”
I would do this for hours, speaking in a high-pitched voice like a certifiable lunatic.
But I couldn’t help myself, it was true. You actually are the sweetest puppy I have ever known.
Tonight, we are apart. You’re sleeping in a veterinary clinic instead of with me.
I don’t want you to worry about anything. It’s just a small, harmless tumor on your eyelid, nothing serious, doctors say you’ll be fine.
Tomorrow morning, the surgeon will sedate you, you’ll go to sleep, they’ll snip the tumor. Voila. Before you know it, you’ll be eating cat poop again.
But nighttime is the hard part. You’re in a cage, and I’m not with you. I’m writing you because I want you to know I’m thinking about you.
And you shouldn’t be scared because—and you might not know this, Thel—though we are apart, we are actually together.
Distance might separate us, but distance is
not real. Nothing can separate love. I know it sounds crazy, but hearts do not know the difference between miles and minutes.
I first came to believe this when I was seventeen.
One night, I was on a truck tailgate in a hayfield outside Freeport, Florida. I was eating barbecue, looking at the sky, missing someone I once loved.
And it all sort of hit me at once. I don’t know what hit me, exactly, all I can tell you is that “it” hit me.
I can’t explain it. If I could explain it, then it wouldn’t be the real thing.
But when this moment happened I saw something—and I swear it on Bear Bryant’s grave. It was a shooting star.
Suddenly, I felt warm all over. It was as though I were surrounded by…