One October Day

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen my father first died, I wouldn’t come out of my room for nearly three weeks. I stayed locked inside. I laid on my bed and stared at the ceiling. I did a lot of crying, and listening to Daddy’s records. Hank Williams, and the immortal George Jones.

After a month of this, my mother decided it was time for me to join the human race. One October day, my mother pounded on my door.

I didn’t answer.

“Please open the door, honey,” she said.

Still no answer.

“I have a present for you.”

She knew how to get my attention.

When I opened the door, my mother was cradling something in her arms. Something furry, only three pounds. It was pitch black with tan patches.

I named her Hannah.

I wish I could tell you all about Hannah, but there’s too much to say. I wouldn’t be able to find the right words. I can’t describe how she followed me in the woods when I’d attempt to hunt dove. Or how she’d lead the way back when I returned empty-handed. About how Hannah sat by my feet while I fished, eating my earthworms like spaghetti. How she hated fetch, peed like a weirdo, or slept with her head in the crook of my armpit.

I wouldn’t be able to tell you how she hated to see my cry, how she’d lick me until I laughed, or how her breath smelled like the wrong side of a goat. Neither can I tell you how it grieved me when she finally went deaf and blind. Or how blurry my eyes were when I dug her grave.

I’m sorry, I just can’t seem to find the words.

Illustration by Marie Antonelli 


  1. Joy Keegans - October 5, 2015 1:19 am

    I felt your pain reading your story above about your dad’s death. and the day in October leading up to when you buried Hannah. Life is all so bittersweet, for sure and certain. JK

  2. Rozena (Jake) Mahar - October 5, 2015 5:56 pm

    Don’t ever say you can’t find the words! I live yours as I read them.

    You could put WAR and PEACE on one page and we would know the book.

  3. peggy - October 13, 2015 2:05 am

    Hannah was your angel dog. Lexy was mine. She kissed my tears away like Hannah kissed yours. Lexy lost her hearing and was losing her sight too. She drowned in our little fountain on Wednesday. But you know that. So I cried when I read this about Hannah. Love you and love your heart. (not to mention that you are one of the most talented men I’ve ever met. )


Leave a Comment