One rare but cherished winter night, my step dad unexpectedly came home with a surprise and tossed a brown sack onto my lap. Puzzled about what could be inside, I hesitated to open it. The bag moved. I jumped. I glanced at Mama and she nodded her head to continue. The bag moved again. I inched forward and peered in. Then the eyes of a black puppy looked back at me. Holding my breath, I lifted her out. Her long, wet tongue washed my face and made me giggle. I loved her and named her Blackie.
She followed me around. She kept me company. At night, she slept on my neck and kept me warm. Once, when my parents yelled at me, she growled. I laughed inside and hugged her. I knew she loved me, too.
My joy turned to heartbreak the day she disappeared. I searched everywhere for her.
“Mama, have you seen my puppy?”
“We can’t keep her.”
“Mama, why? Why can’t we?”
“Because Blackie’s full of fleas.”
“I’ll give her a bath.”
“We can’t feed her.”
“She can eat my food,” I sobbed.
“That’s enough, Mary.”
Again, I asked. “But why, Mama?”
“Nothing lasts forever,” she said, still reading her magazine.
I’d have kept Blackie forever.
(An excerpt from Running in Heels – A Memoir of Grit and Grace – Chapter One)
© M.A. Perez 2013, All Rights Reserved
Note: I recall many clichés told to me as a kid. One that pops into mind is: Easy come, easy go. How about you? Do you remember things told to you when you were young that maybe got under your skin?