He was 18 when his baby sister died. Cancer. Debilitating, agonizing, excruciating. When you are 18 and male, all you want to do is escape. Run. As fast as you can run. Cleave yourself from these people and these hospital beds in the middle of your living room. Seek solace and answers on another plane. Another source of being. Away from this pain and the agony of your silly baby sister. This baby who should be tottering in high heels and weeping over Lost Loves instead of lost hair.....
So he moved out. Away from the sterile syringes the nurses brought and the grim faces his parents displayed.
One semester in college was all that he was willing to spend of his parents' money.
He quickly learned the value of an earned dollar and pursued his love of learning within the daily work in electronics and installation and repair. Life got better, and the dollars increased. He married a woman several years older with children who were teenagers. Perhaps this could be a way to "right" his "abandonment" to that silly, sweet sister.
His father died soon after in a violent car crash. Fifteen months later his mother succumbed to grief-induced asthma. He was left with plenty of money inside a loveless marriage.
When the currency ran out, so did she, and he found himself alone, in his parents' expansive home. His business partner locked the doors to their company. His friends disappeared. His grandparents, all of them, died for various reasons.
He found another job, using his talents for detail and precision, kept learning (he was always learning, that is his way), paid his bills, rattled around in the huge manor, letting the weeds take over the acreage.
He ate when he was hungry. Went to bed when he was tired. Emptied the trash and recycled his beer bottles. Not the Life he'd envisioned for himself. But, unlike the rest of his family, he was alive. He was breathing. He continued to seek the solace of the Earth and its gifts. And he learned. He always learned.
I really have no details of how this dear spirit came into his home. I only know that, by a series of miracles, a gangly, smiling, affable Golden Retriever strolled into his home and ensconced himself upon his couch. Their eyes met. Their hearts intertwined, and their souls were knit together. Neither were really aware of what was happening.....except that, suddenly, they were skyrocketed into indescribable joy and unexpected gladness.
It was as if the dog had waked him from an endless sleep. The dormancy and the lethargy of a quiet life had lost their footing, and paw prints roused his heart.
The overgrown manor harbored wood ticks that greedily launched themselves onto the Golden. Days were spent bringing the lawn back to its glory. He restored the breaches in the neglected fence. Clutter inside the house disappeared. His neighborhood has expanded within the realm of daily walks and trips to dog-friendly establishments.
What mysteries compile our days to change us and transform us into humans. The conundrums we view as unalterable change in the soft whisper of dark brown eyes and a moist nose. He has quit his dying. He has moved back in.