Friday, August 19, 2011

LICKING WOUNDS ~ By Absolutely*Kate

By ~ Absolutely*Kate

I had a puppy named Happy. Happy was a be-everywhere, but mostly real close right-at-your-barefeets-in-summertime kind of wagging-his-love-where-he-rambled dog. The summer I was sixteen he sat beside me on the bottom cement patio step when a couple of tears did that slow-motion slide from a first love about something or other that might've not gone right the date the night before. I don't remember the date or what might've gone wrong, but I don't forget a Happy dog that didn't leave the side of a sad girl in summertime. The next day, everything must've gone right with lovin' and livin', 'cause Happy followed me through the big back yard to the garden at the long white fence where I picked daisies, roses and blue bachelor's buttons. Nothin' like a summer bouquet when you're feeling as Happy as your trusty dog's name. Those are the days that give a life well lived a certain center of meaning.

All our dogs were named Happy, from the time when I was two to sixteen and probably even beyond that. Good-natured Aunt Barb would come to visit and wonder right out loud why our dog lived so long. The last Happy I remember was some kind of combo spaniel and full-fledged pal to all ends. He led a dog's life in a dog-eat-dog world with a family who flourished like summers tend to do ~ brighter lights, more warmth, and constant growing. You know, like the way colours collide in a garden out back by a long white fence.

 Love and laughter, as corny/cliche as it sounds,
 is the best nourishment for 
a good happily ever after, after all.

 There were five of us kiddos who grew and knew Happy at our sides, nippin' at the spokes of trikes and two-wheelers going up our dead-end street to meet friends and take on adventures. We grew up in all our own stories that friends, adventures and a laughing family with a Happy dog made possible. We're spread across this big ol' country now. We're figgerin' out how to go about our new sense of happy 'cause we lost our hero, our core, our Dad, last summer. Our Mom was his sweetheart from when she was just nineteen. Imagine that! Valiantly, she took on the home and the gardens and the friends and the family that came to call with casseroles and concern at the house where Happy used to live. Through the empty NFL fall and the brittle playoff winter she rooted for herself and Dad's Steelers, but her heart finally caved. That's what solitude of loneliness can do in a house where Happy used to live. Dad's Steelers made it to the SuperBowl. Mom didn't make it to Mother's Day. Like Happy though, each of us five kids made it to her side when feelings or healings needed ~ well, a sense of understanding, as close as one could get. Memories adhered. Knowings without words passed within, the kind emanated to last through all our ages.

Happy went into the woods like loving dogs who are part of a laughing family do when it came the time for him to end his time on this earth. There's a kinder nature that comes outta love and loyalty. Natures like that lick wounds so loved ones don't have to sensate so much suffering. 

Paul and Fran, together again
I thought grieving Happy not coming back from his woods and grieving Dad and Mom not coming back from their hospitals would show me how to know nature's subsidings. I did all the right take-care-of-stuff, said all the right words to splendid caring folks giving empathy's way.  I did the tending to's that parents who taught by example to fully appreciate a life well-lived would be proud of, and in my creative have-no-bounds imagination, Happy would still wag at the edges of my sensibilities, tucked into my side on the warm summer bottom cement step to the backyard which nourished spirit and soul.

Recently, I've gone into the proverbial woods ~ barefoot through sun splotches on a back deck back in Connecticut after fonding my final farewell to the Ohio homelands. I took two days, fully alone, first sick and then better . . . me and the sun, with a sense of happy at my side . . . thinkin' 'bout all the family,  friends, Ohioland neighbors and good-gumption author folks who were all along the journey down a deadend street headed back into adventures.

There's something to be said for giving in to licking wounds. You come out of your  woods not ever the same person.

It's good. 

This was me, writing
 to you to say,
 "Thanks, for being around".

You wanna go run or throw a ball or take an adventure with me or somethin'?

Happy Good ol'Summertime,

~ Absolutely*Kate


Crybbe666 said...

"Love and laughter, as corny/cliche as it sounds, is the best nourishment for a good happily ever after, after all."

Darn tootin' Miss Kate. And, when I do get over to hang out in those woods, would love to kick the ball around with ya :)

Keep shining, Kate - you are one of the best!

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Your zest is the best oh chum close to my heart. Thanks Paulie. We've come a long way from dear Diaries and *Big Clinks*. Growth within, kinda does that, 'round the world, eh?


Harry said...

Your Pappy named all the dogs Happy! You, the embodiment of "good ol' summertime," made it out of the woods. It's time to start licking popsicles and Packers!

Anonymous said...

I loved this. It's the best piece you've written. You and Happy had my heart in the palm of your hand.

Jeanette Cheezum

cttiger said...

Kate, we shall have adventures, laughter and happiness galore when we meet to usher in the new season.

Tony Noland said...

I think about how sad it would be to go through life *without* changing, remaining the same person. Much better to let life come into you.

Kevin Michaels said...

Beautifully written, thoughtful, and well done.

Nothing more needs to be said than that.

John Pender said...

Touching. Like every pet I've owned in the past decade has been named Buddy.

Eric J. Krause said...

This was a wonderful read, Kate. I loved that all your dogs were named Happy. That made me...well...happy!

Matthew S. Magda said...

I remember Chattahoochee and Rappahannock and how wonderful they were. Happy as Happy was. A joy to be with, always giving and
showing affection. Always ready for some physical activity, a simple long walk, fetching the ball, running, or going for a dip. They too brought love and laughter. They will always live in a special place of my memory, always there, always happy.

Yes, Kate, it is magical to have that dog that just naturally brings our the best in us and those around us.

Blaze McRob said...

A sweet story written by a sweet, talented writer with a heart of gold who has many "Happy" moments to carry with her wherever she goes.

Great story, my friend!


Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

*Happy* is knowin' no bounds (like all good stuff should be) - by what I've just seen/breathed in from the likes of all of you. How fortunate we are in the good folks all around ~

@BLAZE's fire ~ You're the sweetest horrific type I know (shhh, secret's safe) ~ *thanks!*

@MATT's memories ~ You're barkin' up some good strong lovin' there, pal ~ *ever thanks*

@ERIC's happy ~ So right backatcha in so many ways, you talented writer'guy ~ *smilin' thanks*

@THE NEW GUY, JOHN PENDER ~ Hey Buddy, you're no'buddy til some Buddy loves ya - seems you're as lucky as me. *THANKS for makin' AT THE BIJOU your new jivin' joint*

@TONY's tenacity ~ Gosh AuthorAce, you even nail gentle philosophy. *my thanks from those days back at Cleve Clinic to now - so glad each time I know ya a little more, a little more*

~ Be seeing, reading, knowing all of you the more now that . . . I'm back. softly, Absolutely*Kate

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...


@LADY JEANETTE's grace ~ Wowzers - to make your emotional hit list is a dream to keep makin' true. *thanks, with all the hugs I've felt from you - bolstering is a fine art form you grace*

@TIGER's telling ways ~ OH YES, Starting off the September mindset with an adventure with YOU will make a month of happy all jazzed up, deliciously. (calendar's aqua-magic-markered!)

@KEVIN's kudos ~ Man of few words, those were mighty. *thanks between what liner notes are playing*

@HAR's logic (always) ~ 33'pointer for knowin' me Pappy named all the Happys! I'll take on those cool sweet licks and rrrrrev up for the gridiron greats just around the stadium corner. *You touch my heart like summer ~ warmly*

~ You guys are golden ... and I'm a very en-riched dame! Shining, Absolutely*Kate

KjM said...

Glorious that all your dogs were named Happy. And more glorious yet that Aunt Barb would wonder "...right out loud..." that your dog should live so long.

Great-hearted *Kate, I wish you well. May you never be short of a "...sense of understanding..." in your life.

You may be entertained to know that I grew, with my two sisters and before my brother happened along, in the company of a dog named "Grumpy". Clearly we had different childhoods! :D

And yet, not dissimilar in terms of the love lavished on us by our parents. And by Grumpy - who loved children, but couldn't abide adults.

Theres just life said...

I really liked this post. I, too, have had many dogs in my life. They are always there when you need them, letting you know it is going to be alright. I too, have lost my parents and am now the older generation. I don't think anyone is ever ready for that. Now I know how my Mother felt after saying Good-by to her parents.
I know life goes on and our parents will always be with us just as all the Happys of our lives will be by our side.

Pamela Jo

Helen A. Howell said...

Happy became and is the embodiment of all good memories, those that we take with us through those less happier moments that life dishes out.

Life is for ever changing and we must learn to move with its rhythm, in a timely dance that moves us into a better space and brings with it new and fresh experiences. Yet Happy remains at our core. For no changing rhythm can take away those precious happy moments that life gifts to us in the people we meet and the laughter we share.

Beautifully written Kate

helen-scribbles ^_^

Icy Sedgwick said...

Wonderful voice in this, it felt like you were sitting there chatting to me.

Anonymous said...

We never had any dogs. My dad didn't like them, so we had a gold-fish instead. Not a lot of ball throwing or stick catching going on their!
However the walk to the woods was undobtedly similar or should I say the royal flush. Full military honors and a ship side funeral off the side of the toilet. I can stil hear the splash.
If you laugh you live :)

Navychick84 said...

Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Just like the author!!

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

From evoked Dog to Fish stories, you grand folks are waggin' all the right reminisces outta heart places. Somethin' about *sharing* a feeling makes it more warm and colourful yet.

@NAVY CHICK ~ WooHoo - You made it on into our BIJOU. I know you'll supply the glitter by stickin' around like you shine the tender in my soul. Thanks, my extra sister in life.

@LOVELY ICY ~ Touched by what you said, and would like to sit and swap stories at your side sometime -- long as I knew which way your ghosts were comin! Do become a regular - popcorn's on the house, but we make you clean up your own messes.

@THERE'S JUST LIFE ~ How fitting YOUR nom de plume is Pamela Jo - and WELCOME! Kindly keep comin' 'round AT THE BIJOU, 'specially with that rarified sensitivity you just shared. I'm still softly smiling.

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

@AUTHOR COLIN, pumpin' out those books ~ Yeah, I'm still laughing at the fish that flushed away ... more so 'cause I know you know how feelings feel. Your writings *tingle*. My thanks, dear sir.

@HELEN OF SENSITIVITIES ~ There's some kind of glory when a story brings out another story in the life-heart of a worthy. So love your share ... AND your life-evoking philosophy. Sweet deep thanks across our mere pond.

@KEVIN, SIR MACKEY ~ Happy vs Grumpy and way-beyond-entertained was I to consider us little kiddos outside calling our dogs. Lavished love made us the way we reach and understand, didn't it wise writer man? Don't even have to *thank* you -- You're feelin' it.

~ Absolutely*Kate

Author said...

That's a beautiful piece, Kate, warm and full of heart.

And while all your dogs were named Happy, all my plants were named Robert.

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

JOOLS ~ I so love'ya and you're responsible for the coffee almost spurted upon my screen. So LOVE the plants named Robert. They must stand erect, formal stems and all so as not to be misconstrued as a lilting Bobby, eh?

Nigel Bird said...

"Happy would still wag at the edges of my sensibilities, tucked into my side on the warm summer bottom cement step to the backyard which nourished spirit and soul."

Strength to you in hard times. I don't think I've seen a stronger sense of the appreciation of grief and it's of comfort to me to think about giving my own wounds a lick.

Got to get me a dog!