The garden

“It’s finished,” said Cadillac Man, as we laid the headstone commemorating his little companion of sixteen years.

He’d chosen this spot months ago as he watched his beloved dog wasting away, day by day. And so we laid Nik to rest here in the shade of the crape myrtle our family planted when we first moved to our home. Nik was a year old then. Cadillac Man was five, soon to finish kindergarten; he’s entering his last year of college now.

The tree in its fullness marks the passing of time. It was young when my boy with black curls and his little red dachshund were young. I think of myrtle being an ancient funeral flower, how it represents love and faithfulness . . . never mind that a crape myrtle isn’t a true myrtle. The name association is enough; the symbolism perfect. As the pink blossoms collect here by Nik’s likeness, I recollect the bright spot of happiness he was throughout my son’s childhood, throughout the life of my family.

The statue is my doing. Cadillac Man drove me on a four-hour round trip to get it. “It’s just like him!” he exclaimed when he saw it.

Yes. For the garden is not here for remembering that Nik’s no longer with us after so many years, whenever we see it through the kitchen windows or as we pass by on our daily comings and goings. It is not for mourning, or to assuage our pain.

It’s here to celebrate the gift of his life—a garden of gratitude.

It is complete.


And so, it would seem, the Nik stories are complete.

The Nik collection:

Good-bye, mighty Nik

Cadillac Man shares his writing!

Dogged determination

3 thoughts on “The garden

  1. What a sweet way to honor Nik! We have planted trees in our yard to represent people and pets. For example, we have four crepe myrtle trees (my favorite tree) that we have planted over the years. The one in the front yard is my son’s tree we planted shortly after he was born. It’s fourteen years old now, but it is quite stubborn and remains small while the other tree we planted seven years later in memory of my husband’s grandpa is much bigger. We used to have four pear trees (another favorite of mine despite the smell) to represent each one of us in the family, but we are only left with two now thanks to a storm and garage construction. One is in the way, and my husband wants to cut it down, but it’s hard to let go of my trees. Like birds, I think everyone has a tree story. ♡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As our beloved dogs show the inevitable signs of age, I wonder at the river of love they share every moment. How is it some people willingly avoid this swim?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s