(If you have not read Part One of this, you might like to go here first.)
After hours at the mall, I just wanted to collapse in my recliner and watch TV.
But Mayo looked depressed.
His parents just left for East Timor on mission work, so he and the Crack Puppy will be roomies for two years.
Guilt got the better of me, so I said the magic word:
And Mayo was all smiles.
As we set off, I spotted a lady in the distance walking her dog toward us.
She was wearing a colorful, summery blouse and white, peddle-pusher pants.
I told Mayo to smarten up as we drew near.
Sixty seconds layer, we were next to the lady, who I’d guess to be about 70, and her wee, terrier-cross dog.
This lady was one of those special people who just exudes peace and kindness.
She gently asked if it would be OK if her dog said hello to Mayo.
As the pooches said their nose-to-nose and nose-to-tail hellos, the lady and I had a short chat.
Instantly, I knew that she was like my Mom.
Emotion hit me right in the heart.
The lady paid Mayo several warm and sincere compliments about how beautiful and well-behaved he was.
Then, after a few moments, when the dogs had lost interest in each other, we said our goodbyes and were away.
But I didn’t want to part.
My heart wanted to know more about this lady.
To stay in her presence.
To “feel” my Mom’s presence, some 16 years after she went to God.
I felt genuine sadness as we parted.
I have gone walkies in our area for 12 years now and seen every neighbor and their dogs countless times.
But I’d never seen this lady, so I figured this was a one-off.
Yet I needed more.
A little while later, Mayo and I passed the park.
The lady was clapping as her little dog raced by again and again.
“You are such a sweet girl, and you run so fast. You are such a good girl,” the lady said to her joyful dog.
I thought about asking whether Mayo could run free as well, but I felt that would be an intrusion.
So we just enjoyed watching them play for a minute and then went on our way.
Not as sad this time, though, because I felt that, maybe, we’d see each other again.
Ten minutes later, when it was getting dark and we were both on our way home, we met again and had another wee chat.
Again, I was so taken by this lady’s warmth and kindness.
Then she started saying the EXACT kind of uplifting things that my Mom said to strangers, back when we’d go walkies in Oklahoma.
“He — is he a boy or a girl — is such a beautiful dog. Such a lovely coat and personality…
“…And his name is ‘Mayo’? That suits him. He is a special little guy…
“…Not long ago, it was cold and dark in the winter, and we were all bundled up inside yearning for summer. And now we have this gorgeous summer night. Isn’t that wonderful?”
If the lady had said, “Thank you, Father,” I would have fainted.
Because as Mom got older, after decades in Al-Anon, that’s what she said about every blessing, great or small.
Then the lady and I parted again.
This time, I was not hardly sad at all.
I had a feeling that we’d meet up again.
I do hope so.
(Another “Mom” story — Momories — is here.)