On April 15, 2010, I completed an eight-night stay in St. Marc, Haiti, with Rodrigue Mortel, deacon, obstetrician and local hero to the children of The Good Samaritans School and their families. On my first morning there, ebullient to be in the presence of a man who embodies the living faith and the hundreds he inspires, I dashed an email to my wife, remarking that it was good day in Haiti.
Mary responded, something to the effect, that it wasn’t so hot back in Baltimore. Our son, Don, had had his car totalled by a careless driver. He was shaken in the accident, but thanks be to God, not injured. Later that evening, he held Mary’s hand as they had to put down Molly, the best four-legged companion I’ve ever ever had (no offense to Gracie, Beau and Zonker).
Molly was a 7-week-old pup when we brought her home from a breeder in Wye Mills, one year after the death of Gracie and oaths that we would never surrender our hearts again to a dog. Molly was fine in the car, until we got to the Bay Bridge and she began to whimper, sensing she was never going to sniff the Eastern Shore again.
Molly was a hard-headed, loving Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Mary trained her how to heel, sit, stay and beg. I trained her how to swim – literally – and read the newspaper. Molly trained Mary to give her bread, and me to take her for walks. You have no idea what a pleasure it is, letting your dog off a leash on a trail when no one’s around, and when someone approaches, snapping your fingers, pointing to the ground at your feet and having a dog obey that command. She was a very good girl.
Hiking along the banks of Sue Creek is just not the same without her. Neither is coming home. There was no welcome like entering the house and hearing Molly’s nails on the floor as she waddled over to say hello.
Might be time to fill that void.