I came home from school one sunny hot day. With me was my 3rd grade friend, Miriam. I was in the 4th grade and felt so grown up when the teacher had asked me to help Miriam learn English. This new friend and her family had just arrived as Cuban refugees in Miami.
Our thirty minute walk always left us hot and ready for a cold lemonade. We would pile our books down and laugh as we collapsed on the cool tile floor. But today was different…
My mother met us at the front door and immediately said, “I have something sad to tell you, but Ruth, you have to promise you will not cry.”
I sighed…then reluctantly agreed.
“Petey died today.”
Oh, no…my first ever pet…a beautiful two year old turquoise-blue parakeet with a yellow face. He had been so friendly and talkative. I choked back my silent tears and Miriam had such a sad look on her face. We heard her timid voice quietly ask, “Ruth, was that your papa?”
So sad for a childhood friend to think that a father had died instead of a pet.
So sad for me to be told I could not cry about the death of a much loved pet.
Have you noticed how memories still evoke emotions…even years later. I have only a black and white photograph of Petey but I “look” for him in every pet store I pass! I have another important memory of Petey but we’ll save that for another day.