Although you “passed on” after your 17th birthday, you’ll remain alive for me forever. I see you in my dreams. I “feel” your presence as I walk with you, watch you, and hear the footsteps on the steps leading from the dining room to the bedroom upstairs.
You appear in the sub-conscious, along with my brother, George and my parents, who often show up in a dream. And of course, there’s my other best friend, Johnny Keller, who says little but knows so much in this “after life” that appears while I sleep. And where those who died, live on.
I still see your “hang-dog” look when you were young and ate up half the brownies left out to cool. You got sick, but knew as soon as you saw me, that you did a “bad” thing. “Whoofing down” such rich chocolate delights and being unwilling to share with others, had I not caught you in the act.
And the same with the pizza I left out. Should have shut the lid, but figured I was just going into another room, only to return discovering most of the cheese and half the pepperoni missing from the top of the pizza pie. Never did learn where you had snuck off to “lick your chops” after scoring such a delicacy.
Willie. Can’t say the name without getting a little choked up. You have become the symbol in my Life for all that represents loving kindness and compassion. Even though, I was never the only one you brought joy to, I felt singled out, devoted to by you. Remember when PaPa came to visit and spend the night alone with you? You left your bed, climbed onto his, and — not content with simply lying beside him — you “nosed” your way beneath the covers and gave him one of those “puppy dog” looks you were so good at projecting to others. All others.
Got a portrait that memorialized you. It’s framed and hanging for all to see. The best one, however, is the one that only I can see. The one of you in my dreams.
Willie. My best friend.
Willie. my perpetual guide in the “Other World.”
Willie my dog.