Norma’s Buddy

Norma’s Buddy-1This was one of those days where I absolutely had to take the full day off from everything I’ve been normally doing on Sunday and get some much belated projects of my own back on track. I thought it was going to be an “all about me” day until I was side-tracked by familiars. Seeing a dear lady I’ve known for a long time out on her front porch who’s very much at death’s doorstep, I couldn’t help but stop for a good chat with her. We talked much about life, sickness, and death. Having recently went thru the whole process of a death in my family, I related to what she was saying and did as much as I could to lift her spirits. I was glad to find her still feisty to where she doesn’t let the doctors or family members make her do things she doesn’t want to do. No matter what, dying with dignity and respect are things nearly everyone wants from the time they’ve been diagnosed as terminal and continuing all they way up to their last breaths. She’s already lived past the months given her by the doctors, and by the look of her eyes and the peppery language she’s using, I’d say she’ll be with us for a while longer. I knew she had things to do, so I left her with a bouquet of kind words from my heart along with saying, “I’ll stop again the next time I see you out on your porch.” I pray she gets her wish to where she has no pain, closes her eyes, and passes quietly in her sleep. When she does pass, Mason City will loose another determined woman who’s stood her ground in the face of some of the greatest of life’s challenges. She will be another who’ll be remembered long after many others have been forgotten. Over the years I’ve known her, she’s made some pretty memorable comments about people who’ve tried to take advantage of her which I couldn’t possibly share with the general public. Being politically correct was never her cup of tea.

A few years ago I was out at the home of a client who was listing a vacation home they owned at the time. The wife who’s name is Norma, had the cutest little dog that was the friendliest. Those big dark eyes and pug face would make even a dog hater melt. After I finished the paperwork needed, we sat and visited about travel, history, genealogy, and the like. All the while we talked, Norma’s buddy was laying next to her watching me. It was almost as if he understood what we were talking about. I finally had enough! I got up and asked Norma if I could take a photo of her buddy. She agreed, so I went out to my car, grabbed my camera, and took the above photo. As far as I’m concerned, the photo is a very good visual expression of the bonding that takes place between animals and humans. That dog was about as close to her as I’ve ever seen a dog with its human friend.

Some months ago Norma passed away and I felt it my duty to attend her funeral. I didn’t even know she was sick, let alone being on a fast track towards death. At the luncheon I stopped and paid my sympathies to her husband, and in conversation I reminded him that I still have the photo of her and “Buddy”. He remembered that day and the photo shoot. I told him I would find it and send it to him if he’d like. Of course he did, and in my search yesterday morning, I found it safely tucked away. I made sure to get it sent off and in the note enclosed I said, “He certainly was Norma’s buddy.”

Joe Chodur

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