As his health failed, he spent the last three weeks of his life in a beautiful hospice facility. My Mother and I spent every day with him, with other family members coming and going. He would drift in and out of sleep and later in and out of consciousness. Once in awhile he would mutter things softly. One day when I returned from running an errand my Mom said, "He keeps talking about a big red dog; he sees a big red dog. I have no idea what he's talking about." Taken out of context like that we were puzzled.. We thought for awhile; then I had a light bulb moment.
"Mom, he sees Clifford. Clifford the Big Red Dog!"
He passed away shortly after that and I'm hoping that Clifford the Big Red Dog ~ or some semblance thereof ~ was there to greet him on the other side.
Yesterday I spent the day creating some new Wee Ones with subtle holiday/Christmas themes. Red is a big holiday color, so I noticed it was a recurring theme in the new "holiday collection of critters." And without even thinking about it, I created a red dog. Once I realized, omysweetgoodness, I have a red dog ~ it was obvious what his name would be.
Clifton. The Wee Red Dog.
Here's to you, Dad. :)