(My column in the Sunday bulletin at the Drummondtown Baptist Church, Accomac, Virginia 23301)
Of all his attributes, it was the eyes I loved the best.
On a bad day, they encouraged me; on a good day, they laughed with me. It was all there in his eyes. And when I want to see him again since he’s been gone so long, all I have to do is summon the eyes, and he is with me. And then I am at peace.
I knew him from birth. We grew up together. I taught him the essentials of the world about him, but I never taught him loyalty. He had that tucked away deep inside from the first days.
He and I would walk every morning down Cheriton’s main street, skipping past the still sleeping town lawns until we reached the highway. Then with anticipation growing, we would bolt across the road on our way to the Bay at Cherrystone—back when the campground was a quiet oasis without all the fuss you see today.
On our way, we played hide and seek through fields of gold until we both rounded a corner, pausing to smell the salt air mingling with sunrise fingers that stretched over the harbor. We sat together and watched little fishing boats slither out across still water in search of buried treasure, crab pots piled high in the stern.
I still miss him today, but when I miss him the most, I just look for the eyes. And when I do, he is with me again–my Irish setter named Reverend.