Friday, April 15, 2011

30 Days: "I Crossed My Heart" by Marion Stieger

I Crossed My Heart
My mom always kissed my hurts and made them go away. But when Nala stopped eating and could barely move, I crossed my heart and wondered if Mom could do that for Nala.
At the animal hospital, Dr. Nash rubbed her long fur. “I’m sorry, Brookie. Nala has lived a long cat-life. Her bones hurt, and she’s tired. You and your mom need to talk about her sickness.”
Nala stayed with Dr. Nash while Mom and I went outside and sat on the grass. I just wanted to flick my shoestring, but Mom asked me to look at her. “I can’t kiss Nala’s hurts and make them go away, Brookie. Dr. Nash can’t fix her, either. Medicine can’t even fix Nala. But it can stop her pain until she stops breathing. We’ve talked about this before. Do you understand? Do you want to ask me any questions?”
All my tears fell on Mom’s arm and spattered on my legs. I couldn’t make Nala well, but I could stop the hurt. So I flipped away my tears and stuck out my chin. I wanted to be brave, but my chin refused to stop quivering. “I understand. We have to tell Dr. Nash to give Nala the medicine. I want her pain go away.” 
Back in the doctor’s office, Mom held Nala in her lap. I rubbed her paw down my cheek the way she used to do before she got too sick. I crossed my heart and whispered, “My kiss and the medicine will make your hurt go away.” I gave her a kiss and ran into the hall where I’d told Mom I wanted to wait.
Soon Mom came out and slipped down beside me. She rocked me while I cried big tears. But they were happy ones. Nala wasn’t hurting anymore.
As soon as I got home, I grabbed our pictures. Nala as a kitty.  Nala at my birthday party. Nala chasing a butterfly. I looked at every picture.
“By the time I finish your kitty picture book, I bet Mom will agree that you would like us to have a kitten. I’ll name her Lala – to rhyme with Nala.”
I knew Nala was listening. 


Julie Daines said...

I love this story. It's hard for kids to lose a pet.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Julie. I wrote this for my eight-year-old granddaughter. She called me the night her 12 year old cat had to be put down and asked, "Nana, will you write a story for me about losing Nala?" Her shaky-voiced request broke my heart and made me feel humble. The story made her smile and left her with a good memory.

~ Amy W ~ said...

Oh, that breaks my heart too...

smoki2 said...

Wow. Really sweet. I love that Brookie uses her love for Nala to move her on to her next pet. It's exactly what I did when my kisses and the medicine stopped my dog, Smoki from hurting. I ended up with Cupcake, a rescue-turned-therapy-dog. Life after heartbreak. You really summed it up. Awesome job.

Taffy said...

I like how she wanted to name the next kitten Lala to rhyme with Nala. Cute. THANKS for sharing. It's nice to have talent you can use to heal your grandchildren.