We've Only Just Begun

We've Only Just Begun
More Books Beyond Our Trilogy : We'll Be Filling All These Bookshelves!


Lizard Chapter 12: WINTER ARRIVES

Days, weeks, months passed. The winter was the hardest winter on record. She was grieving and she was healing. Time heals everything if you let it. Still, she thought of me night and day. She thought of her father a lot. She thought of Mr. Lizard often too. She thought of him as the monsoons washed the autumn away. She thought about him and worried for him with the snow and the wind and the cold. She wondered where he was living and she prayed that he was safe and somehow warm. She was glad that she believed in Heaven and the Rainbow Bridge so that she didn't worry so much about her Dad and me. She didn't understand that she didn't need to worry about Lizard either. 

Meanwhile Lizard was concerned that she was upset with him. It is hard to be God's messenger when you come to take someone away from someone who loves them. He hoped that she would forgive him because he knew that forgiveness is one of the most important things on the face of the earth.  



She asked him if he needed anything but he said no. He never needs or wants for anything. He thought it was sweet that she left the light on for him the night before, but he wasn't not into eating bugs that night anyway. She took off her wet boots and coat and left them on the bench outside and went in to continue to get used to the house without me there. Somehow I could talk to Mr. Lizard and he would hear me, but when I talked to her she couldn't hear me. I had so much to learn. She had so much to learn.

Around the noon hour it was still raining like crazy. She took a phone call. She learned that her father had died unexpectedly in his sleep. They weren't sure what time but it was within hours of my passing. She was shocked. She had hardly come to terms with my death and now she was facing another. She was very glad that Mr. Lizard was there.

Now the crazy auric light out there is purple. Purple light in the dark night.  

It was comforting for me that he stayed with her outside the front door for the three days it took her to take care of the details and to clean out his apartment. She brought in some boxes from her car on the third day. She greeted him, glad to see him. She wanted to get some time to sit down with him later. She brought her tea out that evening and sat on the bench and talked with him for a very long time.  Mostly she thanked him for being there.  

The next day she was sad because not only was I gone and her father was gone, but Lizard was gone too. Well, we weren't really "gone" but she couldn't see us. Lizard told me that he had to leave on another assignment. He was not sure he would be back again.
Here Lizard, Her Father and Me we make up the colors of the rainbow.  


Saturday morning it was pouring rain. I thought she was crazy but she put her raincoat on and went out to walk our trail through the woods. People can do funny things when they are grieving. She opened the door, looked for Mr. Lizard to no avail, and went on her way to the trail through the rain. She walked until she was drenched. The trail was rushing with water in some places. She didn't care. She cried and the heavy rain drowned out the sound of her tears and joined her wet face so she didn't know where the tears ended and the rain began. She was strangely comforted by it.

Upon her wet return, there he was again! Mr. Lizard was in his appointed place underneath the light. "Oh am I glad to see YOU!" she said to him. She sat on the bench under the eave with him and they sat for a long time and talked. They talked about loss. They talked about death. They talked about love. They talked about the Rainbow Bridge and they talked about Heaven and God. 

She didn't know that he had left long enough between dusk and dawn to escort me to the Rainbow Bridge. But I wondered...Why did he go back to her? 



Mr Lizard was not really of this world. I don't know what that circular thing is out there. It was a moonless, dark night.
Early in the morning before dawn, I crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Lizard had told me ahead of time what to expect and how to get there. He told me that there would be others crossing over with me--many others! He was right. He was my guide and he made my crossing much easier. I was more worried about Kate but he reassured me. "Don't worry," he said,  "I'll make sure she's okay before I leave." 

That afternoon Kate went out and he was there. She sat down on the bench that she had sat with him on when we found him in the house on the fireplace bricks. She talked with him like he was a person. She cried and cried. She thanked him for being there for us. "I know you understand," she said to him. "I don't know how I know but I know that you do."  

That night she went out to see him again but Mr. Lizard wasn't there. He had not moved from that place on the wall by the door for five whole days and now he was gone. He told me he would be leaving Friday night, but he didn't tell her. If he did, she didn't hear him. That night she left the front light on for him all night in case he came back.  She thought he might be drawn to the light for the bugs or for the warmth.  He didn't return that night and in the morning after a sleepless night she sadly turned off the light. 



The next morning he watched us leave from his station under the lantern but he didn't say anything. He just watched us. Kate said "Good morning, Mr. Lizard," as we passed by him. She told him we were going back to the vet clinic. He didn't answer. He didn't say anything.  

I didn't know then what was going to happen. There were a lot of things I didn't know yet. I had some kind of surgery and I was in a lot of pain and I couldn't do much when we got home that day. Mr. Lizard was still there -- looking at me -- and saying nothing. He must've known I was in bad shape. Tuesday came and went. Wednesday. Thursday. I was getting worse and worse.  

Lizard Through The Leaded Glass
Every once in awhile she would get up off the floor where she was staying with me and she would stretch her legs and go out through the front door and talk with Mr. Lizard. She would smile at him like he was an old friend and then she would give him the report of how I was doing and she would cry because she knew it was inevitable that I was leaving this place. She asked him if he knew of anyone who could help us. She knew it was out of our hands now and she asked the only one who was available and near.  She asked Mr. Lizard.  

It's Like He's Half in One World and Half in Another
She couldn't hear him answer her but I could, even though I was in the kitchen inside the house. He said, "I'm here for you. I'm here for him. I'll make sure everything is okay." Even though she couldn't hear him I think she somehow felt better when she closed the door. She went out to see him every few hours. Every time she saw him he was just the same as he was the time before. 



I wasn't feeling too good one weekend.  Kate scheduled an appointment at the vet clinic the first day of the week.  As we were going out the door on the way to the clinic, sure enough, there he was.  He had come back!  Kate noticed him too. He was hanging on the wall near the light by the front door.  Kate said "Hey Mr. Lizard!  How are you? Where have you been all this time?"  Of course he didn't answer her, but he was communicating with me. He knew I was going to the vet and he wished me well. 

When we came back he was still there. It was fun to have him hang out. I sat at the front door and he sat above me by the light and we just were together. He commented on the change in weather; monsoons were coming. He was making plans for where he could stay, protected from the rushing waters that come to the southwest at this time of the year. I told him that he was welcome to stay here with us, hanging out under the eave under the light, but he said No, He couldn't stay with us for too long. He told me he had a job to do and that he had to go other places but that his place this particular week was with me, with us, at our house. He said today is Monday, tomorrow is Tuesday and that he would be staying until Friday night. I was glad he'd be here with us.  



Spring was approaching and we were starting to leave the windows and doors open to let the fresh warm are into the house. One day, I guess when we weren't paying attention, Mr. Lizard came right into our house.  He headed straight for the fireplace bricks where he scurried up with his sure-webbed feet and he just sat there like a decoration that you would buy in a southwest novelty shop.  He looked like he belonged there and I was happy to have him back. 

I hoped that Kate might let him stay here with us but when she saw him she said, "WHAT are YOU doing here?"  She was really nice about it but she said he had to stay outside where he belonged.  

She carefully pulled his webbed feet and hands off the cinder block, placed him in a pretty towel and carried him outside where they sat for a little while talking.  I don't know what they were talking about because I went out to the kitchen to finish my breakfast and drink some water. When I came back Kate was inside getting dressed for work and Mr. Lizard was still sitting on the towel on the bench outside where they were sitting.  

Kate went to work and Mr. Lizard stayed in the same place on that towel on the bench for many hours.  Then I guess he left but I knew that he would be back because he told me he would be.  He told me he would come back to see me in a few months.  I liked the thought that I was sure I would see him again. 

Even though I knew he was going back out into the predatory world with lots of risks to life and limb, I just had the feeling that he would be okay and that he would do as he said he would do.  


Lizard Chapter 5: THERE HE IS AGAIN!

I was really surprised one day when I saw him clinging to the screen door on the back patio. A lot of time had passed because I had grown from a puppy into a dog and I was twice as big as I was last time I saw him. I didn't need to ask myself if it was him.  It was him.  He had a presence that no other lizard possessed.  He was clinging to the screen only because he wanted me to know that he was there.  He moved around until I saw him and then he just sat there and talked to me.  

He told me very calmly of the adventures he had experienced in the natural habitat that surrounded our house.  He told me how he traveled several miles into the national forest but that every once in awhile he would think of us and know that he had to come back to see us.  

He told me to keep special watch over Kate in the days ahead and to always be sure to come into the house when the coyotes would come near the house.  Of course I knew to do that, but it was endearing that he was so protective of us.  I told him I appreciated him and it was not long after that he was gone again.  



Days passed -- maybe even years. Every once in awhile I'd think of him.  Even though we didn't really play together when he visited, I liked him a lot. I wondered where he went when he wasn't around.

I felt like I knew him from somewhere, some time a long long time ago. I know it sounds strange but he felt like my father, my brother, my son, my friend, he felt like everything all wrapped up into one. 

I think Kate liked him a lot too, even though we really never talked about him.  



He was Over Her Head

The next time we saw Lizard he showed up on the front porch of our house and he just sat there a little higher than Kate's head.  We came up the steps one day and there he was.  He just sat and looked at us and we stood and looked at him.  "Nice to see you again." said Kate.  He just blinked.  He was trying to tell me something, I wasn't sure what.  It was something important.  
He stayed there for a few days.  He stayed there until the day we took Grady to the vet and came back to the house without her.  I don't remember seeing him when we came home, but maybe he was there. Kate and I were pretty upset about what had happened and maybe we just walked by him and never saw him.  

Godspeed Grady