Scruffy Wilson died this week. He had just turned twelve.
Scruffs was the last survivor of the five critter children who moved with us to Florida.
He was a rescue, and complicated, a product of abandonment and abuse early in his life. He was a product of the physical illnesses that hunted him. He suffered from spinal meningitis, diabetes, sudden onset cataracts, back pain, KCS (dry eyes) and finally, lymphoma.
He was also a product of great love. Jaime Wilson was his North Star and he basked in the glow of her love. Somehow he knew she saved him. He saved his best for her.
Abused by a man, Scruffy distrusted me. But, he opened his heart as much as he could because we shared Jaime. We ended up loving each other from a distance.
Jaime traveled to the NCORE conference only days after Scruffy’s abdominal lymphoma surgery. During the week she was gone, I sent her a barrage of photos and videos to give her a visual diary of his days. Photos of silly things: lying in the grass, a trip to McDonalds. My phone is full of the quick grab shots.
My phone is full of photographs and memories. Without even considering it, I’ve spent the years creating a visual history of my life, conveniently saved on a small device that rarely leaves my side.
There are moments of great happiness like our wedding anniversary trip to Africa.
And, like the photos of Scruffy’s last lunch with Jaime, there are moments of sadness.
Photographs without memories are history. Memories without photographs slip away with time. Together, they weave the rich tapestry of our lives and can almost carry us back to the moment. The loved, and lost. Smiles and tears. Photographs and memories.
Go in peace, little man.