Harry is no longer in mourning. The daily accidents have stopped. He's no longer looking depressed as he lies on the couch, just sleepy and bored. He'll come up to us now and put a paw on our lap and sit there waiting for us to do something. "You want to go out?" I'll ask him, hoping he'll do his potty time outside instead of these erratic and pungent episodes he'd been having indoors.
But no, he doesn't want to go out. Now, instead, he's bringing us into the living room where his stuffed orangutang is lying on the carpet. He looks up at us and then throws the orangutang into the air and starts horsing around. He wants to play. Harry wants to play because he's happy and no longer mourning over our son's absence.
This happened, I think, because of us skyping with our son on Friday nights. We go into Alex's old bedroom which has been semi converted into an office. We all sit in front of the computer screen with the little camera on it and then -presto- Alex comes on the screen and his voice fills the room.
Harry can't actually see Alex. They say dogs can't see TV or computer screen images. But Harry hears Alex's voice. He hears Alex say, "Ha-a-a-r-ry! How ya doing!" Harry looks around the room, his floppy ears alert and inching upwards in anticipation of seeing Alex. He still won't see Alex for another month or so, but he's heard his voice. Just hearing Alex's voice every Friday night has changed Harry's disposition from gloomy melancholy to joy and prancing around the house.
Now Harry is daily playing with the orangutan, which is really Alex's old stuffed animal. We took it out of Alex's boxed up things and gave it to Harry the week after Alex left for college. Harry looked at it and then sighed. Several weeks later he was still just looking at the stuffed orangutan. But now, in the last couple weeks, he plays with that thing daily. I mean really plays with it- tossing it in the air, chewing on it like a steak bone, and then ferociously growling while he whirls it around the room. Oh, he's fierce. He's alive. He's out of mourning- all because he has heard the sound of his master's voice.
And that reminds me that maybe that's all I need too, to go from mourning to dancing around the room like I have no cares at all. I don't need to "see" God or see how He is going to work everything out. I just have to listen, hearken unto Him- if you want to get all King James-y. And when I hear His voice echo in my heart, everything in me perks up and my bones feel strong and I feel alive and willing to be fiercely steadfast in my faith.