Thanks for the memories

Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham

312_stopthepresses.jpgFunny how life can be.
I was reading a magazine the other day, and came across an ad that later made my mom break down in tears of utter sadness.
“This is so eerie,” I said to my wife, pointing to the ad, which featured a dog sleeping with a stuffed animal in a spot promoting a bank that I am guessing was meant to get readers to think about security or some such related concept.

The eerie thing was how the dog was a spitting image of my mom’s dog, Ted, who we had to have put to sleep earlier this year.
I say we, and I mean I. Mom was too torn up to even be around when I picked him up to take him to the vet – leaving me to be the person from the family to be on hand to hold him down while the doctor did the deed.

It wasn’t the kind of thing that I would ever look forward to again – Ted was just a fluff of fur when I met him for the first time, on a visit home from college, and even as he grew into a 60-pound ball of energy he seemed to live life like the puppy that he was back then.
So when I saw the ad featuring Ted – I swear they had to have taken a picture of the old boy from one of our photo albums, the likeness was so similar – it was something that made me smile.
Which gets me to how I found out that Mom still wasn’t taking the loss that well.

“You’re not going to believe this,” I said as I fumbled for the magazine, then turned the page to the ad.
She left the room visibly shaken, not saying a word.
This story has a happy ending. Crystal found another picture of Ted on her computer from a few years ago and had it made into a Christmas ornament.
Mom didn’t cry at the sight of Ted this time – though I wouldn’t have faulted her if she had.

After all, there’s a reason that I keep that old magazine ad around – and it ain’t because I’m interested in what that bank was trying to sell me.


Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.

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