That night in Christine’s guest room it took me ages to fall asleep—only Daisy’s canine snores assured me that I was safe. When I did finally drift off, I found myself in the meadow I could never paint. Sitting in the grass, leaning back on my hands, I felt the warm sun on my face. The dragon, however, was nowhere to be seen.
Awake again in the morning, I felt bereft. Even my dragon had left me.
At breakfast Christine set a small padded envelope on the table. “I don’t know if now is the best time,” she told me, “but I promised Rick I would give you this.”
“No problem," she said, withdrawing the envelope. "I’ll just hold on to it until you’re ready.”
Silence descended between us. And then I asked, “How was he?”
“How often did you see him?”
“Just a couple of times. Daisy stayed with him while I was with you at the hospital. He didn’t leave until he knew I could take care of her.”
I almost smiled, thinking about how much Daisy would have liked that. But then the almost-smile faded from my face. At least Daisy had been able to say goodbye.