Friday, June 26, 2015


This is how it happened. This is how I found out.

It was a bright morning, cool considering the heat that has been setting in early the last week or so. We'd had a day of terrific storms, tornadoes touching down, rivers running through the streets, flooding no one saw coming, so this morning was a welcome relief, a perfect morning for strolling lazily around our neighborhood.

I rarely answer the phone when I'm walking Duncan. All too often I pass other walkers, oblivious to their dogs while they talk to someone, ignoring the sounds of the birds, the rich green scents of the tall grass, the Russian Olives, the moist earth, wafting around them. I pity them and wish they could see the world as Dunc and I do on our numerous walks every day. But this morning, when the phone rang it was my father and as he rarely calls, especially in the morning, I thought I should take it.

"Good morning," I said while Duncan stopped and sniffed a low shrub.

"Curt, it's yer dad!" he called in his traditional greeting.

"What's up?" I asked as Duncan started off down the sidewalk.

"The Supreme Court ruled just now," he said.

I froze. Dunc's leash went taut and he snuck an irritated look over his shoulder at me.

"What is it?" My heart began to race. Yesterday we'd won the Affordable Care Act, to my great relief; surely The Universe wouldn't give us another victory so soon. "What did they say?"

There was a long pause. A very long pause. My father cleared his voice and then I heard the soft, muffled sounds of his tears.

"You won," he whispered and then sobbed.

I was stunned. The blue sky turned bluer, the grass greener, and all the street noise around me seemed to fade away, leaving only the sounds of my father crying and Duncan sniffing the grass at my feet.

"We won?" I asked, not daring to believe it.

"Yes..." he whispered.

I laughed, loud and unconstrained. "Why are you crying?" I asked, feeling my own tears rising up.

"Because I've never been so happy for you," he said.

And then I cried, too. Cried and cried and laughed and laughed all at once. I couldn't help myself. And so my father and I cried together, hundreds of miles apart but suddenly very close.

And when we hung up, Dunc was sitting there waiting for me, his tail brushing back and forth in the grass, his tongue lolling out one side of his mouth.

I knelt down before him, wrapped my arms around him and wept into his shoulder while he leaned into me, gave my ear a quick, reassuring lick, and let me have my moment.

It was perfect. I left my home having lived my entire life in one world but returned later, led by my handsome, wonderful red dog, to an entirely new world where my opportunities had changed and my dreams were unlimited.

We won. Today we all won.


Valerie Cummings said...

Love you so much Curt!!! And Dunc. Its your day my love!!!!

Marty said...

This is your day and I am so happy for you. But, we all won today. We all won when slavery was abolished, we all won when women got the vote. We all win every time a sentient creature is elevated to equal under the law. Every time we diminish another sentient creature, we diminish ourselves. Your legal equality makes my being richer. We all won today!

Lori Whitwam said...

How perfect that the news came on a walk with Duncan, and how perfect that it came from your dad.

It was a beautiful, monumental day, and when you get married, I BETTER be invited! :-)

fireopal66 said...

This is beautiful Curt! Pretty great day!!!��

Summer A. said...

Congrats my dear friend. I love you! 💖💕

Summer A. said...

Well, those were supposed to be hearts. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

So, from the rowing machine three places away from the elliptical I'm on, Jack says, "John, you should go to my Facebook page and read what my son wrote last Friday. He's a great writer." I have two young grandsons who can put a lump in my throat with the squeeze of the hand or "You're the best grandpa ever!"....etc., I know that feeling well and revel in it. It was too heartwarming to read just once...the second reading got my throat. It's a privilege to know how special last Friday was for you and your dad, Curt. All the best, John T

Curt Rogers said...

Thank you all for the kind words and support! It was truly a remarkable day, and sharing it with you made it that much more special.

How Sam Sees It said...

Wow - tears! I love your Dad!

Monty and Harlow

Gerti - Murphy's Mom said...

Yes! Finally! If one of us is not free, none of us are.