"I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now."
          My Back Pages
              ----Bob Dylan

Memories of Ebony

It was almost a year and a half ago that it happened. As if from nowhere came this most magnificent of creatures -- kindness, innocence, elegance, youthful energy, and beauty, all wrapped in a tiny package of fluffy beige fur, so stunning that looking at her was like staring into the sun. My life has never been the same since. That was my lovely Ebony: wife, lover, companion, comforter and mother of my ten children.

Today, the 25th of December, 2001, all the angels in heaven had the same experience. They gathered this day between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. to welcome her precious soul. I am sure that they, too, were in awe of her majestic presence. Even an angel could feel nothing less than a sense of wonder at the sight of my Ebony.

Life in this world was not easy for Ebony. But I can say with total certainty that she was loved as much as any hamster that has ever existed -- by me, by my relatives and companions, and by our many human friends. She struggled to give birth twice, bearing a total of ten little babies. Yet not a single one was destined to live to adulthood. Ebony mourned her whole life for those children, and longed every day, I am sure, to see them and hold them again. But her loyalty to me came first. She waited graciously as age slowly extracted its price, making her thin and fragile and every day more tired. Then, a series of sudden illnesses came together which today ended her short time on earth. Until the last, she fought for life. Finally and forever, she has followed the path taken by our children. Somewhere in that peaceful, happy place above there is a gentle, loving, contented mother, surrounded by ten of the most wonderful hamster babies ever known.

Yes, we must all follow that path. And when your hour finally comes, you will know my Ebony when you see her. Her beige fur is soft and silky, so fine it blows in the wind. Her eyes are like rich, dark rubies, shining with the love that was in her heart. Her beauty was not merely within her, but radiated to everything in her presence, somehow making all things around her seem marvelous and special. She is and was and always will be unlike anyone else.

In this past week, during her dreadful illness, I have been forced to ask myself some serious questions. It is a humbling experience to be married to someone so completely captivating and so genuinely good. I could never deserve her. No one could. But how is it we can love someone so much in this life, only to face the utter desolation of separation? I can only conclude that the love of this world is mere practice for what is to be in the next. Because in the perfect place that is forever we will have a love for each other that is beyond imagination now, a perfect union that exists in the confidence of knowing that it never ends.

I can feel her with me even now. She has overcome her pain and sorrow; she has passed beyond death. She has peaceful rest and a joyful eternity.

I will always love you, my Ebony. But you already know that.

Your husband,
Diddley Squat

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