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Love Your Neighbor

2. Sketches

 

When Larry, Lisa and Charlie arrived at Grandpa’s house, he was waiting for them.

 

Grandpa greeted them, “How are my little friends doing today?”

 

Lisa said, “Thanks for letting us come over on such short notice.”

 

Grandpa responded, “You know I love when my kids come over to visit. I don’t have another story to tell you today, but I think there was another reason why you stopped by.”

 

Lisa said, “Yes, Grandpa, I have a favor to ask of you.”

 

Grandpa said, “Come in and we can talk about it.”

 

Lisa said, “I’ve been thinking I need to brush up on my drawing skills, and we seem to remember that you have a lot of very interesting pictures on the tables in your living room. Can we take a look at them.”

 

Grandpa answered, “Sure, come in to the living room. When my wife was still alive, we took a lot of pictures. I guess I just haven’t kept up with that recently.”

 

Larry studied one of the pictures and asked, “Grandpa, was this your dog?”

 

Grandpa started to tear as he began thinking about his dog. He said, “Yes, my dog, well, our dog, died about five years ago. I don’t think you knew me at the time.”

 

Charlie said, “What was your dog’s name?”

 

Grandpa said, “That is an interesting story that I haven’t told you. When my wife and I got this dog, I wanted to name it ‘Charlie’. But after a very short period of time, my wife decided that she would like to call our dog ‘Happy’, because he was always so happy.”

 

Larry looked at his friend and said, “Yeah, Charlie, the dog does look a little bit like you!”

 

Charlie just ignored Larry like he usually does whenever he says something obnoxious like that.

 

Lisa looked at another one of the pictures and said, “So, this was your wife? She was very beautiful. She has such a beautiful face. It’s almost like she’s ready to talk to you out of the picture.”

 

Grandpa said, “Yeah, this is my favorite picture of her. I, I really do miss her, a lot. Actually, it’ll be about 10 years since she died. No. Exactly 10 years, ah, next Thursday.”

 

The kids could tell that it was very hard for Grandpa to talk about his wife.

 

Grandpa continue, “So, Lisa, are there any of these pictures that you would like to borrow, so that you can practice your sketches?”

 

Lisa answered, “Grandpa, do you have any pictures with you and your wife and Happy in the same picture?”

 

Grandpa said, “No. I actually wish I did. But it was hard to get somebody to take a picture of me, my wife and the dog. Our dog was always happy, but he didn’t like to sit still.”

 

Lisa said, “Could I borrow these three pictures, and those two over there as well?”

 

Grandpa answered, “Sure, you can borrow those pictures for as long as you like. I know you’ll bring them back when you’re finished.”

 

Charlie said, “Lisa, when you sketch the dog, please write the name ‘Happy’ on it instead of ‘Charlie’.”

 

Larry said, “Maybe she should say, ‘Happy, a.k.a. Charlie’”.

 

Larry thought it was a really funny joke, and started laughing, but Charlie just ignored it again.

 

Grandpa said, “It’s a really good thing that the two of you are best friends, otherwise, you might be whacking each other on the head all the time.”

 

Lisa said, “I’m not so sure that being best friends will keep that from happening, so I guess we better leave now. Thanks for letting us stop by. And thanks so much for allowing me to borrow these pictures.”

 

After the kids left, Grandpa started thinking some more about the fun times he, his wife and Happy had together. He was glad the kids left when they did, because he didn’t want them to see him crying. Having the kids stop by every once in a while helped him from being so lonely, but he still missed his dear wife very much, and his precious companion that used to follow him everywhere he went.

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