I went up to the attic to grab a box of pictures, and saw the cage in the corner. It looked very empty over there by itself, dusty and dreary. And suddenly the memories came over me and I was laughing and crying all at the same time.
When Rosie was away at school, probably her senior year of high school, her roommate took a little hamster from from the pet store. She hid him in her pocket and brought him to the dorm room on a fluke. She didn’t really care about the hamster - this was just a thrill for her - and she didn't take very good care of him once she had him in the room. She did play with him a lot though - taking him out, putting him in precarious situations, laughing at him, making him swim. Rosie tried not to engage too much because the hamster wasn't hers, but she loved the little creature and it hurt her that he was neglected. She would get food for him and try to be sweet to him when she could.
One week Rose got super sick and spent nearly the entire week in her bed. As a “get well” gift the roommate gave her the hammy. As soon as she was well enough to go out, Rosie bought a cage, a hamster wheel, food and toys for the little guy. She turned that hammy's life upside down, making sure he was well cared for in that crazy dorm environment. She named him Edgar.
Edgar and Rosie still had some wild outrageous times there at school - he had his fur dyed red, had the chance to share a box with a turtle, got to run wild in the hall, and generally had "hair-raising" adventures.
And then, one day, she brought him home. She said that Edgar was ready for a break. He needed a little less excitement. A quite spot to chill. But I was absolutely not ready for him. I don’t want a RODENT, I said. No. Eww.
But Rose prevailed, and put the cage in the office and went back to school. And then, to my amazement, the little tiny creature won me over with his sweetness. He took an honored place in my office and even became a bit spoiled, I think. Fresh fruits and vegetables twice a day on little tiny butter pat plates. Wonderful snacks and a rolling ball to check out the house. New well oiled wheels to exercise on.
Rosie said – Momma, I know you. I knew you couldn’t help but love him.
Jaya and I had come up to visit with him on a Saturday morning when I looked in the cage and realized he was gone. I was quite surprised at how very sad I was and my tears overwhelmed me straight from the heart. I had no idea how large a place this little tiny creature had taken for him own in my life.
Asa, Jaya, Aaron and I had a ceremony and spoke about how very much we loved Edgar before we laid him to rest.
Love surprises us in this life with such unexpected joy. I try hard to remember to delight in it when it comes and never ever take it for granted.
Thank you for enriching our lives, dearest Hammy. We loved you - and you loved us back, very well.