Wilma Wednesday: Sticks

Wilma, Boz Memorial

“Can I have a stick?” Wilma asks.

“Sure. How’s this one?”


I hand it to her. She takes it in her teeth, then sits.

“Aren’t you going to chew it?”

“Nngo.” (Her mouth is full.)

“What do you want it for?”

“Oor ny nenorial. Wk Mzz.”

I understand, and if she didn’t have a stick in her mouth, you would, too. She wants the stick for her memorial. She doesn’t know what that is, but she wants a memorial because Boz has one.

When Boz died—I can hardly believe it’s been three and a half years—a friend gave me some prayer flags. I tied them onto an old bench in the yard. Because Boz liked to chew sticks I would toss a stick onto the bench whenever I found one. I still do. The bench has become Boz’s memorial. As the pile grows and the flags fade, the bench is breaking down with the weight. You could say it’s the weight of memory and grief, but it’s good. As I throw the sadness off myself and onto the pile, grief goes. Memory stays. So we have a memorial to Boz that doesn’t make us sad.

“Wilma, you don’t like sticks, do you?”


“Boz has a memorial because he’s gone. You’re here, so you don’t need a memorial.”

Relieved, Wilma spits out her stick with a “cack.” Then she trots away in pursuit of something, it doesn’t matter what.

#Boz#home#memorial#sticks#Wilma#Wilma Wednesday#WilmaDialogs


  1. chris - May 31, 2017 @ 05:20

    Petrea, I can’t believe its been that long!.. I must admit, when I came across your blog, your fur baby was what caught my eye…Not to take away your writing skills, but I am a sucker for 4 legged creatures… He definitely had a personality that came thru in your photos and now Wilma does that for me as well… His memorial is a bittersweet reminder.. I say keep it alive.. get another bench! Why not? Wilma may start to drag a stick or another token and that would be special because she brought it..

    • Petrea - May 31, 2017 @ 07:30

      Thank you, Chris. We do love our furfamilies, don’t we? I’m glad you like hearing stories and seeing pics of Boz and Wilma. We can get another bench.

  2. Anonymous - May 31, 2017 @ 09:22

    Did Boz really carry or play with those big sticks/branches? He’s got quite a stickery sculpture there.

    • Petrea - May 31, 2017 @ 09:30

      Not the huge ones! Some I’d call branches instead of sticks. Still, I add them when I find them. It’s just a moment to remember what a good boy he was.

  3. Janet Aird - May 31, 2017 @ 10:31

    Beautiful, Petrea.

    It seems to me that putting sticks on the bench like that is the same instinct as placing stones to remember someone, do you think? It seems so right.

    • Petrea - May 31, 2017 @ 10:42

      I hadn’t had a conscious thought of that, but I think it’s the same impulse. A piece of the earth is symbolic of the living person’s connection with the dead. It’s all one.

  4. Harding Wilkins - May 31, 2017 @ 11:01

    Hope Boz said ‘cack’ when he left. Sweet, lumpy, old guy. xx

    • Petrea - May 31, 2017 @ 11:08

      He never talked much, but “cack” is probably what he meant.

  5. Lowell - May 31, 2017 @ 11:37

    Such a poignant post.

    • Petrea - May 31, 2017 @ 12:14

      Thank you, Lowell.

  6. Barbara and Watson - May 31, 2017 @ 12:15

    What an excellent way to disperse grief!

    • Petrea - May 31, 2017 @ 12:39

      I think it works like commemorative stones, like Janet said. That, too, is like putting flowers on someone’s grave.

  7. William Kendall - May 31, 2017 @ 13:29

    The bench is a very good idea.

    • Petrea - May 31, 2017 @ 14:07

      Thanks. It was already there, and I didn’t think of it as a memorial at first. But once I had tied the prayer flags to it, its fate was sealed!

  8. Bonnie Schroeder - May 31, 2017 @ 18:47

    What a lovely way to approach grief, Petrea. And what a moving post. Thanks for ending it with a smile. I didn’t know Boz but I bet he would approve.

    • Petrea - May 31, 2017 @ 19:47

      I’m sorry you didn’t get to know Boz. He was a gentle soul, a sweet lamb of a put bull mix, and I loved him so dearly.

  9. Foundpoem1 - May 31, 2017 @ 19:42

    I so enjoyed this Weds. musing. And if they only knew what the loyalty and trust meant to us (well, I think they do).

    • Petrea - May 31, 2017 @ 19:46

      We humans are very sympatico with dogs. They know a lot more than we might think.

  10. Foundpoem1 - June 2, 2017 @ 09:38

    They do.

  11. Shelley - June 2, 2017 @ 21:54

    This is very beautiful, Petrea. I love the idea of it all. Ella lives inside and doesn’t have a thing for sticks … as you soundly suggested to Wilma, I’ll consider the options when it’s necessary. 🙂 Dear Boz ~ I can’t believe it’s been that long. x0

    • Petrea - June 3, 2017 @ 07:59

      Neither can I. I still miss him, but in a good way. He was all sweetness.

  12. magiceye - June 3, 2017 @ 03:08

    A poignant post.

    • Petrea - June 3, 2017 @ 07:57

      Thank you, magiceye.

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