The Best Kind Of Love

The Best Kind Of Love

This is the last post in a short series about how Pearl has coped with the loss of her best friend, Blanche. The series began with this post if you want to start at the beginning.

Pearl called again more insistently. I went back to her.

“What is it, Sweetie? Are you okay?”

“Do you think those little fireflies are like that too?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean I have nothing to share with them. When I tell them jokes, they don’t laugh. I have told them my very-best-ever-never-fail jokes, the ones that had everyone else rolling on the ground with laughter. Once Blanche was laughing so hard she laid an egg right in the middle of my joke. But the fireflies don’t think any of my jokes are funny at all.

“But when I cluck, ‘Bawk. Bawk. Bwawk-a-Bock,’ they make a ‘Blink. Blink. Blink-a-Blonk’ with their lights.”


“And when I cluck, ‘Bock. Bwawk-a-Bwawk. Bock. Bock,’ they make a ‘Blonk. Blink-a-Blink. Blonk. Blonk’ with their lights.”

“What do you think that means, Pearl?”

“I think it means, I hope it means, they love me even if they don’t understand my jokes.”

“Do you feel the emptiness in your life being filled, even if just a little?”

“Yes, I think so.”

“Then that is certainly love. And the best kind of love. They love you with the same kind of love Blanche had for you.

“They don’t love you because you told them a funny joke. They can’t understand your jokes. They love you because you have nothing to share with them except your heart. They can understand the goodness of your heart. It’s all they need to know. That’s just like Blanche.”

“Why do you think the fireflies didn’t show up until this summer?”

“Maybe they have been here all along, but you never noticed them before. Sometimes things are that way. They are beautiful. They are like tiny little miracles, don’t you think?”

“Yes, and they are my friends.”

“They absolutely are.”

“And they love me no matter what.”

“They absolutely do.”

“And you are sure?”

“I absolutely am.”

Her old smile began to return. She was fine to be by herself now without me because she didn’t feel alone any more. I stood and looked at her innocently hopeful face.

“You are such a pearl, my little Pearl.”

We said our final goodnights. She was happy now. As I headed back inside for the second time, I wondered what would happen when summer turned to autumn and the fireflies disappeared until their next season.

For now, the bawking and blinking would be enough.

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When There Are No More Jokes To Tell

When There Are No More Jokes To Tell

This is the third in a series of posts about how Pearl has coped with the loss of her best friend, Blanche. The conclusion will come in the next post. (Watch for the fireflies!)

“I still don’t understand. Aren’t you supposed to love someone because they are really good, or at least really good at something? When you are good and practically perfect, life is supposed to go right for you.”

“Blanche was good to you, wasn’t she? She did all of the right things when it came to being your best friend ever, didn’t she? But she has gone away from us even though she was as good as a good friend could be, even though she didn’t want to, and even though she tried her best to stay with us as long as she could.”

Pearl closed her eyes as if all this was too much for her, but she was desperate to make sense of what has caused many to stumble and doubt.

“Love wouldn’t have anything to do in a perfectly right world. Love is action. Love has to do something. That is why it’s never enough to say you love someone. Love has to do something, even if it’s just telling someone a joke like you do so well. Love fills emptiness. Love covers imperfection.”

She looked into my eyes, hoping what I said was the truth, hoping to find her most needed answer there.

“I am out of jokes and silly hats and silly anything. How can you still love me?”

“I love you all the more, Pearl, when you have nothing to share except your heart.”

Pearl was silent. She didn’t know whether to stand or sit or run away to find a distraction.

“Think about these things for a while. You won’t get them right away like the punchline of a joke. Most punchlines come easily when you are ready for laughing. But most life truths only come easily when you are ready for crying.”

Pearl nodded. She would think through these things in the privacy of her nesting box.

As I headed back to the house, I heard Pearl calling, almost desperately, but she wasn’t calling for Blanche. She was calling for me.

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

Kinds Of Wounds

Kinds Of Wounds

This post is part of a series about how Pearl has coped with the death of her best friend, Blanche. Grieving a death or any other painful event is never easy, but maybe Pearl’s experiences will help.

“Why do you love Gracie so much?” Pearl asked me early one evening.

“I love all you girls with all my heart. You are all my chickens.”

“I know, but there is something special about Gracie. Your voice is different with her. So is the way you move.”

These are things I had not noticed about myself. Pearl could be silly, but she is a serious observer, just as all comedians are.

“Maybe it’s not a matter of more or less. Maybe it’s in different ways. I am growing to love you the same way I love Gracie.”

“Why is that? What is her trick? What did she do to make you love her so much in a different way? I want to know. Does she tell better jokes than me? I’ve never heard her tell any jokes. Not a single joke ever. Or wear any silly hats? She doesn’t even do that.”

It was difficult for me to tell if she was jealous or angry or simply curious. Maybe her heart was desperate for answers, any answers, since there seemed to be no answer to her most important question. Why has Blanche died and gone away?

“I will tell you what you and Gracie share in common, and that may help you understand. I hope so. It’s not easy to explain any other way.”

Pearl moved closer to hear better.

“I love Gracie the way that I do because she has always had that lump on her side, almost from the time she hatched. It is something she has had to live with. It keeps her from doing some of the things she wants to do. You might call it a wound to her body.

“Gracie loves every minute of her life even though her wound reminds her of unpleasant things.”

Pearl stayed quiet, thinking this through. She needed something to fill the ache in her heart, and maybe more love could do it.

“It is like what happened to Bessie. Remember the day when I was away, and she defended all of you against the stray cat? Her comb grew crooked and floppy afterwards.

“Some people would say it makes her undesirable, flawed, and even ugly. When I look at her, I only see what a brave girl she is and how much she loves all of you.”

Pearl grew restless.

“I don’t understand how any of that makes me like them,” Pearl protested.

“I don’t have a lump on my side. My comb stands tall and straight. It is as red as my feathers are white. I’m a practically perfect little hen. You have just as much said so yourself before.”

“Yes, I know. But when Blanche died, that was like a wound to your heart. No one can see your wound, but it’s there, and it hurts nonetheless. You are learning to keep going even though the scar on your heart reminds you of unpleasant things.”

Pearl stopped her nervous head-bobbing and pacing. She looked down at her breast. She saw the pure white feathers on the outside. She felt her broken heart on the inside, but it didn’t scare her any more.

This is the second of four posts which tell about Pearl and her grieving process. You may wish to read the next post in this series.

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!