Thursday, July 26, 2012

Marly: Gone But Not Forgotten

By Juliet Cody
(Note: Guide Dog Merl, known as Marly)

Marly is gone but not forgotten. She will be in every fragment of my memory, because from the first day we met at GDB, she changed my life. Our adventures started three days after graduation when we took off to an NFB National convention across the country in Philadelphia. While there, I touched the liberty bell, and my own liberty bell began to toll for Marly and me, proclaiming our new horizons.

The convention taught me many ways to adapt, and being blessed with a Guide Dog like Marly, blindness seemed to have disappeared. The ultimate flavor was when I tasted freedom jogging on the beach without worrying about tripping or falling because Marley’s beautiful eyes were seeing for me. Now marly has left, and blindness has returned. We had eleven miraculous years filled with adventures, trials, love and dedication for one another. SHE left me a legacy that I have written about in my upcoming book, "Building More than Sand Castles." She has also left me knowing that blindness is not devastating; rather, it is what you make of it. Therefore she is compelling me to get another Guide Dog in the near future.

The emptiness, the aching heart, and the tears are not yet healed. Nevertheless, on a warm summer sunset as the waves were breaking, I swam into the ocean with a handful of marly's ashes and rose petals. The wave broke along with my heart when I let my precious guide go. I heard myself saying, "Marly, I will be back to surf with you every Sunday." When I reached the shore, my GDB alumni family was waiting with tears, rose petals and love.

I want to thank the staff at GDB with my deepest appreciation for giving me Marly, my GDB family, and all of the support that anyone could ask for.


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