I believe the bathtub is a sacred place. It is the one safe and warm place where I can be alone with my thoughts. It is the place I go when life throws me some bad curves. This is often the place I am able to say goodbye to loved ones. When I was thirteen years old I had a three-year old pit bull named T-Rex. He was the love of my life. He would curl up into a little ball, little compared to his size, and lay his head on the pillow beside me. He kept me safe and warm. I considered him my best friend. Someone that could listen to me talk or sing without complaint.
He died in August of that year because my dad shot him. It was hard for me to tell people this and at first I told them Rex had died of cancer. It took about a year before I was able to speak the truth. He stared attacking our horses, and my dad was afraid he wouldn’t stop at horses. I knew better, though. Rex wouldn’t hurt my family or me. I remembered that Thursday afternoon so clearly. I screamed at my dad that if he laid a hand on that dog I would run away. I couldn’t be comforted. I was angry.
Later that night I was still fuming. So, I went upstairs to take a bath. Rex, of course, followed me and laid down beside the bathtub. I cried and talked to him softly. Telling him how much I loved him and how I promised I wouldn’t let anything happen to him. I calmed down and decided to just relax in silence for a while. Rex soon got bored and decided he wanted out, so I kissed him and let him out the door. Looking back I wonder how I could have been so stupid. I shouldn’t have let him out of my sight because it was then that my dad took him outside and shot him. I was in my room wondering where Rex was when I heard my grandma crying in the room beside me. I then knew what had happened. Tears were streaming down my face, but I wasn’t crying I was screaming. This continued for about 45 minutes.
My dad finally came into my room when my screaming subsided. He was also crying as he told me he was sorry. I told him to go away as I ran back to the bathtub. There I was alone with my thoughts to say goodbye to my beloved friend and to learn how to forgive my dad for taking him from me. From that point on I always go to the bathtub when I need comforting. The bathtub is a sacred place, this I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.