A Day When Words Fail

May God heal you, body and soul.
May your pain cease,
May your strength increase,
May your fears be released,
May blessings, love and joy surround you.
Amen.
-Rabbi Naomi Levy
Talking to God: Personal Prayers for Times of Joy, Sadness, Struggle and Celebration

Today I learned the son of a woman I adore committed suicide.

I have no words.

As I write I’m sending love and prayers to Debbie, Russ, and the rest of their family. Please know you will be in my prayers today and in the days to come. May we all be comforted by the memories we have of this “outstanding” young man.

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

Kindness

“A random act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a tremendous impact on someone else’s life.” 

Roy Bennett

Yesterday was a tough day for me.

We were finishing up a few days of dog sitting and I knew our two “guests” would be leaving soon.

Having two extra dogs kept me busy. What that really means is my mind had been completely occupied. As I packed things up for our visitors to head home, I was hit with memories of Duffy and Ruby.

Once again, I was caught off guard.

Even little Abby tried to console me. As I was getting dress she kept coming up and grabbing at my shoe strings–just like Duffy used to do. Her completely perfect and innocent actions created a whole new flood of tears.

God bless her little intuitive soul.

All this meant I had to find something to do.

Of course, my job of choice was and always will be–working in the yard.

After I finished weeding and watering our newest plants, Michael asked me to take a break. As I sat down he handed me his tall insulated glass full of ice water along with a beautiful little bouquet of violas.

In my typical form, I said thank you as I took a few small sips of water, jumped up, and continued on with my work.

Also holding true to my usual form, I pushed this perfect gift to the back of my mind.

Luckily he took this picture.

I found it earlier today in my morning messages.

Ummm, yes, awareness is my word for the year for a very good reason.

I fought the tears and ran outside

From human eye I’d try to hide

But there are Eyes that always see

He ever watches over me

And so He sent a gentle breeze

to kiss my cheek and comfort me.

And look who came to write with me today.

IMG_1476

 

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

 

 

Patience

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” 

David G. Allen

Life lessons come whether you’re ready or not–I’ve been reminded of that important fact this past month.

I’d become very comfortable with the status quo. I’d had this illusion of what my future held and I’d assumed things would follow that path.

I was pretty much 100% wrong.

I’ve been reminded life can change in a fraction of a second and in ways I’d never imagined. I’ve been reminded loss takes many forms, making it so important to love all those in your life without reserve. I’ve been reminded how one loss can change so many other things I’d never realized were intertwined. I’ve been reminded to pay attention to my word for the year–awareness–prompting me to stay mindful, slow down, and appreciate all aspects of my life. I’ve been reminded to stay in the present because those planned tomorrows are never promised. I’ve been reminded of the importance of my tight little cluster of friends as I’ve experienced the amazing kindness of strangers. Once again, I’ve been reminded of the depth and darkness of grief along with the renewed knowledge my faith is resilient and strong.

Most of all, I’ve been reminded to trust in myself, in my family and friends, and most of all–in God.

“No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself. I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish – consciously or unconsciously – that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown.” 

Dean Koontz, A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

“People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.” 

Ashly LorenzanaIMG_1457

 

Choices

“Whether you choose to move on from your struggles and enjoy life or waddle in your misery, life will continue.” 

Germany Kent

This past Saturday we buckled Bud into his Fido Rido and headed off to Sequin, Texas. As we drove through the magnificent wildflowers we knew we were starting a brand new chapter in the book entitled, Life In Hibdonville.

Everyone has an opinion about just about everything. Getting a new dog after the death of another dog is certainly one. No matter who you ask, there’s always very focal “yay and nay” sayers. Now, I’m not sure how many of those opinion holders have had the experience of losing two dogs in one month. This level of loss has been hard on us all–including our oldest Lhasa, Bud. After all the anguish and tears, we felt it was time to bring in the highest level of healing-the healing energy only another dog spirit can bring.

By the grace of God, on Saturday, May 4th, we picked up our newest family member–Abby Rose.

As you can see demonstrated in the attached picture, she has already started weaving her magic.

“But that’s the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and worth the doing.” 

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Resting

“He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave.” 

Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

It’s been especially quiet in Hibdonville today–the three of us are hanging close and resting.

Parts of yesterday are a blur but this orchid remains a powerful reminder of an important part of the day.

We’d been watching this flower start its blooming process for weeks. For days, this flower looked like it would explode. Early yesterday morning it did exactly that!

While I was marveling at the vibrant colors, my heart skipped a little beat. I knew at that moment Duffy, in typical Prince of Royal Court fashion, sent that burst of energy to us.

Duffy was telling Michael and I he was waiting for Ruby. It was time for us to get ready for a very different walk.

Duffy and Ruby had always waited for each other during our walks.  As we leashed everyone up, Duffy would be nipping at Ruby’s legs, trying to speed her up and Ruby would be waiting for Duffy at each and every corner because Duffy had only one walking speed–slow.

It was such warm and comforting memory on this dark and gloomy day. Sometimes God works in very subtle ways.

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” 

Anne Lamott

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

Goodbye

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 

A.A. Milne, The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh

We said goodbye to our Ruby this morning.

This past month has played out in super slow motion. And, like the saying goes, when it rains, it pours.

From the moment we saw this little girl, we knew something was not quite right. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to determine she had not had the best care. She was always fearful and easily panicked, seemed to stumble often, and was known to test even my patience when she would get lost looking over every single blade of grass for the perfect spot to do her business.

Over time, all these behaviors and a few more intensified. Every loud noise would send her into a literal tail spin and getting groomed became impossible. As her fear increased her aggression increased. I knew I needed help and reached out to other Tibetan Terrier owners.

Thanks to several people sharing their own experiences and knowledge, we had a pretty good idea what was happening to our dog.  It required sending a DNA sample to the University of Missouri.

We sent for the kit and set a DNA sample to the Orthopedic Foundations for Animals. From that sample our fears were confirmed–she had a genetic disorder called neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL).

Looking back on her life I believe she had signs of this disorder for years. Because she came from a questionable breeder we excused a lot of her behavior to not having a good environment when she was a puppy–every odd thing she did was a reflection of her very stressful puppyhood.

I will be writing more about Ruby and our experiences with NCL over the next few weeks. It will my way of honoring my Ruby girl. It will provide a resource to help educate future dog owners on how to begin a successful search for that special dog and provide a forever home.

I will miss this clown of a dog. She always made me laugh and somehow knew when I needed her to just come sit by me. I will miss her bumping the back of my leg and zooming all over the yard narrowly missing rocks, chairs, and low lying tables.

She was a streak of pure red glory and joy.

Ruby Girl, I love you. I will miss you and that big ol’ black nose of yours. I will especially miss that silly upside down grin.

Driving home from the vet this morning, I felt the warmth of a very strong beam of sunlight burst through the heavy cloud cover. For a few seconds I felt the warmth spread across my shoulders and neck–it was like she was once again right beside me–leaning on me and acting all goofy. In those few seconds I knew she was telling me all was well–she was free at last.

I love you, Ruby Jean. Thank you for sharing your life with us, being part of our lives, and loving us all.

It was a magnificent honor.

It’s true—

When I come to you in dreams,

I’m really there.

When you see me out of 

The corner of your eye, 

I’m really there.

When you ‘sense” me

Around the place, 

I’m really there.

I haven’t left you, not really.

My spirit is everywhere,

But especially with you. 

~Author Unknown

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~ 

 

 

 

Love

“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not boast. Love is not proud. Love is not rude. Love is not self-seeking. Love is not easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil. Love rejoices with the truth. Love always protects. Love always trusts. Love always hopes. Love always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

Today’s the day–in a few hours, Matthew Rogers and Stacy Williams will become Mr. and Mrs. Rogers.

It’s been an honor to be here, watching the celebration come together.

I am proud of my sister, Sue, and her husband, Al, for the outstanding young man they’ve raised. He is handsome, kind, considerate, and clearly in love with his bride-to-be.

I’ve also had the opportunity to spend some time with my niece, Ashley, Matt’s sister. She is a beautiful young woman with a persona that radiates compassion, artistry, and a strong sense of independence. What a joy it has been to witness how the these two siblings support, love, and encourage each other.

Thank you for allowing me to share you.

I love you.

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” 

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Traveling

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

I’ve been traveling this week so my story telling time has had to take a back seat–literally–my computer has its own little spot back there.

I’m back in Iowa for my nephew’s wedding. It’s been fun to be here and watch the activities gear up and start taking shape. The time has flown by me.

Thankfully I’ve been here to help where I can while adding a little bit of diversion along with an extra ear for venting.

An added bonus is I’ve seen a few friends and soaked up the energy only found here–the rich black soil of home.

I am grateful.

Do all the good you can,

By all the means you can,

In all the ways you can, 

In all the places you can,

At all the times you can,

To all the people you can,

As long as you can. 

~John Wesley

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

 

Anticipation

 “And I will never again underestimate the power of anticipation. There is no better boost in the present than an invitation into the future.” 

Caroline Kepnes, You

I have been gathering things together for some time in preparation for my trip to Iowa for my nephew’s wedding.

The little odd jobs I’ve had to do these past few weeks have distracted me. I am grateful.

Now, it’s time to pull it all together.

I’ve been questioning many things–wondering if I’ve made the best decisions.

My guess is I am not alone in these thoughts. The questioning can be relentless.

May this prayer help you, my fellow debaters.

May we all enjoy a good night’s rest.

Now is the time to light the vesper candles

  of the soul

for their flame shall illuminate this sacred 

   place. 

Now is the time to rest in the indigo blue

   arms of the earth

for the earth shall support and embrace you. 

Now is the time to dry the tears of the day

for the Spirit shall comfort and console you. 

Now is the time to offer thanks for the 

   blessings of the day

for the Spirit shall receive and honor your

   graciousness. 

Now is the time to hear the lullaby of wind 

   over land

for you shall be rocked in the soothing

   of its rhythm. 

Now is the time to close your eyes and let

   sleep come

for the Spirit shall keep tender vigil through

   the night.  

~Susan J. Erikson, Bedside Prayers

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~ 

 

Strength

“The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don’t want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don’t have a soul.” 

Sir Thomas More

What a joy it is to get the gardens cleaned up and replanted.

I learned last year to give new plants room to grow–less really can mean more in certain situations–allow room for growth.

I’ve been surprised by the encouragement I’ve felt from the plants I’ve discovered hidden under the mulch while clearing out leaves and dried plants. Under it all I’ve found little sprigs of green that’d survived the winter as well as the late spring frosts.

What a wonderful gift–to see how these fragile little flowers withstood unexpected hardship, held strong, and continued to rise onward and upward.

I am grateful for the gifts Mother Nature showers upon me–each new leaf and tiny bud finds a way to soothe my heart.

“Faeries are known to be tenders of plants and energizing inhabitants of gardens. They are more elusive than Angels and often have lively, mercurial temperaments. They are active in preserving what little wilderness remains on the Earth.” 

Elizabeth Eiler, Swift and Brave: Sacred Souls of Animals

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~