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Archive for the ‘Sunday Post’ Category

wannabee 1

Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really. — Agnes Sligh Turnbull

James 1:17

Many of you have heard this, but I’m aware many have not. Two weeks ago this past Friday, Biscuit, the VBD, died. With Jif there, our vet administered an injection. Biscuit had developed a digestive problem that made him unable to digest food — any food at all — for over a week. Three good vets tried to diagnose and treat the problem, but they were unsuccessful. He spent the last week of his life, days at the vet, getting IV fluids, and nights at home with us.

On the night before we finally made the decision, LG took him outside to see if he’d play fetch. He did. He ran all over the yard, sniffing out, then returning, his toys. We were elated. For a moment, it looked as though he could recover. I ran in and called the vet, who had raised the possibility of euthanasia, to give her the good news, and tell her that it ain’t over yet.

As I watched longer, it became clear to me what I was seeing. Years ago, one of Jif’s cousins, a heavy smoker in his 40s, lay comatose and dying in a hospital bed. Even as he lay dying, he repeatedly, mechanically raised two fingers to his lips, then extended his arm outward; back to his lips, outward. Smoking was such a part of him, his body wasn’t going to stop going through the motions until it . . . stopped. I won’t say that Biscuit’s fetching was that mechanical — truly, it wasn’t, because I believe he did feel joy in the play, and I know LG and I felt joy, playing with him — but it was so much a part of him that he wouldn’t stop as long as there was breath in his body.

I called the vet back and told her, “I think he would play fetch until he fell over, into a coma.” She agreed. We tried force feeding for one more day, and then made the painful decision to help the VBD do what he had, on some level, already decided to do. On the evening he was to go to the vet for the last time, my back was “out” and I couldn’t walk upright. After LG and I kissed his snoot and told him how much we love him, Jif took him.

There’s another hole in my heart. I don’t equate dogs and humans. Truly, I don’t. But losing my Mom and my dog in the course of a year . . . the two losses are not as dissimilar as I might have predicted they’d be. Perhaps partly because I rarely saw my Mom; in many ways, with the insulin injections and the blindness, our lives revolved around Biscuit’s needs. There is not one speck of complaint in the previous sentence, btw. He more than deserved any TLC he got from us, and then some.

There is more to say. About how they tried to give my Protestant dog a Catholic sendoff, about how people can be so insensitive when commenting on the loss of a pet, and about how grateful I am for the love and support…I’ll save those for the next installment. This is enough for now.

I think most of the posts mentioning or showing Biscuit are categorized under his name, if you want to know more about him. (Thanks to Shawkey for the quote here.)

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Easter Sunday

I’m not up to writing a post, but it is after midnight here on the east coast, so I want to say:

He is risen!

Of course, I like to keep in mind that this is true every day.

I have much for which to be thankful, and I want to tell you about that; and I have some things which cause me much sadness, and I want to tell you about that, too. Soon, I will.

But for now, anyone who’s still stopping by here, I wish you a joyful Easter. A new beginning, a rebirth, if that’s what you’re needing. And if not, then some chocolate bunny ears.

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Sunday Post

cnd window

“You would do well to pursue your causes with vigor, while remembering that you are a servant of God, not a spokesman for God, and remembering that God might well choose to bless an opposing point of view for reasons that have not yet been revealed to you.” — Barbara Jordan

Romans 8:18-28

I love/hate this quote. It came to me serendipitously, attached as a signature on the bottom of an email forward. The kind of thing I would not normally even scroll low enough to see. The forward was actually “People of Wal-Mart,” and the quote was the signature of someone a few senders back, someone I don’t know at all. But I knew it was for me.

It came a few months ago when I found myself in the middle of a situation in which one of my students was being scapegoated by someone who had an axe to grind with our agency. The student was being sacrificed in what amounted to a pissing contest between the agency’s director and the college’s program director. I am a mama bear for my interns, for better or worse. I supported the intern in every way that I could. I wrote letters and went to meetings and I encouraged, and I prayed.

And it started to become clear to me that while I had no doubt we (the intern’s team) were on the side of right and good, we were not going to “win.” I just began to have that sense, even without any confirmation of it.

And the day I began to have that intuition, was the day I noticed that “coincidental” email signature, by someone I don’t know. Except at that point, I knew it was from Someone I do know. It was a note from God. And I said (btw, I wouldn’t recommend this as a response to a note from God), “Oh, shit. It’s not going to go our way, is it?”

I knew that so clearly that I wrote to the intern and told her. She wasn’t going to be vindicated. Not right then, anyway. And we must have faith that our momentary loss was in the service of a greater victory later on. Being a person of faith, and a person who, I think, has come to trust me, she accepted this. Indeed, she may have come to that realization on her own.

Sure enough, many weeks later, someone in a position of power intervened and my intern no longer was oppressed in the way that she had been. The matter is not over. But more people are looking more closely, and our best hope is that the whole matter will lead to an examination of some people and some practices that needed examining.

All that to say, it ain’t over ’til it’s over. That reminds of another quote, I may have used it here before. From Richard Foster in the book, “Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home”:
“God is out to do me good.” And I always add, although the good Mr. Foster did not say, “even when everything looks like shit.”

Keep the faith. Or get you some.

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Sunday Post

these boots are made for puddle stompin'

“No accurate thinker will judge another person by that which the other person’s enemies say about him.” — Napoleon Hill

Romans 14:10-13

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(How’s that for a Sunday Post?)

Due to WTF-medicine-related nausea, I did not attend services today. But Jif and LG did, as they often do without me.

First thing LG tells me when she gets home is that “Miss Ginger doesn’t like my new haircut.”

“What? How would you know that?”

“She told me. She said, ‘Did you get a haircut? I don’t really care for it. I liked it better before. But if you like it…I guess that’s what’s important.'” Thank the good Lord, my daughter has a sense of humor, and was telling this whole story in the context of laughing at the wacky and clueless Miss Ginger.

I ask LG what occasioned this unsolicited commentary, and she tells me that Miss Ginger told her this during the “passing of the peace”, when we are supposed to be sharing loving, encouraging greetings with one another.

On what shamar-moore planet is that a proper thing for a 50-something woman to say to a 13-year-old? ‘Bout to lose my religion…

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NY08-bay steps

“Relationship is primary…It is possible to cause seemingly biochemical changes through human emotional involvement. You literally have changed his chemistry by being his friend.” — a psychiatrist quoted in “The Soloist,” by Steve Lopez

Psalm 51:10
Ecclesiastes 4:10-12

I have been thinking a lot about relationships, these past few months. Well, maybe all my life, but especially in the past few months. The things I miss about my relationship with my mother. The things we never got right. My relationship with my husband, and the things we have yet to get right. My relationship with my 13-year-old daughter, and how almost desperate I feel at times, to get that right. With adults, there are more chances for do-overs. Kids are forgiving and resilient, but with kids, those moments in time can really stick. They remember a look, a tone, a few words spoken in frustration.

The more I learn about brain development, the more seriously I take this business of relationship. Of human interaction, and of being conscious of creating an atmosphere that nurtures growth and development. There was a time when my home and even my presence (I’ve been told) supported such an atmosphere. That’s not true, now. I say this NOT to have you kind, generous folks jump up and say, “Oh, yes, you do!” I don’t need that. And I live in my house and in my head, so I know better. Illness and relationships and life circumstances have taken a toll. I am in the process of trying to climb back to that place, to that piece of my identity. And I will. Because I choose to, and because God will help.

I am thankful for the words and the actions of those who continue to help change my chemistry in the right direction.

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Stumbled across this video this morning, after reading a news story about this kid’s dad, watching on his laptop from Afghanistan. It’s a good prayer for Memorial Day weekend:

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