life

Life’s Pace #Haiku

adlife-is-a-journeytoo-many-race-their-way-throughslow-the-pace-enjoy-a-little-bit-of-body-text

Life is a journey
Too many race their way through
Slow the pace enjoy

Linked to Ronovan’s weekly haiku prompt.

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Goodnight Sweet Gypsy

The past couple of weeks have been filled with highs and lows. There is the obvious high of Christmas and all that it means and brings. There was also the high of learning that I am going to be a grandfather again this summer; that was a pretty big high I have to say! There was the high of my anniversary; 27 years together with my wife on January 3. I’m certain there were other good things, highs, which are not coming to mind at the moment. Looking at that list one would think I’ve had a great couple of weeks – but that list isn’t complete. The mixed bag of lows have to be added in still.

Since my daughter was out of town until Saturday, Sunday was our anniversary, and Monday was the “official” announcement of our daughter’s first pregnancy, I felt it wasn’t appropriate to share the rest of the story until now.

Gypsy

My Sweet Gypsy

Around the beginning of December I noticed while grooming her that our oldest dog, Gypsy, had lost a lot of weight; she had dropped several pounds I could tell though I hadn’t weighed her to see the amount. Getting up in years, I figured that maybe she was having trouble with the hard-kibble she had been eating all her life so we got some canned food to supplement her diet. I hoped this would let her pick up some weight and fill back out. She did enjoy the new food, and the fact that she got it all to herself; we didn’t want to get the other two dogs spoiled onto canned food.

A week or so before Christmas Eve, Gypsy began to act “oddly” and started having trouble keeping her food down. She had a partially collapsed trachea that we had been nursing/treating for a few years that I figured was the problem. I started to feed her two smaller meals a day which seemed to help. Then on the 23rd she lost a tooth, not surprising for a dog that was almost 16 years old. But the wound wouldn’t clot to stop bleeding and her lip became inflamed, puffed out like an acorn was in her mouth almost overnight. With Christmas falling on a Friday there was nothing much we could do except wait until Monday for the veterinarian to be back in his office.

By Sunday (12/27/15) the knot had more than doubled in size and the bleeding was almost constant; she wiped persistently at her face with her paw so I knew it was irritating at the best – and probably worse. I’d seen this rapid lump growth on her before several years ago; a cancerous tumor came up on her left, rear foot that required surgery and months of high dose steroids to cure, causing her to swell to almost double her normal weight. It was pitiful to see this agile, fleet-footed dog become unable to climb up on the couch, let alone run, jump or play. I can’t tell you how relieved we were when the treatments were over and she began to go back to old self again. We decided never to put her through that again if the cancer ever came back.

Of course I didn’t want to think, let alone say, it could be another tumor; if I did it would make it a real possibility. So I rationalized it could be an infection from the tooth she had lost; I was very adamant that this was possible, both in my mind and outspokenly. Though no matter the cause I had to take her to the vet on Monday.

Monday morning as I was about to dial the vet’s office my wife stopped me; she said that we ought to give it another day to see how she was and if the pain pills she had been taking (left over from another incident) were helping. I was relieved and yet not either; I knew this was delaying the inevitable, really. I called the vet and made an appointment for Tuesday, explaining the situation; 10-30 am we were to be there. Why so early? I thought! As the day went on I realized a few things: the medicine was helping (but not a lot), the bleeding wasn’t stopping, she wasn’t eating, and this wasn’t an infection. So I spent the day just loving, petting and talking to her, preparing for Tuesday and for goodbye, really.

The news wasn’t good; the cancer had come back and was very aggressive this time. Who would’ve thought: All this time I’d been checking her foot and leg and it comes back in her jaw?!? There were options, horrible ones, which I didn’t consider for a moment, things I won’t write about and don’t want to think of. It was time for her to leave us, not for her to suffer any more. At just before 11:00 am December 29, 2015, after being my constant companion for over 15 years, Gypsy left us, resting comfortably in my arms as she had thousands of times over the years. She now rests in the backyard beside her old friend Morkie, who left us in 2010, in a coffin my son made for her; he decided she needed something special to be buried in.

Gypsy was a very special part of our family. She was my comfort and company through many pain filled, sleepless nights. She saw me through a major surgery and I her through two. A more perfect, loving, sweet pet I cannot imagine ever existing. From the ragged looking rescue pup we adopted (I remember my wife saying, “Didn’t they have an uglier one than her?” when she first laid eyes on her LOL) to the beautiful, graceful dog she grew into, she meant something more to me and my family than I can fully express in mere words. There are so many wonderful, fun memories she gave us and for that we are so grateful. But more so, we are grateful to have been her family and received her faithful love.

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After a play-session this fall

I’m thankful we took that extra day, Monday, to have spent it with her. No, it wasn’t easier nor did it hurt less Tuesday; it doesn’t hurt less a week later as I write this for that matter. But it was comforting to a degree to have that time to say goodbye to my sweet Gypsy.

Napping

Napping

Life Given: a #haiku

This week Ronovan brings us a new challenge, as he does weekly, with two new prompt words that work well for my style of writing. 

life in a shambles
far away from the Father
Son gives His for me

Each of our lives, no matter how together they seem on the outside, are far from perfect; many times we find ourselves in a complete mess if we are honest. Any Christian will know what I mean when I say we go through seasons when we feel so far from God, though we really aren’t. 

Unbelievers are completely separated from God. They are in a spiritual shambles until they accept that and seek Him and His grace through His Son, Jesus. 

Jesus’ life was never in a shambles; he led the perfect, unblemished life no one else ever could. I’m not implying that He was in a mess the way we are in this haiku; I want to be clear about that. Rather, on the cross He was separated from His Father to take on our mess – our sins – and pay our penalty, a debt we could never pay. 

Hanging on the cross, suspected between the heavens and earth, Christ called out:

Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

All alone He bore the sins of all mankind for all time so that we might be able to be reconciled to God. As the old hymn says, “Oh, what a Savior!”.

Day 7 Journey: a #haiku #OctPoWriMo 

As I began to ponder on this seventh day of OctPoWriMo there was but on thought on my mind: my wife and the journey we have lived together the last (almost) 27 years.  

young and ignorant

we set out on our journey

never looking back

At the tender age of 20 we began this trip, having been strangers a mere months before we were wed. It seems like no one expected us to “make it” – but we did. Through the great times and the very lowest of low times, we pulled together; pulling together is the difference between those who “make it” and those whose roads divide. And to this day, of all the things that I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve done differently in my life, making her my wife is the one thing I am most certain I did right

Day 6 #OctPoWriMo

Today is day six of OctPoWriMo, a new to me challenge that I’ve really enjoyed thus far. “Life changes” is the theme for today’s prompt suggestion, along with using a counted-syllable style of writing. I chose to go with the theme (in my own way) and use the Shadorma again. 

There’s so muchI’d change if I could
Moments lost
Ever gone
We can change yesterday’s loss
Set new course today

While its human nature to wish to be able to set back the clock, we know that’s not possible. I know I have regrets; I imagine everyone does. But time lost worrying over past mistakes is time lost that we coul be re-setting for no more regretting.