Saturday, August 18, 2012

How Could You?

I hope you read every word of this page A man in Grand Rapids, Michigan, took out a $7000 full page ad in the paper to present the following essay to the people of his community: HOW COULD YOU? By Jim Willis, 2001 When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?"- but then you'd relent and roll me over for a bellyrub. My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more Perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs" you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home At the end of the day. Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love. She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" --still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love." As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch--because your touch was now so infrequent--and I would've defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf. Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family. I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my Dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?" They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind-that this was all a bad dream...or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited. I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?" Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself--a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her. It was directed at you, My beloved Master, I was thinking of you. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

No like a champ!

As 2011 wraps up, I've decided I'm done...with excuses that is. Why is is that so many people are too busy giving excuses to even live their life? I can't go here because (insert excuse here). I can't do that(insert yet another excuse here). I'm just so busy with(insert another ridiculous excuse here).

If someone and something is important to you...there are no excuses. You get it done! When people are important to you, it's not difficult to carve out some time in your life to be with them. If an event is important, it's not difficult to re-arrange your schedule to do what means most to you.

Life is too short and family/friends are too important to let excuses keep me from making memories and living a life of adventure and love. 2012 is going to be a fantastical ride of a lifetime, so get on board...unless you have a good excuse that is. ;)

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Sometimes you love and care about someone so hurts not to be with them. And sometimes you love that person so much that you have to let them go. You have to let them go and hope that your love is enough to make them want to come back!

Sunday, August 07, 2011


Of all the questions in life...I feel that those which start with "how" are always the most troubling. How do I do this? How do I fix that? How do I pay my bills? And though these questions we can face on a daily basis...I've been struggling with the bigger "hows" lately. How do I be there for someone I love, whose dealing with a dying parent? How do I help a friend deal with being the sole beholder of a family secret? How can I be a good daughter to a mother dealing with more than her fair share of stress as she deals with her aging parents and my beloved grandparents?

I think the hardest fact to face in these that there is no one correct way to respond to any of these hows. Each individual deals with grief, stress and pain in their own way. So, how do we as loved ones show that we care...without being overwhelming or more of a thorn in their flesh than a rock to lean on? Do you show that you care by letting go or holding on to someone? How can you wipe away someone's tear...if you're not there to see it? How can you comfort someone with a hug...if you're not there to offer them your embrace? Oh...again with the hows!

The only solution to any of this I can even think to offer to myself(or anyone else if they're reading)is love. John Lennon was right in saying that "All you need is love". Even though...he didn't map out exactly how that plays out realistically in our daily lives. I can only hope to love others in the way that I desire to be loved. I don't think any of my aforementioned "hows" can simply be solved and answered with just the word love. But, a hopeful understanding that the people in my life know how much they mean to me...and how quickly I would be there for them in any way that I can.

I think I have recently been repeatedly reminded of how short life really is. How fast time flies. How quickly loved ones can be gone from our lives. How dangerous secrets and lies can be. Let us do our best to love with all our hearts, live a life we can be proud of and be honest with those that we hold dear.

Since this has really just been a cathartic process for me to work out some feelings...I shall leave you with something much more lighthearted.

"All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." -Walt Disney

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Just a Relaxing Evening with my favorite German Theologian.

Anyone who has ever attended Simpson University holds a dear place in their heart for one particular theologian...Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This is in large part to the ever inspiring Dr.Craig Slane (author of "Bonhoeffer as Martyr:Social Responsibility and Modern Christian Commitment"). I think it's impossible to hear one of his lectures without some reference to Bonhoeffer. And who better to hear about Bonhoeffer from, then a professor who wrote a book about him and even lectures in German about this exemplary individual?

Sometimes when I'm in the mood for inspiration or simply for sharing inspiration...I look to Bonhoeffer for the cure. For those of you who do not know much about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he was a Lutheran pastor and theologian who was involved in movements against Nazism and his participation in plans to assassinate Adolf Hitler lead to his arrest and execution by hanging in April 1945, just 23 days before the Nazis surrender.

I urge you to do some research on this particular individual. You will not be dissapointed. I leave you with some of my favorite quotes. Enjoy!

"The mark of solitude is silence, as speech is the mark of community. Silence and speech have the same inner correspondence and difference as do solitude and community. One does not exist without the other. Right speech comes out of silence, and right silence comes out of speech."

"If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure."

"First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me."

"When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh."(The Cost of Discipleship)

"We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself."

"If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction."

"In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts…"

"God loves human beings. God loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility, namely, real human beings, the real world, this is for God the ground of unfathomable love."

"Absolute seriousness is never without a dash of humor."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Want to waste your life? I have 3 words for you: Lifetime Movie Network. I blame my roommate for this, as I came home to her watching this god forsaken channel the other night. I'm not really sure what sucks me into these made for tv flicks? It's certainly not the acting. And it can't even be the writing, which is just awful. There must be some sort of force field that Lifetime creates...which sucks you in once you turn it on and you can't escape.

From watching only 3 Lifetime movies I have discovered 3 things: I wish I was Amish, I'm scared of being murdered on a river and I seriously question our judicial system. I have no clue why I allow myself to watch this filth. It's embarrassing. But, watch I must! It wouldn't be so bad if it were like the old days when Lifetime sporadically placed their movies in between talk shows and other estrogen filled programs. However, now there is a channel that is Lifetimes movies ALL day long, EVERY day!!! What is a gal to do? Wish me luck as I attempt to move past that despicable network the next time I channel surf.

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Woman Who Walked Into Doors

I recently found this poem I had written a couple of years back which was inspired by the novel of the same title written by Roddy Doyle. This is not necessarily based on anything autobiographical. Just wanted to make that point clear. The novel was truly inspiring and left me no other choice, but to translate how I felt into a poem. Enjoy.

The Woman Who Walked Into Doors

Where did you get that black eye?
I walked into a door.
How did you break your leg?
I fell down the stairs.
How did you break two ribs?
Wouldn't you know...I slipped and fell in the kitchen.
And the cigarette burns on your arm?
You know me...just being careless.

How did you REALLY get the black eye?
I wouldn't make his coffee.
And your leg?
I didn't love him enough.
Your broken ribs?
I loved him too much.
The cigarette burns?
Just to put me in my place.

If I only could keep my mouth shut
If I could only be more of what he wanted
...if I could only escape.
Maybe when the blood dries, I can sink below the pain.
I don't even know who I am anymore.
Days and weeks blur together until they become months and years.
I am nothing without him, he reminds me of this as he picks me up off the floor.
And he is nothing without me...he does this because he loves me.
I avoid mirrors in the hallway...the blistered and bruised face reminds me...
I am the woman who walks into doors...nothing else.