This really IS the view from my front porch. Sweet, huh?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

There Ain’t No Fleas On Me

5:30 am
There are four dogs in my bed as I write this, well, actually one has temporarily fled for safety  under the bed at the moment but you get my point.  Three of these dogs live at my house and one is a visitor.  Way too early this morning, Drake (my niece’s dog – they are on vacation so he is with us) sat on Mocha (Ali’s 2 lb. Chihuahua) and no one in the room was happy about this.  Did I mention that this was at 5:00 am?  The fight was on.  Drake lives with a very large American Bulldog and it is told that Drake “rules the roost” but this little Chihuahua just put him in his place.  Needless to say, I am wide awake now so here goes the latest blog.

We love our house dogs very much and they pretty well do whatever they want when they want – to a limit.  And, yes, we usually have one or two, sometimes three dogs in the bed with us at night.  Ricky jokingly accuses them of being the cause of any bug bite he receives.  Because there is no way he could have gotten bit while traipsing around in the National Forest doing his summer job or while working outside. 
We recently visited with an older gentleman who used the phrase “you lay with dogs and you’re gonna get fleas.”  He was referring to how we need to be careful who we associate with.  His step-son was recently killed by someone he barely knew in what was apparently an argument that quickly got out of hand.  From what I’ve heard, it probably stemmed from a misunderstanding but J. is still dead and there is no way to undo any of their actions.
My girls think I am “old school” and over reacting when I constantly tell them to be careful about who they are with and where they go.  Hopping in the car with someone else’s friend that you don't know could lead you into a situation where you have no control over the outcome.  Just looking “nice” or thinking they are safe because they hang out with someone you know is not a good enough reason to put your life in their hands.  Even allowing someone else to drive your car makes you responsible for their actions almost as much as if you were the one driving.
Which leads me to my next thought – how well do we really know those we call our friends.  Most of us have at least one Facebook friend that we only know through someone else yet we call them our friend.  I agree that Facebook is a safe place to get to know that person, much better than getting in a car with them, but this seems to water down the true meaning of the word friend.  Webster defines a friend as “one attached to another by affection or esteem.”  I like that!  It should be an honor to be called someone’s friend.  It is a title that I do not take lightly.
I guess I just want my girls to understand that I gave birth to them and, for some strange reason, I feel responsible for them.  I want them to realize that while we cannot control the actions of someone else, we can control our own actions.  They probably get tired of hearing me say “be careful” or “make me proud” every time they walk out the door but it’s my way of reminding them of this.
Back to the flea thought.  We put drops and dips and collars on our dogs to protect them from fleas.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could put something on our children to protect them from whatever life throws at them?  Oh … but we can ... it’s called ... PRAYER!!
To those of you who are my friends, my true friends, I thank God for you.  To those of you who are becoming my friends, maybe a new Facebook friend, thanks for sharing the moments of your life with me through comments about your day or pictures of your happenings.   I look forward to getting to know you better! 
Have you met these members of our family?  They drive me crazy but I love them all.


Life is good when you have the love of your family, your friends and faces like this-
Keep Smiling!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Ding, ding...(cell phone)"

I was awoken this morning a little after 3:00 a.m. by the quiet “ding, ding” of my cell phone letting me know that someone had sent me a message.  The message was from a dear friend and simply read “Mom just passed away.”  My mind immediately rushed back 18 years ago to the day my own Mom passed away.  Both remarkable women left their families as a result of cancer.
As I often do when I can’t sleep I turned to Facebook to see how many of my friends are suffering the same plight.  The second message listed was a link (See below) about a subject that has become all too familiar in our little town of Lamar – Heatstroke in athletics. 
Both of these thoughts, losing your Mother to cancer and losing your child from a condition common to their passion, have left me saddened to the state of tears.  I have personally experienced the loss of my own Mom to cancer and my daughter was on the field there beside T.D. the day he went down; one experience just this past year and the other over 18 years ago, yet the tears flow freely and the lump in my throat just won’t go away.  Through blurry eyes I sit here typing as a method of therapy for me and others who know what I am referring to. 
We want to comfort others in their time of hurt so we often share a hug, bringing them close to us.  By wrapping them in our arms we relate that their pain becomes ours to help lessen their load.  But often times, God has given us the gift of “experience” as a way to comfort those we care for.  Empathy is to actually know through experience the pain they are feeling.  It does not take away what they are feeling but can help them by knowing that others understand the feelings from inside that cannot be put into words.
While I truly know the feelings that are being experienced by the family of Ms. Sara Williams I don’t even pretend to understand what Mark and Tina have gone through.  Losing a child has to be the most painful thing a person can live through.  So the obvious question is – Why would God allow something like this?  I don’t have the answer but I found comfort in my time of loss by knowing that my Mom’s strength shown through her death was such a witness to others.  Sometimes people can see the love we have for our GOD through how we handle death just as much, if not more, than how we handle life.  It’s easy to say “God loves you and wants to know you” when life is “good” but to say it when you are hurting, be it in a cancer-stricken state or when your child lays lifeless in a hospital bed before you, is SO powerful.  To all who have done this, I commend you.
This emptiness I feel this morning is not only for those I care about who are suffering but is, in part, a selfish longing to hear my Mother’s voice again, to be wrapped in her arms and to share a laugh over something her grandchildren have done.
Life is too short to be wasted on petty squabbling among each other or to let pride stand in the way of something we know in hearts should be done.  So…  seize the moment and take action.  If there is something left undone in your life, ask yourself if it is really important.  If the answer is “yes” then start planning now to DO it.
To the Williams Family I want to say how sorry I am for your loss.  You all have been through so much in losing both parents in such a short time but you have the strength of faith, family and friends to lift you up – let them! 
To the Davenport Family I want to say that I am so in awe of how you have presented yourselves through all of this.  You so eloquently stand before the public eye fighting for awareness and prevention so that others will not have to suffer as you have. 
We have this moment to hold in our hands and to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand; Yesterday's gone and tomorrow may never come, But we have this moment today. – Gloria Gaither