Thank you for being a friend!
It was about a month after my dad passed away and I returned to work. My boss asked someone to back his SUV out of the warehouse. I was good at maneuvering even the bigger trucks around in tight spaces, so I volunteered. I revved up the engine, looked in the rearview mirror and started to back up…CRUNCH. I was motionless in a state of unbelief for a few seconds—I just couldn’t grasp what had happened. I opened the door and got out, staring at the pavement as I made my way around to the back of the car. I’d misjudged the entrance by a few inches, dented the fender and smashed the tail light. I stood there blurry-eyed with my shoulders slumped over and nothing to say.
Earlier that morning he’d asked me if I was okay after my dad’s passing. I honestly thought that I was and I said I was fine. Now when he came to see what the damage was, I sighed, “I guess I’m not so fine after all.”
My dad’s death affected me in ways I didn’t recognize. I wasn’t quite myself. For the next several months I had to really pay attention to my driving and I had to make an extra effort to not let my mind wander off when I was talking to someone. I wasn’t always successful at it, either. But eventually these side effects disappeared and once again I was my happy self.
At some time or other all of us experience loss and I don’t think we can predict exactly how it will affect us on the inside or how the loss will show up in our attitudes and actions on the outside.
So I was surprised when it happened again. It’s been eight years since my dad died. Then this past November, my sweet little dog Spike died the day after Thanksgiving. I was the one who had to take him to the vet to put him down. I woke up with a feeling of urgency at 2 in the morning and knew it was the day. He was having seizures closer and closer together and having more trouble breathing. I thought I might have to take him to the emergency hospital but decided to wait and take him to his regular vet at 7 when it opened.
I didn’t want to do it, but I knew I had to. He’d been trying to please us and do his normal cute stuff, but I could tell he was having difficulty.
Taking him that morning was awful, just awful. I was as brave as I could be. I took his chubby little self into the vet on the same red leash he had when he first came to us sixteen years ago. At the time he was in the hands of a nine year old neighborhood boy and his dirty-faced sister. “Ma’am could you take this dog? We already have three dogs and my dad won’t let me keep him.” There was just the slightest hesitation on my part, but then, “Yeah, sure.” My roommate Jane and I started toward our front door with a wiggly waggly-tailed brown and white King Charles puppy mix. As we reached the door, I turned back toward the boy and his sister, “Does he have a name?” The boy straightened up, “Oh Yes. His name is Spike.”
That memory was vivid in my mind as I gently held him in my arms on the cold stainless steel table in the vet’s examining room. I tried to be emotionally strong as the vet gave him the last drugs. Spike rested his head down into the curve of my upturned palm and gave me a little kiss. It was as if he was saying thank you. And he was gone. I held back the tears, but it was horrible, really horrible.
It’s been six months and I recently acquired a new cute rescue dog. We actually rescued each other. But I know deep inside I’m still not quite right. Like when my dad passed away, there’s things that are different. I hold it together pretty well but I know me—my humor, my joy, my playful razzing—pretty much diluted and weakened.
However, I KNOW IT WILL CHANGE, BECAUSE I BELIEVE GOD AND I TRUST IN HIM. I’ve been saying “My youth is renewed like the eagle’s” from Psalm 103 almost every day and today could be the day I get my happy whole self back.
In the meantime, I want to thank all of you for sticking with me. Friends who don’t give up on you when you’re going through things and acting kind of weird—they are worth way more than money can buy.
At some time in all our lives we suffer loss. It makes us a little different, a bit more vulnerable, a bit weaker for a period of time, but thank God it’s with His help we can all get through it. I agree with Romans 8: 38-39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And verse 37 “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:57).
With friends like you and a God like ours we can come out on the other side of loss as more than conquerors and truly victorious.
Be sure to check out my books on Amazon under my name. I have a NEW WINGS sample book with 6 chapters on Commitment. It will be a free download Thursday thru Monday. Enjoy.