Sunday, October 30, 2011


It had been the worst day of my entire life, bar none. Rocking her listless bony body, I could only cry. She whithered away rapidly before my very eyes. Hadn't she been fine the day before? No, maybe two days ago, but now I stared into her jaundiced eyes and wished for the years to roll back to when she was young and healthy. Silent tears slid down my cheeks and choked the cooes that would try to soothe her in her pain. All day I talked to my dear friend and begged her not to leave me, but I knew she would. She had to. It was pure selfishness that would ask someone to suffer so that I could be spared the pain of loss; the pain of loneliness. Pure selfishness. After she died, I thought my heart would surely break and even though I knew she was, "just a dog." It didn't lessen the pain that stabbed at my subconscious night and day. There was no good reason for her to have to die. So anger tried to squeeze out the hurt and for a few days it brewed there only to be replaced with aching emptiness. Just when I thought that no one could understand or truly care what I was going through, He came to me. Never forcing His comfort or strength, He trotted up and into my arms and licked my face with His love. Why it surprised me to know that my loving God cared about me that much, I can't explain. He sent me what I needed, when I needed it and in the way that I needed it most. That's how tender and loving and merciful my God is. His heart hurts when my heart does. My littlest troubles He cares about and when nothing else can soothe my ache, He is always there; ready, willing and able. Able to send a neighbor's puppy to love my hurt away and bring a message from the Creator of the universe. "Cast your cares upon me; for I care for you."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Don't look, you won't find me

He was 96 years old when he walked away from everything he ever knew. We searched and searched and searched for him, but we never found him. Didn't he want to be found? Didn't he want to come home? Home where everything was familiar and safe? Maybe he didn't want this anymore. Maybe he didn't want the same ole, same ole. Maybe what he wanted was out there waiting for him to find it.

I'd like to think that if I were him and I'd seen that many years go by, that I too would want to see something I hadn't seen before. I'd walk the dusty streets of somewhere else and see what I had missed, if anything. There wouldn't be a single face left unsearched, no flavored cigar left unsmoked, no harsh whiskey left untasted, no sweet lips left unkissed. I'd grab every morsel of life and with arthritic fingers, I'd squeeze like there wasn't a drop of tomorrow to be had.

Should I wait until the very end to wander off and wonder about? Should I trip on the uneven sidewalk of life only to find that I missed the inscription upon it, hardened with time?

Yours and my name is written there in concrete, crumbling with age...trace it with a loving finger and take my hand. Let's take a walk and lose ourselves, never to be found.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Friends Don't Say Goodbye

It made no sense to those who saw me do it, but I threw my arms around the nearly naked branches of an English Oak tree and hugged it to me fiercely. Unashamed by the emotion that overcame me before we parted; I stroked its little branches lovingly and tenderly caressed the fuzzy underbelly of his glossy green leaves.
I knew I’d never see him again so this was my final goodbye. Whispering words of encouragement and hope, I told my friend that we, as a society, were counting on him. We needed the life-giving oxygen he would release and desperately depended on the pollution removal he would provide. I watched as a heavy-set man hobbled towards us, he grabbed the black plastic pot my friend called home and carelessly lumbered away without a single thought of my bereavement. I choked on emotion as I watched my friend frantically waving “so-long” from the back of a rusty Ford pickup. My heart sank as they rounded the curve in the old gravel road and disappeared out of sight.
Trying not to think of my pretty columnar friend, I busied myself in my work, giving away more free trees, but every so often that day, I’d see a tree that reminded me of him and a lump would form in my throat nearly choking me with grief. What was life for him going to be like now? I wondered. Would he be cared for, loved? I couldn’t bear the thought that he would be left unattended to, undernourished and alone. Alone to weather the winter unclothed by mulch or left in his temporary container too long freezing or drying out. I had to stop worrying! I had to trust that his new caretaker would indeed take care.
I knew that The Maker of Heaven and earth had created him for a reason and now I must trust Him to watch over my friend. My eyes scanned the horizon for direction for guidance for clarity, but all I saw was more and more of my tree friends disappearing. Their futures lay in the hands of the humans that drug them away from me. In turn, our futures lay in those same hands; planting, mulching, staking, watering and pruning. These are the duties of a tree owner and I feel it’s each of our duties to plant at least one tree in our lifetime. You don’t have to be a tree fanatic like me, but if you care about our environment, you’ll plant a tree.
In my mind’s eye, I can see that gorgeous English Oak providing shade, shelter and serenity and that, makes me smile.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sometimes It Makes No Sense

I scrolled through the list of the fatality reports on my Blackberry. It was only Saturday morning, but already eight people had died on Oklahoma roadways. Feeling nauseous, I sat and hung my head to catch my breath. Every person that died so far that weekend represented at least a dozen or more broken hearts. Mothers, daddies, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, sons, daughters...the list would go on and on; people negatively affected by the loss of someone they cared about.

Selfishly, I thought of the emergency response personnel that would have been involved in each one of the collisions. EMTs, firefighters, police, troopers and civilians that witness the senselessness that was a fatal car crash. I search the sky and try to understand without questioning, but sometimes...sometimes it is more than I can take.

I'm angry that people die for no reason. I'm furious with people who choose to drink alcohol and then drive a motor vehicle. Why aren't they the ones to die? Why do innocent children lose their lives? Why do mommies never come home? Why must beloved sons leave never to return? Why do I have to cover them with a paper sheet or put my arm around a stranger's shoulder as he sobs uncontrollably? Why?

One day I may have those answers, or maybe I never will. I dry my eyes and thank God for every second I have with the ones I love, hoping others are doing the same.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Today, I took a shower with Jesus!!!

The nearly scalding water catapulted over my shoulders as the blessed steam punched a hole in my congested sinuses. I hung my weary head and allowed the hot, wet assault repay my overly tensed neck muscles. While enduring my morning cleansing ritual, a thought slapped my un-listening ear and crashed into my hardened heart as if God Himself had vaporized and crawled slowly into my conscience, disobedient thoughts. I didn't hear the balming voice, I didn't see the salve applied, but I definitely felt, with every pore of myself, felt His powerful love overtake me. Immediately, I was crushed by the emotional weight of what He had to convey. He loves me. He has always loved me. Everything that had happen to me before had brought me to where I was. There was a purpose, His purpose. My mind immediately reflected on the excruciating pain, the wounds, some still open and bleeding that I had suffered. Were they really necessary? Could I possibly be who I am now without having had cried? Without having been knocked to my unbending knees? "No, there was no other way," He whispered so gently that I began to cry. "I know," He hushed me. "I know." The joy that followed that brief encounter can't fully be understood until you hear, feel and know Him as I do.