Home, at last.
Lessons learned this year were hard ones. Never, ever think you have more time. Treat today like there is NO MORE TIME. It says "Live, Love, Laugh" on the molding in my store. I painted it. I forget to look at it. I also forget why I put it there. I wanted our store to be a place of happiness, love and laughter. Funny, I have a similar printed plaque on the molding in my house except it says " Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much."
I know why I put in at my house. I wanted to remind myself that my time here is fleeting. Ya. Ya. Everyone says it, but can you live by it? And when it smacks you in the face like granny wielding a hot cast iron over and over again . . . you realize you had BETTER heed the warning signs. You better LAUGH. You better LOVE. You better LIVE.. You better go run and tell the person you married, you raised, who raised you, your pet, your friend, cuz LIFE IS SHORT. Before you know it, it's GONE, BABY......gone.
I know I am sounding doomsday prophecy! Well, let me tell you what happened to me in 2009!
The weekend of March 13th (which just so happened to also be Friday the 13th, 2009), I had decided to drive to Dallas, Texas to see my girlfriends who I had not seen in many years. My sister Tarlee stayed at my house to watch my dogs, Kodi and Taz (above). The night I was driving to Dallas, my Nana was lying in a hospital bed, having just suffered heart attack. While I was sitting in a cafe, she passed away.
While I was gone to Bead & Button, my kitty Stoli became ill. We had to end her suffering on June 14th. We never knew what was wrong with her. She was 18 years old this year.
On June 17th, my Chessie, Kodi became suddenly ill and refused to eat. We have had every test run, antibiotics, etc. For weeks, we hand fed him, baby sat him. . . loved him, kissed him. You know what I mean. As time went on his check-ups continually got better. We actually began to hope. This week he began to slip again. We took him to the vet. He was diagnosed with Lymphoma. The only other option is liver biopsy and chemotherapy. We decided, we can't do that to him. So now we wait. wait. Wait. WAIT. and. WATCH. Do you know that cancer is about the number one killer of dogs in the United States? Because I didn't. I've read so much information on the subject...I'm drained. Some say it has to do with feeding modern dogs grain based food. Some say it's the new flea medicines. Some say it's heart worm medicine. Some say preservatives in food.
So we're practicing this week. Living. Loving. and, trying very hard to Laugh. I told a friend in an e-mail to love her baby. Love them like there is NO MORE TIME. We thought we had more time. I thought I had more time. Kodi is only 9 years old. I thought. . . I really thought about having more time with him.
My friend gave me this and I hope she doesn't mind if I share it. I don't think she will. L.C. thank you once again for giving it to me.
"The earth trembled and a great rift appeared, separating the first man and woman from the rest of the animal kingdom. As the chasm grew deeper and wider, all the other creatures, afraid for their lives, returned to the forest - except for the dog, who after much consideration leapt the perilous rift to stay with the humans on the other side. His love for humanity was greater than his bond to other creatures, he explained and he willingly forfeited his place in paradise to prove it."
I also like:
"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.You are his life, his love, his leader.He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.~ Unknown ~"
Our pets are incredible. If you think of the things they do for us. I'm lucky in the fact that I have been able to bring my pets to work with me every day for the past seven years. I get to see them all day.
We allow our pets in the bed, on the couch, etc. I can't say "pampered" but I can say "spoiled?" Every single morning without fail, Kodi is there in the bed, staring at me when my alarm goes off. He has cancer and he sits patiently waiting for ME to wake up. He has cancer and he can't wait to run up the stairs when I come home to change my work clothes. He has cancer and can't wait to jump into the car to go where ever I am going. Just to be with me? My baby has cancer.
I remember a time when a customer came into our store and got very nasty with me. I was so shaken up by the confrontation that I went out the back door to our yard because I didn't want anyone seeing my tears over the confrontation. Both dogs followed me out the back door and into the yard. They sat quietly, staring up at me, watching while I cried. Seeming to know that they needed to be with me to support me. And it was not a good time to play or bark or whine. Just sit.
As I have typed this, a lump forms in my throat as big as the sky. And nothing else seems important tonight except the LIFE my dogs have given me, the LOVE they have shown me and the LAUGHTER they have provided day after day.