Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trying to express my feelings of gratitude for sunny days, which breathe life into me.

Is it possible to express how beautiful your earth when the sun shines upon it? Your glory displayed in the majestic mountains, the peaceful waters, the vibrant palette of colors splashed across the canvas of your creation...

When I feel the warmth of the sun beating down on me, it is like a tangible feeling of the warmth of your Son embracing me.  I am so very grateful for a beautiful day.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A long story, but I have to get it off my chest.

Being positive does not always come easy.  Especially this week.

This week started on Monday.
Matt got work hauling dirt for the day for a church friend. 

I was supposed to see the chiropractor last week, but was unable to get in due to holiday closure and our annual garage sale.  So I decided this was a quick task I could take care of with all the kids in tow.  They could watch a movie in the car for 10 minutes and I could continue on the path to pain free.

I made the appointment with an hour and ten minutes to get the kids ready and get there.  It was plenty of time.  When there was just 15 minutes until I needed to be driving away, Matt called and said I needed to do a favor for his parents, who were on their way to Anchorage for a medical procedure.  They needed a hotel reservation, unexpectedly.  Thus commenced the search for a hotel that was not too full, too expensive, or too far from the hospital. 

Time is ticking and my stress level is rising.  Meanwhile, while I am on the computer and the phone I am repeatedly asking my kids to just get in the car.  I don’t know if it’s like this for everyone, but if I am doing something other than getting in the car myself, my kids to not usually end up in the car.  More frantic, more stressed, I am finally heading out to the car, for sure late at this point.  I hate being late.

Maggie is standing in her kennel, where she used to stay when we left the house.  I could have easily shut the door.  But I made her come outside, thinking she would appreciate not being cooped up on a decent day.  I get in the car and Montana is not there.  I lay on the horn three times for several seconds.  Angry, stressed.

She’s finally in the car and I proceed to tear out of the driveway, which is littered with so many things it’s like an obstacle course (Cotton candy trailer, dumpster, 16 ft trailer…bikes, helmets, hoses), like a madwoman. 

Next thing is a thump-clunk, a howl-scream and I see Maggie running off in the direction of the back yard.  I curse.  I throw the car in park and jump out to find her.  As I walk and cry and try to breathe, I call the chiropractor to say I won’t be there. 

She is by the rock, sitting but hurt.  I cannot see the injury, other than she is not putting her front leg down.  I am a frantic mess, crying, hugging her, saying I’m so sorry over and over.  I begin to carry her to the car.  I have to stop at the deck to catch my breath.  The kids have not realized what has happened.

When I get her in the car, the older two quickly become upset.  There is blood on my arm, so that makes it worse.  We are all crying on the way to the vet.  I try to call Matt several times, but he cannot hear his phone in the big truck.  There’s no gaining control over my emotions, but I remember feeling thankful that she is conscious and her injuries do not appear life-threatening.  I think how devastated Matt and the kids would be if she died and I think about how mad Matt will be with me for hitting her.

We get to the vet and I try to regain some composure, but I can’t keep from crying while the vet examines her.  I did this.  It is my fault.  I hit our dog with my vehicle.

We leave her there and wait for a call.  Matt finally calls me back.  The kids cannot stop crying.  I am trying to get them to calm down because she is now in good care and she will be fine.  This is what I tell them.  Meanwhile, I can’t stop being upset because it is all my fault.  I keep replaying everything in my mind and all the things I could have done differently to avoid this accident.  I still can’t keep from replaying the entire scene in my mind.

The vet finally calls and I am told we need to get her to a surgeon in Anchorage right away.  I begin calling Matt, but of course he doesn’t hear the phone.  It is an urgent matter, the longer we wait, the lesser the chance for successful repair, which is still uncertain.  I just keep calling until he finally sees because the vet is waiting for me to call back and there is nothing I can do in the meantime.  Matt gets to his own vehicle, gets Maggie, and heads to Anchorage. 

Of course, all the while, we are thinking about money.  What will this cost?  There’s not even a question of whether or not we can afford it.  We cannot.  No matter the cost.  We will go further into debt.  And it turns out the cost will be around $4000.  A lot of money.  For a dog.  One more future vacation, gone.  Five more years with snot-crusted furniture.  More orphans and homeless that we cannot help.  The list goes on.  And it doesn’t cross my mind to do anything other than what it takes to save the dog in the best possible way.  What does cross my mind is how we went to so much trouble and spent a good deal of money to get her just one year ago.  And how this summer we spent the money to get her spayed.  And how would I ever face the kids to tell them Maggie wouldn’t be coming home?

And while I may not be 100% happy about pet-ownership, she has become part of our family.  Watching Matt and the kids with her makes me happy we have her.  And she is entertaining.  And even though she can be quite naughty, she is never mean.  And she wants to be friends with every man, child, and creature who comes along.  And I find myself missing her company when I am home alone and she is not here.

So that’s it.  I know people are thinking these thoughts, because I have thought them about others and now, about myself.  And this whole week has been rainy, and gloomy, and tear-soaked.  And I keep reminding myself that I have so many friends struggling with so much more – illnesses, surgeries with painful recoveries, loved ones with cancer, loved ones lost.  But that just makes me feel worse, because I can’t seem to stop feeling sorry for myself and I know what a terrible person that makes me.

I keep trying to see the positive that will come from this.  I know God often uses our trials to help us be more understanding and able to comfort others when they go through the same.  And right now that is the only thing I can come up with.  Because I used to be the person thinking “it’s just a dog”.  But now I know, it’s not.
Look how happy they are to finally have a dog.
Even I can't help but baby the cute puppy.

First time I found Hallie asleep with her.
Maggie and Hallie love each other.
Carson loves Maggie.

Ollie reads a book about boxers while waiting for her to come home from surgery.
She is fragile and must be kept still.
Ollie is happy to have his buddy home.
The girls made get well cards.

The kids take turns keeping her company in her confined area.