Motherhood Wisdom

Motherhood thought for the day: Remember to listen to your children and try to remind yourself that you once were a child too! Today, started out low key; me and the girls and a few cartoons….then as each day does it seemed everything started getting discombobulated and I found myself in a rush. Scrambling for outfits for the girls, getting them in the car and ready to go! It all gets to be a bit much and at times I grow impatient with the girls as one is always lagging behind and Braelyn was lagging behind, and I said “Hurry up, Braelyn! We have to go!” She had stopped by the step…I tapped my foot on the ground as I watched her squat and wait…just as I was about to yell at her I saw Hank (our old black lab) hobbling up the drive. She leaned in and kissed him whispered “Good morn’n, Hank!” I got a lump in my throat as I watched Hank nuzzle her before finding his place on the porch.
After her quest was fulfilled she said, “I coming, Mommy! I had to give Hank dem kisses and tell him morn’n!” Hank looked on as if he was grateful for the act of kindness! Just melted my heart…while I was busy hurrying along because this world teaches us to HURRY UP!!! My beautiful, sweet daughter was taking a moment to kiss an old friend on the head and let him know that he matters! I felt my eyes mist over and I strapped her in the booster before I looked in her eyes, “Brae Brae, Mommy is sorry to rush you! You never hesitate to stop and take a moment for the things that are important to you! Never forget to let a friend know that you love them!” She looked at me, and said, “Hank needs kisses so he don’t get sad!”
I looked on the porch at the now elderly Hank and wondered how many times I pass him on the step and don’t stop to pat his head!? And still he will follow me around the yard in hopes I will stop to love him! Braelyn saw it…his need for affection, appreciation, compassion in exchange for his loyalty! Lord, let me see things through my daughters’ eyes; things are much slower, kinder and more beautiful lying in their depths!

My Art and Writing Collide

A piece I just finished for a loyal customer who ordered for a friend who lost TWO dogs in short time. I wrote a short poem to go with the piece, and this case had tags on it so I did a little tag that says dog tags from heaven with their names inside 🙂
A letter from heaven
Leaving you was the hardest thing I ever had to do
So I am writing you this letter in Heaven and sending it back to you
As I crossed the bridge, my head hung low, as you wept at my grave
But on the other side, I saw a long lost friend, Mom, It was ABE
He greeted me a dog I barely recognized for he was young once more
In the river’s reflection, I saw my youth had also been restored
We wanted to console you because we knew you were grieving
Mom, the hardest part of this journey, was simply leaving
We will be with you, even though we crossed that bridge in the sky
When you feel alone, we are there, for we did not die
We knew a love very few dogs are lucky enough to know
you loved us unconditionally, even when you had to let us go
We got to hear your soft voice in our ear and the touch of a gentle hand
A soothing stroke on our fur and snuggles, you were our best friend
Our bellies and hearts were always full and all because of you!
You made us a part of your family, a joy known by only a few
We will meet again, Mom, thanks for all the love you gave
Until we are reunited, know we love you, Signed Storm and Abe

Farewell to the Best Dog Who Ever Lived

Today, I said goodbye to the dog who saw me through everything. She has been with me since I was just becoming an adult……and she saw me through all the hardships that came along with adulthood. Every heartache, tear, joy, triumph, disappointment, I could count on her for comfort. She was the prettiest little pup, barely more than a handful of fur, and over the years she grew into a beautiful dog. But you see, she wasn’t just a dog, she was my family. She never let me down, she gave me hugs, she wagged her “knubbins” when I came home, she slept with me every single night, she rode with me, my ride or die pooch, she loved slim jims more than anything with the exception of me……….thirteen years later I am all grown up and before I knew it she had grown old……..it was a tough last year for my girl but somehow she kept beating the odds….she battled congestive heart failure, she survived two dog attacks, a huge tumor and operation, and just when I thought we would live out her golden years we were dealt a hard blow. I was sleeping with on the couch when I was awoken to her convulsing violently, struggling for breath, legs spasming, face distorted……my sweet Jersey was having a seizure. Why? She had never had one before. I rushed her to the vet and tried medication. We had a great day yesterday, she seemed herself, was alert and by my side……..then today she had a seizure, this time my resilient girl wouldn’t pull out of it. So now I had to make the choice to let her go. I loaded her in the car with her in my lap, eyes were glazed over, her breathing was labored but she eased as she found her safe place by my side. I sat in the little room we had sat in so many times, knowing this time only I would be coming out alive…….the staff came in and jersey could still hear but she couldn’t move. I sat in the floor, I held her, I cried softly into her fur like so many other times, I stared at her pretty face knowing I would never see her lively eyes searching mine, I talked about happy days we had shared, and the tough times too…I told her she was the best dog, she was more than a dog, she was my family and best friend, I thanked her for being loyal to me, standing by my side, and her unconditional love, and I cried some more. After I told her that it was okay to go, she didn’t deserve to suffer, immediately she began snoring softly in my arms (the first time shes rested since this first began on December 30th). Then it was time, the clinic knows Jersey and have seen her surprise us all with her tenacity and will to live……but we all knew she was gone. I placed my hand on her heart to feel it beating one more time, that big ole heart that had mended my broken one so many times. They administered the medication as I looked on and then they checked for a heart beat and she was gone……I lost it, I cried, and so did the staff who have become like family, they each rubbed her head and told her they loved her and she was a good girl…….I carried my lifeless baby to my car, holding her against my chest…..the familiar weight of her warm body on my chest was oddly comforting as I gazed upon her perfect little face….I held her for an hour while the grave was dug and all I could do was kiss her, and ask myself how I was going to live without her cradled in my lap or in the bend of my legs while I slept, how would I ever eat another slim jim? How would I come into this house and not see her face? I wrapped her up and laid her to rest…..knowing that I would never see her in this life was more than I could bare……I don’t think I will ever stop this hurt, my sweet, sassy, vivacious girl, my pootie pie, my Jerz, my Jersey girl….she is gone. She leaves behind a legacy of hugs and love that I am eternally grateful for……she also leaves behind a heartbroken mommy who will forever crave the warmth of her on my lap….thank you, Jersey, thank you for everything, run free, but visit me in my dreams when you can as I miss you already. Here is my baby in her first picture at seven weeks old about 2 pounds and then the last picture is the last picture of my girl taken today, thirteen years later right before I said my goodbye. I will never forget you, and I can’t stop crying!

Dear Jersey Girl

Dear Jersey;
I couldn’t sleep last night, the bed felt empty without you there
So I stumbled to the couch and kept staring at your empty chair
I snuggled up by Silas, he misses you so much
What I would give if you were here to hug, to pet to touch
I fell asleep but would awaken and reach to pet your head but you were not in your normal spot
And like a ton of bricks I would remember that you were gone, somehow in my sleep I had forgot
I got up this morning and found myself calling your name, but you didn’t come prancing in the room
Instead there was silence and I was reminded I would never see you on earth, you were taken too soon
I went to fill your food bowl up and it still sits there untouched, and it broke me even more
I keep listening for you to come into the room, and the sound of your toe nails clicking on the floor
I feel so empty, almost fourteen years, and I have to live without you now?
I have to keep living and let you go, I miss you so much, I really don’t know how
Your collar is laying on the table, I keep looking at it but it only makes me miss the neck that it once graced
All your medication is labeled Jersey, but I can’t throw it away, this is one of the hardest thing I’ve ever faced
I long for the way you would crawl in my lap and put your head upon my chest; oh how it warmed my heart
You would be sad now because my lap feels empty even though Silas sits in it, and I sit here and fall apart
People say “she was just a dog” but you were so much more, oh I hope you know
You were my best pal, my sweet girl, my snuggle buddy and I had to let you go
You are gone, I know I have to come to terms with that, but it will never stop this hurt
So I will sit here, talk to you, cry, and miss you upon this mound of dirt
I know you are in a place of rest, running like a puppy, and completely restored
But I feel such an emptiness when I come inside and you aren’t there to greet me at the door
I miss everything, your presence, your love, your sass, your will to live
Oh, to rub your ears again, to kiss your little face, there’s nothing I wouldn’t give
I have other dogs to take care of and I love them too, I know you are watching but I’m doing my very best
It is just so hard to move right now, because where you once were there is now a hole inside my chest