Sunday, May 13, 2012

Moma Mia! A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!


                                                           Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Moma Mia! Mrs.Verna.

Mom, since you have been gone now over a year, I am still trying to get used to not picking up the phone to tell you about this and that, inconsequential stuff all of it.  Family things that just happen. Upcoming things to chat about.  Commonplace moments, so important in life.  At first it was a bit embarrassing as I picked up the phone to call only to realize that you were not going to be there to answer.  By the way, your family is doing just great and you would continue to be as proud of them as Karen and I are.  

You knew, and then didn't know, that Sarah and Campbell were married in October of 2010 and they live smack dab between us and his parents.  Strategic I presume, and we couldn't be happier.  We told you about the wedding when it was upcoming, but as you sank deeper into mental and emotional confusion we decided that it was taking a much larger toll on you than was needed.  The moment passed without you ever realizing it. Campbell has turned out to be quite the handyman in their house, and a determined individual!  Sarah knew this all along and we are just now catching on.  People like that seem to rise to the top in most cases.  Life greets them with a handshake!  We love him as our own and wish you could have been there, but Mom, forgive us this slight. Suzanne and I understood that Verna was not the same as the one who would have been the life of the party.  At this time it was just not meant to be.

Verna, or Verna Marie as you were called by the people who grew up with you in Prescott, Arkansas.  Your mother raised you and your twin brothers, Watson and Warren, by herself, and apparently did a pretty good job.  Had your daddy not passed away with pneumonia when you were nine years old, you all might have had an easier time of it.  Your mom, my grandmother, did an outstanding job with what she had to work with, and you all grew up to be productive, responsible contributors and friends to all who knew you.  

Your mom Bess, my grandmother,  had a sewing talent that she passed on to you that was just extraordinary!  For someone who has a dead eye to that sort of thing, I have such an appreciation for the beauty and the creative detail involved in your efforts.  Daughter Bethany has this gene in her for sure!  I guess it lay dormant for some years, but as soon as she connected with her first sewing machine, it was off to the races and no looking back!  She is self taught mostly, indicative of her passion for it, but as I say, the gene is there.  It's so fun to see her folded down on the bedroom floor reading the "serger" (what is that?) operator's manual, and then finding some dress creation half way completed in just a few hours.  By the way Mom, she prefers your old sewing machine to the new ones today that have more bells and whistles.  Not surprising to us as she prefers most things vintage or retro.  The story continues.

You know, I have almost forgiven you the time you caught me chewing some pilfered Juicy Fruit gum on a visit to Simmon's Drug Store in Texarkana.  At six or seven years old at the time, I had no idea that taking that gum was in the slightest bit wrong, thus my overt smacking of two or three pieces in front of you.  This turned out to be a defining moment as you marched me back into the store to apologize to the store owner and return the unused portion of the pack.  Raindrop sized tears cascaded out my eyes as shame filtered it's way down, down, deep into my heart.  Your parental insight knew that this was a "teachable moment" and to this day I would poke my eye with a sharp stick before I would consider taking something that was not mine!

On the occasion of an upcoming Mother's Day this Sunday, lest I forget or I sin by omission, Karen's Mom, Betty, who left us in 2005 is lifted up here.  Her's was sweetness.  Her's was grace.  Thankful will I always be for my immediate embrace into the family tree.  Her love was predicated only on my simple love for her Sovereign Garden Daughter (little family joke).  Nothing needed.  Nothing was required. My graft into the family tree was complete, said and done.

Betty left her fingerprint on Karen's heart in observable ways, if only to me.  On so many occasions and conversations I am reminded that Betty's fingerprint and Karen's fingerprint are almost the same mark!  These are wonderful remembrances and worthy of kind words here.

Not forgetting Everett and Bob for a minute, your Day and blog are coming next month.  We are so thankful for the thread that you have woven through our lives.  We are who we are because of who you were.  Our gratitude to each of you is expressed in simple words in our backyard, words etched on a stone marker.   As this marker will remind us each time we look upon it, the garden will grow like our families that surround it.  It is strong.  It is lasting.  It will remind us of the joys and disciplines you etched upon our character.  

Happy Mother's Day Verna!  Happy Mother's Day Betty!  We honor you as the very best parts of who we are.

Dr. S

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Dog's Bestest Friend! Our Bestest Friend!

A news story just can't lose with either animals or babies, and the one I saw the other day on the ABC evening news proved that point once again.

The short form of this news article was about a Golden Retreiver (Tucker) who had suffered from seizures most of his life, and whatever was causing the seizures had also caused the dog to go blind.  As we know, a dog's nose brings smelling to an art form of sorts and undoubtedly compensates for a lot of vision disabilities.  But blind is blind and you can only imagine how compromised this animal's day-to-day life had become.  He was being housed in a backyard behind his Veterinarian's office for his daily care and assistance and from all points of view was not really participating in the life he was living.

Enter Blair, a black Laborador mix.  His story line goes like this:  apparently shot when he was a puppy, he had grown into a very shy, non-trusting, intimidated dog.  An animal with his own set of issues as you can imagine.  Almost immediately when Tucker and Blair were put together in the same backyard, not only were they immediately glad to be with each other, they were is some way struck with each other, bonding so quickly that it surprised everybody.  They romped and played and jumped and frittered around the yard, just having the best dog day! 

Those of us who know dogs know about dog love.  A dog will love you when just about no one else will, and for no apparent good reason.  Undeserved love.  They will forgive all the stomping and yelling we do when we discover a shredded den pillow lying dead and scattered all over the floor.  Only later are they vindicated when down feathers are found lodged in between the cat's teeth!  They love us with a love so pure that it's hard to imitate because it's not something they are trying to do.  It's their disposition.  They are living out their nature.

What is also in their nature is this:  Blair intuitively understood that Tucker was not a "seeing" play partner.  Acting on this intuition he stolled over and took Tucker's leash in his mouth and led him to all the wonderful points of interest they could visit in the backyard.  Tucker LOVED these little visits and they both were as happy and content with their unspoken arrangement as two dogs could possibly be.  Don't you know that Tucker now had his own seeing eye dog!  (It has been noted since this friendship began between these two dogs that his seizures have markedly improved with less frequency and intensity). 

And on the other hand/paw, the Lab mix Blair is now less timid, more playful than he has ever been.  His wagging tail is the giveaway!  It used to be tucked under him as he sat cowling in a corner whereever he happened to be.  Now all is well and it seems that he experiences wonderful delight and satisfaction knowing that he now has a purpose and and reason to be!

Love freely given.

And received. 




The Veterinarian and all the people associated with Tucker had not ever been able to stir him much after he lost his sight because, even with the best of intentions, these folks didn't understand what he really needed.  Yes, his sight was gone. Naturally they thought he needed to see but no amount of help from the human being side was making any difference in his life.

What he really needed was a Relationship.  One that was like him.  Blair, the dog.  His transformation occurred only because he was presented with a life form that he could understand.  Tucker didn't know what he needed.  But God knew he needed one like him and He sent Blair and instantly his life changed!

For all the computer people out there, here's a (link).  (It's not a real one silly. It just connects all this stuff above with this last paragraph!) 

God spoke to us so many years ago in the Old Books until He was blue in the face.  He used Prophets. He used Floods. He used Stone Tablets and all sorts of locusts and flies but we still couldn't get our mind around how are we supposed to present ourselves to a perfect God when we knew we were far from perfect.  But he had a plan for all that.   He figured he'd send us a life form We could understand.  He sent us a Person, a human being just like us.  He sent us a Relationship that we could see, and feel, and touch, and hear.   And now we can get it!

Thank you Blair!  Thank you Tucker!  You have been such good characters in my Dog Blog!!

Dr. S