Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Empires of the Mind April 24, 2013

Mom, dad and I played around in the backyard together today. We all got dirty with mud, but we smiled and we laughed under the springy afternoon sun. It lasted about a half hour, but it was one of those half hours that remind you to be grateful to be alive.

I was grateful for the moments, but the recent loss of Rusty makes me stop and think. What would happen to these moments if I weren’t in them? I’m sure mom and dad would enjoy each other’s company, but I wouldn’t be there to interrupt. I wouldn’t be there to try to intercept the softball they were throwing back and forth. I wouldn’t be there to make them smile.

Don’t be silly, I told myself, they would be smiling without you here. While I know that’s true, I can’t bear the thought. It’s a funny feeling, to be sure. I certainly don’t wish them ill, but today when we were all happy together, I wondered a bit about what would happen when I wasn’t part of the playful picture.Happiness Captured

To especially the non-dog-lover/owner, it might sound silly, but I can tell how attached to me my mom is. She tells me she loves me more than enough to make up for the neglect and abuse of my past and I appreciate every single loving scratch, thoughtful comment, or unexpected (albeit occasionally lung-crushing) hug. Dad is a little more guarded (at least when mom’s around), but as I’ve said before, we have our moments when it’s just the two of us when I am certain his feelings for me are purely loving (whether he admits it aloud or not).

So today, when we were all playing together and they were both laughing like ninnies, it surprised me when I closed my eyes and saw something shocking. I wasn’t in the picture, but a dog that looked just like me was there in my place. Mom and dad were laughing, just like they did today, with this stranger dog. There were strange little people there too. A little boy and his younger sister, I would guess them to be eight- and four-years-old were there, laughing harder than I’d ever seen mom and dad laugh.

They were playing together, as a family, laughing and happy. My gut reaction was to moan and cry because I wasn’t part of this vision of the future. But that’s not true to the unconditional love I feel for my forever family. I do hope I get to meet these little people someday. I hope as well that I get to see them laugh like I did in my thoughts today.

I also know today was not the last time mom, dad and I will play around together in our backyard. I know it’s not the last time we’ll smile and laugh at each other as we get dirty with mud. I know it’s certainly not the last time I will take a moment’s pause to be grateful for moments like this in my life. But today was also a reminder of what it’s like to love unconditionally (as us dogs are so gifted at that).

“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind,” said the great political leader, artist, and writer Winston Churchill. Well, today I realized how much I hope the empire in my mind is reflected in the future whether or not I’m in it.

I realized it’s way too easy for me to feel betrayed, left behind and forgotten by images like what I saw in my head today. Well, I’ve never been one to take the easy road and I certainly don’t intend to start doing so now. Instead I choose to challenge myself to see the silver lining. Instead I see these images as a blessing of what’s to come. Instead I see the empire in my mind and realize how much I hope there is a dog just like me there to show the family I love more than life itself all the love I won’t be able to when I’m gone. Happiness like we had today will not stop when I’m gone if I have anything to say about it.

Related articles:

Dear Future Me – http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/03/01/dear-future-me/

Pawprints in the Sand – http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/04/22/pawprints-in-the-sand/


33 Responses to “Empires of the Mind”

  1. Awwww I love this! Warms my heart.

  2. Wiley, I love your quotes…Churchill no less…empires of the mind…paw snaps to you.

  3. kruzmeister Says:

    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why they call it the “present”. Live in the present my friend! 🙂 xoxo

  4. huntmode Says:

    That is so odd, Wiles! When I clicked on the post, before reading, I was looking at your picture and I wondered what would happen to this blog when you go to join Rusty. And, you had the answer waiting for me. Empires of the Mind indeed! Ah! You’ve put up the Award – hooray!

  5. You are so lovely Wiles. My two doggies both left me for a better place. One last year and one this year, one of them “Paris” died of cancer. I have not been able to get other doggies, because I miss them so much. Enjoy every moment of every day with your precious family Wiles. Love to you and your mom and dad.

    • Dear friend, I knew you lost your precious doggie (aka the human whisperer) this year, but I didn’t know you’ve lost two best friends the same year! I do understand better now how much grief you must still be suffering through. My love, thoughts, and prayers are with you. Thank you for your love, your support, and for being you. I will most definitely pass along your commentary to my parents. Loves, Wiles.

  6. You are such a love bug, Wiley. But of course you’ll be there with the kids, and you’ll be there to watch them grow. Love like you have with your family will live forever. You’ll be the spirit and the quirk inside the dog that comes after you. You’ll be with them forever….

    Love and licks,

    • “Love like you have with your family will live forever.” Dear Cupcake, you sure have a way with words. Thank you for saying so and bringing a special ray of sunshine into my day. 🙂 Hugs to you, Wiles.

  7. What a wonderful post Wiley… I had some tears in my eyes… you are just great!

    • Thank you so much dear friend! I never mean to make anyone tear, but I know that I did means my words meant something to you, so I appreciate you sharing that with me!!! Lots of love and hugs to you!

  8. Maria Says:

    Wiley, as a human who has had a few special canine friends in my lifetime, know that you will never be forgotten even another comes later who looks similar… you are unique and your family is blessed if for no other reason than *you* think they’re they’re coolest humans ever. 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind words, dear Maria. I hope to not be forgotten, and people like you help me believe that may actually happen. I would never want to hold my forever family back from finding another dog like me to share all their love with, but it’s nice to think I’ll be part of their lives even after I’m gone. Lots of love, Wiles.

  9. You’re so cute Wiley! You always make me smile! =^.^=

  10. Lyn Says:

    I have to say, I had the same reaction asDoglinks and found myself reaching for the Kleenex. Gentle loving hugs to you Wiley

    • Dear Lyn, thank you for sharing the emotional connection you had to this post. I feel “conversations” like this sure have a way of bringing our little WP family together. Thanks as always for your love and support! Shine on, Wiles.

  11. ilovecats Says:

    Oh Wiley *hugs* Thank you so much for reminding me to take the time to not only sniff the flowers but enjoy rumping around in them. Thank you for reminding me to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. I also wanted to comment I’m awarding you the WP Family Award.. please click on my awards page (http://peacelovenwhiskers.com/about/awards/) to claim it. Thank you my friend. =^..^=

  12. Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:

    This is honestly one of my favorite posts since I started this blog. I love dreaming about the future and can only hope the future feel as favorable toward me.

  13. […] my eyes and I see so much. I dream. I think about the future. I cherish the present. It seems like so long ago that I closed my eyes and saw my replacement doggie playing with mom and dad and little boy and […]

  14. […] Wiley’s WisdomEmpires of the Mind […]

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