Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Lanterns of Love May 12, 2013

Every visitor to she Schmidt home is welcomed by the same message above the stairway as they walk in the door. “Home is where your story begins.” I see it every day, yet today it speaks to me and I see it in a different light. I think it’s because today is mother’s day in my neck of the woods; a day set aside to show gratitude and respect for everything one’s mother has done in his or her life. I’m blessed to have more than one of these characters as lanterns of love in my life, so today I take a moment’s paws to recognize each one.

Dear birth mom,

It’s Wiley. Your son. I know it’s been a while (almost five years now), and words can’t tell you how sorry I am that is the case. Our time together was short-lived, but I want you to know how special each moment was to me. Age and experience has taught me how challenging it must have been caring for my two brothers and I all by yourself. I’m so proud of you. And I want you to know I’m okay. Well, actually I’m better than okay. I’m spectacular. I’m happy. And I found a forever home with people who love me so much they sometimes squeeze me so hard I can’t breathe. They take really good care of me, mom. I wish you could meet them and they could take care of you too. Are you okay out there? I sure hope so. You deserve to live happiness like this. Wherever you are, please know I love you now as much as I ever did.

With all the love in my little doggie heart,


Dear Jo,

Remember me? I was your little buddy in the house with the man and the leather belt. I hate that he took me away from you that day all those people years ago. I miss you every day and pray you are living a the life you deserve to live, with any luck separate from that awful dad of yours. Even though you were only a little girl, I know you would have done everything you could to keep me from harm’s way. You were a hero to me, a mother in your own rite. If there is one thing I’d want you to know above all else, it is that you will be a fantastic mother one day. Never doubt yourself.

With all the love in my little doggie heart,


Dear Katie,

You probably don’t remember me. I am one of so very many doggies you help at the Oshkosh Humane Society, and it’s been almost three years now since you last saw me. But sometimes it is those who we meet in passing that make some of the most distinguished impacts on our life, and this is true of you. You didn’t do it for praise or adoration, and that’s why every little thing you did for me meant so very much. You are a living example of a servant leader. Thank you.

With all the love in my little doggie heart,


Dear forever mom,

Thank YOUI know you haven’t always been dealt the easiest hands of cards to play in life. I know you struggle with some things more than you let on.

More than once I’ve seen you stop and look away from yourself in the mirror, just like Sarah Ban Breathnach talks about in the early pages of Simple Abundance. I’ve seen you cry, and heard you question you direction in life. Sometimes you talk to me about your feelings and I wish more than anything I could tell you I understand (at least the majority) of what you’re saying. I’d start with telling you to see yourself the way the world sees you. You are beautiful, strong, and confident (even if you doubt it). You are more special to me than you will ever possibly know. As my number one fan, I know you are reading my blog, so I will share with you a sample of Breathnach’s words that speak to me.

“Turn away from the world this year and begin to listen,” she writes. “Listen to the whispers of your heart. Look within. Your silent companion has lit lanterns of love to illuminate the path to Wholeness. At long last, the journey you were destined to take has begun.”

I love you mom. Let me be a lantern of love for you.

With all the love in my little doggie heart,


Home is where your story begins, and I can honestly say each of these women has been home to me. Lanterns of love for me. They are all important characters that define chapters of my life, and I would not be who I am without each and every one of them. Today I say thank you these women. And today I say thank you to all the women who are these characters to people (and pets) in your lives. You know who you are. Thank you.


18 Responses to “Lanterns of Love”

  1. To all the girls I’ve loved before – who’ve traveled in and out my door. I’m glad you came along – I dedicate this song to all the girls I’ve loved before. – Willie Nelson

  2. Wiley, you are a blessing to every one of your moms, and to your dad too. Don’t you ever forget that!

  3. That was just wonderful Wiley. I feel sorry for Jo, the girl, who has to live with a dad with a leather belt.I had tears in my eyes as I read the letter to your furever mom, wow, that was really touching. I hope your birth mom is well and I’ll bet Katie will remember you. Thanks for another great post Wiley!

    • Thank you friend….I get pretty emotional thinking about all of the powerhouse women I’ve been blessed to have in my life, so I will be sure to pass along your sentiment to my mom so I can assure I get at least one extra snuggle tonight. Lots of love! Wiles

  4. finnhoward Says:

    Those were some very powerful letters little buddy. I hope your forever Momma had a wonderful day yesterday and I hope all the mommas in your life are doing just as good as you are now.

    • Dear Finn, Yes we were blessed to have a very special day yesterday. Thank you for your kind words and give your forever Momma a special cuddle for me tonight. 🙂

  5. utesmile Says:

    Such beautiful , heart/love letters. You are one wonderful dog Wiley with a huge heart!

  6. nightlake Says:

    Your love for dogs comes through very clearly here. They are indeed sweet and friendly. Their turning ferocious or kind lies in the treatment they receive from humans in their formative years

  7. huntmode Says:

    Wiles, what a beautiful, loving paean to the mothers in your life. HuntMode

  8. Wiley, you made me cry. You are such a special pup! ♥ Big hugs to you!

  9. […] Lanterns of Love | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

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

    I’m going out of order today to recognize the mom’s in my life. Dear moms, you are loved. And appreciated. I can’t say (er, I mean write, it) it enough!

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