Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The End of the Tunnel January 17, 2015

It reminds me a bit of when mom had her knee surgery. I got to spend a lot more time with her than usual as she recovered. The nights were long, and contained the occasional tearful cry at 3 a.m. that woke both dad and I up. That part was awful. But all the extra time with her was certainly the silver lining. As was hearing her tell me my snuggles helped her leg feel better. It’s kind of like that again.

Except this time, it’s my dear Aunt Morgan who is recovering. She had something called carpal tunnel surgery on her hands recently. Recovery has been far from easy for her, especially since the surgeries happened surprisingly close together, but it seems to me like the worst is definitely behind us now. Throwback Saturday

The best part is I can say so knowledgably because I’ve been fortunate enough to see it happen. I watched the faint twitch develop into a terrible inconvenience for her before the surgery. I watched her struggle to do a whole lot of anything for the first couple of weeks post-surgery, since her hands were bandaged fairly heavily. And I am happy to report I watched today as she picked up dear baby Carter (a few times) with no issue what-so-ever.

I’ve been fortunate enough to witness all of this first-paw because she’s been around my forever home a lot recently. And I’ve got to say, it bothers me when she points it out like it’s a bad thing. When she says she’s imposing or bothering us or intruding on our plans. Because she never is.

She’s a welcome presence in our forever home. We all think so. And you should see how happy Carter is to see her at any given moment. Beyond that, we all know this is a phase in life that will one day all-too-soon come to an end. So I don’t even listen to that nonsense she says about being around too much.

Instead, I embrace the moments of joy that happen when this segment of my forever family is all together. Like when she picked Carter up so many times today. That was special to me not just because of the love captured in their embrace, but because it demonstrates renewal coming full circle.

She got a fresh start with this surgery. And I know there were probably times when it seemed like the pain would never end. But it is. This too shall pass. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now and it’s a welcome sight.

 

Tiny Little Hands November 20, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:43 pm
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It wasn’t easy for me. I didn’t always like snuggles with people. Or pets. Or any kind of touching for that matter. It was okay if I trusted the person, but trust didn’t come easy for me back then. I blame the man with the leather belt for that.

But that is ages ago and I have come a long way since then. A gentle touch. From the ground up, it has a way of warming my soul like no other human connection can do. So when it happened with dear baby Carter this morning, I can’t tell you how happy my heart was.

A boy and his dogThere we were in the same exact spot in my forever home at almost the exact same time of day as we were when I made a big mistake all of those weeks ago. When Carter caught me by surprise with a sudden yank of the tender fur on my tail and I growled in response. I regretted it as soon as it happened, and even more so after I saw how much I hurt mom in that split second in time. I never want to hurt mom. Or dear Carter for that matter.

Today was the polar opposite of that moment. As has been happening more frequently as he learns how to use his hands, Carter found his way next to me, slung his arm around me and gently pet my fur.

I’ve felt the love radiate from both my forever parents countless times in moments like these. And Carter has certainly pet me softly (which has taken some practice for him, I’m not going to lie) before today. But somehow in that moment I felt a whole new kind of love. The love I always knew I would have for my little person. The love that I know has been there since the moment I knew mom was having a little person. The kind of love that changes a dog forever. I felt the love of a little boy.

It might not have been easy for me to get over my trust issues with hands, but I honestly have never felt more over it than I did in that moment. I felt safe. Secure. Loved.

I can think of few better ways to start my day than that.

 

Hands: Heads or Tails? February 24, 2013

Mr. Prickles slipped his little hedgehog self under the couch again today. Darned slippery hardwood floors. No matter how hard I try, I always struggle trying to dig my little pals out from under there. And it is almost always to no avail. Inevitably I end up pestering mom or dad to use their long arms to dig out whatever misfit toy I’ve lost that day.

It’s an almost daily occurrence in the Schmidt house, so I generally don’t think anything of it. Today was different. Today my mom also grabbed out a little silver nickel stamped with the year 2010 on it. As I watched her fingers wrap around the token, I found myself pondering where I was at this time in 2010.

I closed my eyes and it happened. It’s like I was there again.

I saw him, the man who made me fear leather belts. The man whose hands made me crumple into the smallest version of myself. It wasn’t just me his hands hurt. I shudder to my core when I remember watching in horror as he lashed out at Jo. At the tender people age of six, Jo was my only friend in the world at that point in time. And her little people hands were my favorite. When she pet me, I felt her love through her hands. She was always so gentle; such a happy contrast from the awful man who abused us both. I loved her so.

You can imagine how I reacted the first time I saw what the man was doing to my poor innocent little Jo. I had heard about it on the streets, but I never thought I would see it firsthand. So I did like anyone would do – I interceded, and as a result I became the brunt of the beating that time. I don’t regret it.

It happened a few more times before the last time. I caught that man’s ugly hand with my mouth and I bit down as hard as I could. Well, that was the end of that. The next day, the man left me on the side of the road in the bitterly frigid February of 2010. It took me a while after that to see hands the same way. It wasn’t probably until I adopted my mission statement of joy that I started to trust people hands again. And I’m so glad I did.

It’s like American singer-songwriter Jewel says in “Hands.”

If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we’re all OK
And not to worry ’cause worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these
I won’t be made useless
I won’t be idle with despair
I will gather myself around my faith
For light does the darkness most fear

Hands can do so many things. They play musical instruments in the most beautiful of symphonies. They can piece together the most unbelievably delicious delicacies. They can radiate love through a delicate touch. They can retrieve beloved toys from underneath couches. They can love. And they can hate.

My hands are small, I know
But they’re not yours, they are my own
But they’re not yours, they are my own
And I am never broken

I think of Jo often, praying she is okay without me there to protect her. I remember the loving twinkle in her eye and somehow that gives me peace. Love almost always conquers hate. Of that much I am certain. Now when I see people hands I pause to respect the love they give instead of the hate.