Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Beauty That Is Heaven September 9, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:14 pm
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It was a disturbing thought, and yet it was one I couldn’t help but share. During a love fest tonight, my dear forever mom shared with me what I can only hope to be one of her most personal and deepest fears. Tonight she asked me a question I pray to never (in this life or any other, if you believe in such things) ever have to answer. It was one of those incredibly thought provoking whilst overpoweringly depressing thoughts you only have if you’re my mom apparently. Heavenly Reflections

Today she asked me how I felt about a simple question with a big meaning. She asked how I thought I would feel if the family would win the lottery and then find out she or dad was going to leave us for heaven. Then she asked if she thought I would prefer that over dad or I leaving for heaven and the survivor winning the lottery shortly thereafter. I will be honest (as I always am).

The thought itself was so utterly disturbing that I couldn’t find it in my heart or mind to answer it regardless of whether she could hear me. It’s something I’ve talked about frequently, this whole concept of making ends meet, but I would never (ever) think of sacrificing one of my beloved people in order to do so. The thought in itself is absolutely heartless and I don’t support it in the slightest.

Nonetheless, the idea has been haunting me. It’s getting to be that time of year around here, when Halloween rears its head and ghosts and goblins appear. So apparently mom’s emotional ghosts and goblins are appearing early and I don’t like it in spite of the reasons.

I know mom would rather make sure dad had all kinds of (albeit potentially meaningless) money if she died suddenly, and I’m sure dad would feel the same. It’s a terrible thought, but I think (maybe) the financial support of it all would bring slightly less strain to an emotional situation. Then I realized something. I (and maybe my beloved forever people) am thinking in a very cynical way. I know I am loved and cared for, and there is no question of that, so why on Earth would I question the emotional intentions of those who love and care for me most? It might sound silly, but ultimately I know that is what matters because I know that if you love and care for someone (or something), you will go out of your way to ensure that person (or animal) is appreciated and loved.

I don’t mean to belittle anyone’s intentions for life. That’s the farthest from what I want to do.

But I do think there is more value than we think in appreciating those around us for everything they are worth. Because we don’t always know how long we have them for, and I would much rather know I loved fully than had any regrets when they leave me for the beauty that is heaven.

 

On Three Strikes: Angels and Demons April 15, 2013

Angels And DemonsSome believe in the Holy Trinity. Others (who don’t) still see three as a sacred number. Little ole me? I believe the opposite of the baseball metaphor that you’re out after three strikes. Indeed, I would argue that three is a Holy number that enables the magic to happen. The third time was the charm in my life and I can’t say I’d change that.

The way I see it, I’ve had three real “homes” in my life.

The first was the home I had with my mom and brothers before we were separated. I was so happy there, amidst my true biological pack. I would wish we had never been separated if not for the happiness I have in life now.

The second was the home I had with Jo and the man with the leather belt. I know most dogs (and maybe even some people) would question how I could possibly see this stop in my heritage as a home in my life. But I also know I’ve said before that home is where the heart is, and (while I lived there), my heart was home with Jo. I loved her more than most canines I’d ever encountered, and I know she loved me. It wasn’t always the most pleasant experience for me when she squeezed me so hard I thought I’d surely lose an organ, but at least I knew in those precious moments I was loved. She was home to me, and that was enough.

Finally (after a couple of stints in the humane society), I found my forever home, and (let me tell you) that has been pretty darned special. My forever mom sometimes hugs me as hard as Jo did, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think of Jo in those moments. I hope from the bottom of my doggie heart she is thriving in the world and has found something to do that brings purpose to all that love in her heart.

Thinking about Jo and my birth family make me realize the only demons I encounter in my present are from my past. But (as with anything) I do my very best to find joy in even the oddest of places. Demons don’t scare me anymore. Instead I see the less-than-favorable demons of my past in the light of the angels now, as I find joy in all experiences that lead to learning and the betterment of my general well-being.

I wouldn’t be the dog I am without being separated from the emotional steadiness of my birth mom and brothers. I wouldn’t have the heart I do without my time with Jo and the man with the leather belt. And I certainly wouldn’t know true unconditional love if not for my current situation in my forever home.

I’ve said before that I am a believer in second, third, fourth and fifth chances. Furthermore, that I believe the opposite of the baseball metaphor that you’re out of chances after three strikes. Instead, I would argue that three is a holy number when the magic happens. The third time was the charm in my life and I can’t say I’d change that.

For me, the third time has been the charm. I don’t care if my mom sometimes hugs me so hard it hurts my little doggie lungs, because I know that is my own personal sign of progression in life. I may not always have had it this good, and now I am loved enough to get my fair share of regular hugs. Forget you, demons of my past. I’m a much bigger fan of the angels.