Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Punch In The Stomach March 23, 2014

At first I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. It was a stroke. My feline neighbor friend Penny finally reported the news to me this afternoon. The other day when I saw the flashing lights and heard the sirens, it was for her person Rose. Her person Rose had a stroke.

I don’t know much about these things. Except that when I don’t know much about things I am more likely to fear them. Not this time. I decided this time would be different. Just because I don’t understand what this stroke business is about will not keep me from finding the silver lining. Which, in this case, is pretty obvious.

All SmilesRelief. From the ground up, it swiftly overcame my fear. Rose is sick. She is in the hospital, and will be for some time. But she is there to get better. She is there to recover. And while she does, I find myself contemplating life’s most basic questions.

Because we never know. We never know when our last day might be. It certainly puts things into perspective when you think that way. If you knew it was your last day, what would you do differently? How would you spend the time? Who would you be with? To some it might seem morbid to contemplate these things. To me it seems sensible. Motivational even.

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today,” suggested American actor James Dean. I don’t think its a coincidence this insight came from an actor fans agree died too young.

Unlike him, Rose has lived a long and full life. She has children and grandchildren and joy from all kinds of sources. Today she shared her joy with me.

Sure, at first I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. It was devastating news that dear Rose had suffered from something serious enough to keep her away from Penny for so long. But she lived. And she will go on living. Sometimes we need a good punch in the stomach to remember just how precious a gift life really is.

 

Can’t Take Me With You December 12, 2013

Sleep has become a hot ticket item in the Schmidt house lately. The grunts and groans mom makes have increased in frequency and intensity. Something called indigestion has taken over mom’s life (or so she says). And it all has me a little bit jumpy.

Which way to the hospital?Until today. Today mom and dad went to that place called the doctor and got some good news. The baby is not in mom’s ribs anymore! In fact, my future little person has moved down into a position that is apparently quite safe for delivery.

They were talking in a bunch of numbers (something about centimeters and percentages and measurements) but it’s all Greek to me. What I gathered from the mood was this was all good news. So I should have been thrilled. Instead I felt a little betrayed.

Earlier today I wandered my way into the bag for the hospital. The good news is it is all packed up and ready to go. The bad news is there’s no room for me to be in it. I wouldn’t expect to be because of safety issues, but I realized today that’s not the real problem. The real problem is there is no room for me at the hospital either. No doggies allowed. How am I supposed to protect mom and the little person (and, let’s be honest, dad) if I am stuck at home? They rescued me. They are my people. I would be lost without them.

All of this sent me into what I guess you could call a doggie panic attack this afternoon while I waited for my people to return from the doctor. It was the closest I’ve ever come to doing something naughty (mom did leave those shoes by the back door that would have been mighty tasty). But I resisted the urge and I am so glad I did. Because when they returned with all of this good news I realized there will be no shortage of joy when they leave me behind to go to that hospital place.

And it wasn’t too long after they finished reminiscing about how soon everything will change that I saw it. A picture of me had made it’s way into the overnight bag. I don’t know how I’d missed it earlier. There I was in all my goofy glory, smiling at nothing in particular. And I felt relieved. Because I might not be able to accompany them, but I will certainly be there in spirit.