Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

For A Moment May 7, 2014

It’s probably not the coolest thing for a little boy to do. I’m sure playing baseball or driving imaginary cars is way more trendy. But he’s way too young for that yet anyway. So instead we danced. And it was another one of those special moments you wish you could somehow bottle up for a rainy day. Another Moment that Happened Today

Every other time I can remember the dancing, it was mom who started it. “Wiley, up” is the signal that its about to start. And this time it was dad saying it instead of mom. I guess it made sense since mom was holding baby Carter. So there we were – the four of us – dancing together like a bunch of goofs. The song choice this time around was 100 years by “Five for Fighting,” which is an important detail because of what happened next.

Moments after the scene came together, mom paused to go grab her camera phone in an attempt to capture the moment. It’s probably pretty hard to believe, but the picture taking has gotten way more frequent since my little person came into the world. I’m talking hundreds and hundreds of pictures, mostly of Carter, with the occasional ones of me or other family members scattered in the mix. Sometimes I wonder about this, since in a dog’s world you live the moment. You don’t take pictures of it. Not to mention sometimes she gets so caught up taking the picture to remember the moment that she misses the moment itself.

Clearly I’m not alone in my opinion, because in that moment mom got scolded. “Put the phone down and enjoy the now,” dad said. If I could have I would have given him a high paw. But alas I was in his arms so this was impossible. Instead I (happily) stayed where I was and dancing like ninnies resumed without further incident.

I found the whole thing ironic given the point of the song is to find joy in the moment regardless of what phase of life your living. The point is you’re in the moment. And you’re living. So today there is no picture. At least not of the dancing. In the moment, that is what mattered. And we don’t need proof. It will live on forever in our hearts. Maybe that’s better anyway, since I don’t know how cool dancing is in the confusing world of little people.

 

 

In An Instant August 7, 2013

It doesn’t sound real. It sounds a bit like one of those stories that show up next to the alien encounter reports in the tabloids. It’s just too terrible to be real.

Yet it seems it’s true (or at least allegedly true, per the legal jargon). A 45-year-old Washington man recently blew up his daughter’s dog because he believed it “had the devil in it.” The man, named Christopher Dillingham, is accused of strapping explosives to Cabela’s neck, which killed her immediately upon impact. As if that’s not bad enough, it took several days for animal cruelty charges to be added due to what I would argue is a technicality. Since the lab was killed instantly, state legislators claimed at first it technically couldn’t be considered cruelty.

Plenty of things happen instantly, but from what I can tell that never negates the severity. On the contrary, it is in these seemingly unimportant moments that lives change forever. Disaster rarely strikes when we’re expecting it, so I generally think preparing for the worst is a waste of emotional resources. Instead I hope for the best. In An Instant

But in this case I see no best. I am struggling to find a silver lining. Sure, the man is in jail on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, possession of explosives, and (a few days later) animal cruelty. And I don’t know a lot about people money but I do know $500,000 is a large amount for bail. But this man took a dog’s life. When a person takes another person’s life, it doesn’t matter how quickly it happens. Murder is murder. Cabela will bring joy to that little girl no more.

I have nothing positive to say about this. Truth be told, the whole thing breaks my little doggie heart. It doesn’t even sound like a real story. But it is real, to both the little girl left behind and Ty Freemantle, who gave Cabela to the family six months ago. To them, she was family.

To one who doesn’t cross over to this side of the thinking bridge very often, I’m finding this negativity thing exhausting. And I don’t plan to make a habit of it. Still I find some peace tonight in preparing for the worst. In embracing my family with all my heart. In counting my blessings and giving thanks for everyone I know. In breathing. Because at any instant it could all be gone.