Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Lease on Life November 21, 2014

I couldn’t believe my ears. Mom had the speaker on her phone today while she did an interview with a woman who owns a doggie daycare called “A Dog Sanctuary.”

She says its unique because she and her staff make an effort to actively engage the dogs in a variety of mental and physical games while they are there. She says its unique because its a place dogs go to be happy and dogs have a way of rubbing off on their people. She said this is her life’s passion.

That all sounded well and good. Drive safely

What shocked me was why she, at the age of 22, decided to quit her job as a post office worker and open a business. Just over a year ago, at the age of 21, she was the victim of an attempted homicide. The man snuck up on her from behind as she was leaving the dog park with her one-year-old German shorthair pointer, Millie. She was exceedingly happy because Millie had enjoyed the swim in the pond she’d been trying to encourage for months. Her glee turned to the most serious and breathtaking kind of fear when she saw the knife and roll of duct tape. As she fought for her life, she didn’t even feel the knife slice through her hand. All she said she could think about in those moments was how badly she wanted to live. And live she did.

A week later, the man went on to murder a woman of a similar age. Last month, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. But all of that is water under the bridge for this woman. She doesn’t even think about it anymore, she said, because she knows she is living her life’s mission. The mission she couldn’t spend one more day not doing. She’s more than a survivor. She is a giver of life to those around her.

All because she was given the kind of second chance that not everyone gets in life. A second chance I got (in a far less graphic and terrible way). I couldn’t even believe my ears as she told her story, seeming completely unphased by what happened to her a mere year ago. As surprising as that was to me, I realized there is a lesson to be learned from her passion. From her mission to share joy with the world. From her drive to live.

Second chances don’t come along every day. When yours comes, take it and hold on for dear life. Take it from me – you won’t regret it.