We’ve had a somewhat difficult week or so, I haven’t posted about it because I’m naturally a very optimistic, cheerful person, and I knew a post like this would be anything but positive really.
Our sweet neighbors brought a very small, young puppy home with them from Mexico, their niece, who is a vet down there, was taking care of it, but gave it to them since it was sick and needed more hands-on care. My son and I were over at their house and fell in love with the sweet puppy, it was a poodle – chihuahua mix, and had the sweetest temperament. Our neighbor who was doing the caretaking for this little puppy, the mother of the family, is getting older, and didn’t really have the time to devote to round the clock feedings, etc. so I offered to take care of it for a month until it was old enough to adopt out.
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It was so fun taking care of it, bottle-feeding it puppy formula, keeping it in my purse everywhere we’d go – my son and I both fell in love with it. My husband even gave us the green light to keep it, he was even becoming enamored with it’s sweetness.
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We had it 3 days… and on that third day, we came back home from my son’s soccer game that his team had won, he was full of joy and felt like a champ – having made 2 goals for his team that day. I told him once we got in the house to go check on his puppy, it was the first time we’d gone out without him tagging along in my purse. He went to go see his pup, and laughed saying he was sleeping really weird, “Mommy you’ve got to see this!” When I came into the bathroom and saw him, I knew immediately something was horribly wrong – his little body looked twisted, and when I picked him up to check on him, I could tell the Rigor Mortis had already set in.
My son handled it ok, he was devastated that evening, but we explained that the puppy was sick and more than likely was in pain. I had thought the puppy was getting better, but in reality he had still been vomiting and unable to really keep very much down. When death comes, the suffering of this life stops. He wasn’t in pain or sick anymore, but this was still not a lesson I wanted my son to have to learn at such a young age.
That feeling of loss… of devastation is simply part of life, as natural as the highs we feel when a new baby is born, or when we’re surrounded with family and loved ones.
This past week, my father was admitted to the hospital for a few days as they tried to figure out what was wrong – he was dealing with severe symptoms from a bad reaction to a new medication he had just been put on, and ended up staying for a few nights. He’s always been so rational, so logical, but under the influence of the drugs and their reaction in his body, I witnessed him reduced to a man talking nonsensical, and irrational… someone I didn’t even recognize. I faced for the first time, the fear of wondering what on earth I would do without him in my life anymore. I feel so young to lose my dad – he’s almost 70, but both his parents lived well into their 90’s almost reaching 100. I can’t imagine not having him and his witty humor, his wonderful nature, around for the next 20-30 years as I raise my children. I can’t imagine them not knowing him.
Even the feeling of imagining him gone leaves me feeling dead inside. Empty. And I have to consciously remind myself that it would not be the end. That when God takes him, it will be his time.
He’s back home now, and slowly recovering, but the incident has brought home to me, the severity that everything can change in an instant. The only thing constant in life is that there will always be death, there will always be loss. At least in death, there is no more suffering, and we can look forward to eternal life. We have a hope that those who don’t have faith never will understand. When we grieve, it is different… we don’t grieve as those who have no hope, we grieve with the encouragement that we will someday be with our loved ones forever, in a place where there is no more pain, no more growing old, no more tears, and no more death.
Death, where is your sting? Oh Hell, where is your victory?