The Chambered Nautilus
"Deep calls to deep..." Psalm 42:7
...uncurling and growing into the wonderful grace of God.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Sore Knees, Scary Phonecalls and Sad Goodbyes
We have had
ten days of interesting (life here is rarely anything but…).
contributed to this interesting?
hurt his knee playing softball; he hit the ball, turned cockeyed and headed
toward first base. In the short jaunt to first base he realized his knee wasn’t
right. But he continued in the game, and according to others finished two awesome plays.
I sat with
my grandson in the doctor’s office as they wheeled my Steve back for x-rays of
said knee. Elijah’s little face grimaced with worry as they wheeled Gran’pa away.
X-rays came back clear, and it has just been a steady daily process toward
I received a call while at work that there was an emergency. Everyone is okay; I’m okay she said to
me in a shaky voice. I begin to shake too—all my insides suddenly going to
jelly. An accident. She assured me she was not hurt. I wasn’t convinced. I
wanted to see her for myself. I did. I used every mother sense I have to assess
her state of being. She is stiff and sore and stressed. But she is alive. And
beautiful. And carless—the vehicle, all crumpled and crunched metal, is immovable
in the driveway. The latter can be remedied.
A couple of
nights ago in the late of the evening, right before it was time to go to sleep,
I slipped out of the bed and tiptoed downstairs.
I knew it
was time to say goodbye to a longtime friend. I wanted to be alone in my
goodbyes with no one watching or hearing. I wanted to be quiet and solitary in
my grief. I eased down beside her, put my face up next to hers and sobbed.
Tears, hot and gushing, ran down my face. I ran my fingers across her stout
body. And she looked at me with sad knowing eyes and licked my face. I put my
head down on her broad chest and wept more.
Zoe has been
in our family since she was three and a half weeks old. According to some she
was the ugliest dog in a large litter of boxer puppies that the mother
abandoned. The girls and I wanted a
puppy to join our Molly. We brought all the puppies to our front porch, put
them in the middle of our circle and weaned them out one by one by behavior. We
narrowed it down to three puppies, put the others back in the box and began the
choosing process. The girls picked Zoe. A white-faced Little Rascals looking dog. My two oldest daughters took turns
feeding her through the night, waking every four hours to fill her tiny little
tummy. Zoe would curl around their necks, and when she got big enough to tip
the box over they crate trained her.
our friend. Early on we realized she liked to sneak out of the gate and run
through the neighborhood. The girls would run after her furious and scolding
and yet scared to death we would not find her. In the course of one of her runs
a van clipped her back leg as she skittered across the road. The van’s tire ripped
the pad of her paw and her spirit of running. When I broke my ankle and wrist I
spent my time divided between a wheelchair and a loveseat. Zoe would come to
the loveseat, lift the upper part of her body and lay down beside me. As close
as she could get. Back legs still on the floor. She remained in that position for
very long periods of time just to be beside me.
She put up
with us getting a third dog. Ever so patient with him as he learned his place.
There were many fights and blood shed over dog food bowls and rawhide bones. Zoe
usually came out of the fight the most wounded. It broke my heart.
In the last
six months her health and condition deteriorated rapidly. Zoe can barely walk
unaided now, for the last month she has been on her rug rarely moving unless
necessity forced her to do so. Even this morning she is curled in a tight ball—and
Henry, the third dog, is as close to her as he can possibly get.
On Tuesday I
made a very hard call to our vet—a friend of the family who has been taking
care of our dogs since their arrivals. Two years ago he helped us say goodbye
to our Molly. Today he will help us say goodbye to our Zoe girl.
before Molly I never understood the grieving. But now I do.
very wise and kind told me to not be afraid to grieve for my friend—this sentient
being who has made me laugh, protected me and comforted me on too many
occasions to count. Today when we say goodbye to her I will bless God for twelve
years of good friendship. All good gifts come from the Father. ALL good gifts.
Zoe’s name means life. And through
her God gave my girls and me a great deal of good life. I thank him. I praise
the rain My Steve, my Katherine and my David dug her place beside Molly in our
Later we will bring this faithful friend back home.