What Really Matters

Accidents come in many shapes and sizes. Some are bigger than others obviously (like a car accident) and some are very minute. But when you really stop and think about it, if you can say no one was hurt, a good bit of them really aren’t so bad.

One of my first so-called accidents that I remember was when I was about 12 years old. I was cleaning the house and I picked up my mom’s crystal vase.  As I was walking through the living room, I turned the corner and accidentally hit the vase on the corner of the wall, shattering it into several pieces. I was so upset and afraid that I would get in trouble.  To avoid being yelled at in person, I called my mom at work to tell her what happened. My mom’s reply, “Did you get cut?  Are you hurt?” Was I hurt? Really? I was waiting for her to yell at me, but instead, I got “did you get cut?”  Now this entire incident may not seem like a big deal to any adult, but to my 12-year-old mind, it was mind-blowing. I broke an expensive vase, and I didn’t get in trouble.  I never forgot that moment or my mom’s reaction.  Fast forward a few years and several bigger accidents (car accidents) of my own.  Each time my parents would show up, my mom was always focused on my well-being.  Never did I hear about how careless I was or the amount of damage I did.  Perhaps there is a slight chance these incidents and how my parents reacted to each changed the way I view what is important life (and what a true accident is).

My kids think I yell a lot, but if they stopped and gave it some thought, then they would realize that I yell when I have repeatedly told them to do (or not do), only to be met with attitude; When they are being deliberate in being defiant.  If they break a glass or plate – and they have many – no big deal.  Like my mom, I have responded “don’t cut your yourself” as I quickly moved to clean up any glass.  A year and a half ago, Virginia totaled her first car in an accident.  As we sat the accident scene, I hugged her and told her not to worry, it was just a car. And yes, I truly believed that. If you had seen this car, you would understand…  All that mattered was that She was OK.  I didn’t care about the damage to the car or the amount of money it was going to cost me (especially since she did not have full coverage on the car).  All that mattered was that she did not get hurt. And even though most parents understand, my child was taken aback by the fact that I was not mad.

Fast forward to now.  Things still get broken, and when they do, I still don’t yell.  I yell when the rules are broken; and then I am still the “angry mom” that always yells according to my kids.  But last night, my girls had a small reminder of how understanding their mom can be; and more importantly, what is truly important.  Last night, Klara (with her learner’s permit) drove she and Virginia in Virginia’s car to Petsmart.  Then I got that phone call. Virginia was calling me to tell me that Klara wrecked her car. Of course my first thought was one of panic, but then Virginia went into the details of how they were parking and Klara hit the accelerator instead of the brakes and drove into some bushes. That’s it? I was relieved. But apparently it was a little worse than it sounded.  The car was stuck.  It was damaged, and Virginia was yelling at me on the phone about Klara.

I drove to the accident scene to see this car suspended over a median that had some very “strong” bushes in it. Both the front end and back-end wheels were off the pavement.  There would be no driving the car out of there. Klara was crying.  Virginia was yelling.  I had to remind Virginia about her accident.  I also reminded her about how upset she had been and how I did not yell at her either.  This could have been so much worse.  It was just a car.  It could be fixed.  And the scene was a little ridiculous looking.

A very generous couple stopped to help.  The man hooked the car up to his very large truck and pulled it off and out of the bushes. The police showed up to take a report. Klara was visibly shaken which is understandable, so the police officer joked with her about whether or not the buses would make it.  He was very nice.  I hugged Klara and told her it was all right.  All that mattered was that no one was hurt.  We all make mistakes.  We all learn from them, and hopefully we don’t make them again.  Unfortunately the front bumper was in bad shape, making the car undriveable.  As we waited for a tow truck to hook up the car, I sat in my car with the girls. Virginia had finally calmed down and was ready to joke about the situation. Klara was not quite ready to joke yet, but was much more relaxed. By the time we got home, we were all able to laugh about it and the fact that none of us had thought to take a picture of the ridiculous situation.

Before going to bed, I reminded Klara that I loved her no matter what mistakes she could make.  Mistakes are going to happen, and WE will always get through them.  Klara told me she loved me and said she felt a lot better knowing I was understanding and calm about the entire situation.

As I lay in bed, I was taken back to that simple moment when I was 12, and my mom’s words, “are you hurt?”  I’m so very thankful that my mom taught me what is truly valuable in life, people….not things.  Things are replaceable.  People are not.  Never take what is important for granted.

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The Bathroom Artist

Many times in life, we do something that could get us in trouble if we are caught, yet something within us pushes us to do it anyway. Sometimes we get caught and what unfolds is surprising. Let me share my daughter Virginia’s experience with you.

Virginia is a senior in high school. She has always been a good student and overall a pretty good kid. While she has had her own ups and downs, she has always remained compassionate and stood up for what is right. So as a parent, I would never have expected her to skip class or any other school activity she was required to participate in. Yet she is one to follow her heart, and she did. Virginia, although she is intelligent, insightful and intellectual, has never liked school (although she does look forward to college). If she had the chance, she would quit and jump right into experiencing life to the fullest. She’s a beautiful soul. But getting back to my story…

One day, the school was having a pep rally that all the kids were required to attend. Virginia, disliking school functions of almost any kind, did not wish to attend. So when all the kids proceeded to the pep rally, she ducked out and into a bathroom. Bored, she spent this time in the bathroom doodling on the walls. Now who has never doodled on a wall or bathroom stall at least once in their life? Unfortunately most bathroom graffiti is not the nicest and not very aesthetically pleasing. But Virginia sees beauty in life, and she is very artistic. She took her addition to the bathroom walls one step further.

“These walls are so bare. School is so bland. We need color and Art and the passion to pursue creativity.”

 

“A love for one’s self is a love for all. Without its appreciation, one cannot fathom true happiness and the beauty & serenity mother Gaia provides for all beings. Be kind to her please. ❤️  She is an organism, for our life creates her spirit.”

 

“Breathe my love, your awakening begins with pain. Never surrender! ❤️”

 

While Virginia was busy doodling on the bathroom walls, the fire alarm sounded. She panicked and was trying to figure out how she would leave the bathroom without being seen. When she peeked out of the bathroom, a teacher did see her. She thought she was busted.  Fortunately, the teacher only asked her if there was anyone else the bathroom. She replied with a no, and then the teacher lead her outside to wait out the fire alarm. As days went by, word spread about the art in the bathroom, and the principal wanted to know who did it.

Virginia continued her daily doodling in her notebooks during class, when a teacher assistant saw it and approached her.  She complimented Virginia on her art work, and asked her if she was the bathroom artist. Virginia simply replied, no.  Friends would look at Virginia’s doodling, and they knew it had to be her. They suggested Virginia should speak up and say it was her.   There was no way. Why would Virginia want to turn herself in and be busted for vandalism?

Then one of her friends shared with her what the principal posted on his Instagram page:

He posted, “Periodically I go to WC to paint over all the graffiti in the bathrooms. I couldn’t bring myself to paint over these just yet and they have given me an idea to bring some life and creativity to WC. More to come!”

Could this be a good thing? Reluctantly, Virginia finally decided to approach her principal and confessed to her graffiti. Much to her surprise, he informed her that she had sparked his own creativity.  He said he would like her to create a mural on one of the walls in the school. She happily agreed.

Who knew an impromptu neglect for following the rules could lead to something rewarding? I applaud the principal for seeing something beautiful in something as mundane as the bathroom wall. Not only that, but for wanting to turn it into something more, rather than seeking to just punish based on “rules”.   I cannot wait to see the legacy that Virginia leaves on her school walls.  More to come…

Farewell 2017

It has been a while since I’ve blogged, and it seems my posts continue to get further and further apart, and now another year has come to an end.  I am not one to write about a year in retrospect, but what a year it has been, and what better time to write something.  While the majority of 2017 was uneventful in most aspects, it was still a rather momentous year for me.

Here are a few of my highlights from 2017:

I completed my master’s degree from Vanderbilt University, and obtained a rather nice promotion at work.  I was fortunate to be able to continue my concert-going hobby with the greatest of friends. I went to Las Vegas for the first time with the most fun ladies ever. The family had a fun adventure visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. Virginia and I had a great time touring colleges for next year.  And Klara and I have had quite the fun (a word loosely used) with her learning how to drive. And let’s not forget the once-in-a-lifetime complete solar eclipse we experienced right here at home!

On the sad side, I lost my beloved Obi back during the summer.  One of my hardest losses ever. But then it also brought my newest Love in my life…Loki. He’s all puppy and a handful but I wouldn’t trade him for the world. We also added two new and adorable additions to our family (Well technically one was a Christmas Present at the end of last year), Baya and Ivy. All in all it was a very good year.

  

 

So now 2018 begins. This year should be equally momentous as Virginia graduates high school and goes off to college, and Klara finally obtains her driver’s license. I also look forward to many more great times with my awesome friends.

I am blessed. I am thankful. And I look forward to what 2018 will bring.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year!!

Many Blessings,

Kris 💕

My Child…

Between a new job and a new puppy, I have been quite busy these days and haven’t had any time to write.  But I wanted to share something that happened about a week ago.  I did share it with friends on Facebook, but I also wanted to preserve this memory.  And with it now being Halloween, it seems fitting.

First I will say that I have some pretty unique girls.  I’m sure I blogged about the fake blood my girls made when they were younger by bleeding the ink of various markers until they had just the right color combination – which then ended up on my carpet.  I never did mention my youngest shaving her head.  Then there are the freaky, goth and bloody selfies they like to routinely create.  So to assume my girls are like other girls their ages would be a false assumption.  I never know what to expect with them.

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So about a week ago (also my first week in my new job), I received a text message from my youngest, Klara:

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She had gotten into a fight?!  Not my baby!  This seems out of character for her, but is it really that far-fetched?  My first thought was “oh shit”.  From the angle of the photo, I assumed she sent me the text as she was being walked to the principal’s office at her school.  My responses immediately started flowing:

Why?”  …..Was she being bullied, because she is unique?….nothing

“Did you Win?” ….wait I’d better not ask that unless I know if she started it first; message deleted.

Call me” .…and waited…and waited….. No text from her, no call from the school.

With who?”  …..Not that this really mattered, let me at that kid….nothing

Who started it?” ….Dying to know, because if it wasn’t her, I hope she won!….nothing

How is your face?” ….If her hand looks this bad, I can only imagine….nothing

What’s going on?” ….Is the school going to call me?….nothing

Call me

I was getting more and more anxious.  I couldn’t believe I was going to have to leave work during my first week.  This was the only thing that kept me from taking off for the school right away; I was going to wait until they called.  Still, I needed to be prepared for that call.  I went to the school website to look up the disciplinary policy on fighting.  Fighting – a category 3 offense, comes with five days of out-of-school suspension and possible referral to DHA.  Oh shit.  There goes my AP student’s grades.  There’s a black mark on her school record for college.  But worse than her school punishment, look at that hand – it looks broken!  That is going to require a hospital trip and x-rays.

She finally responded, “It’s special effects day”, and “You signed the permission slip for it“.  Special effects day!!!  I remember signing a permission slip for something, but who really reads those?!  When my girls want to do something that requires a permission slip, I figure it must be alright and let them enjoy whatever they like.  I rarely read the slips, and most of the time I am more annoyed that I have to give teenagers permission to participate in school activities.  I think they are old enough to decide what they do or do not want to participate in.  Then she added another photo indicating she got burned too.

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Ha Ha Ha.  Relief set in, but I still could have killed my child for scaring me like that.  I told her to make sure her teacher knew she deserved an ‘A’ for her prank, and from what I understand, the teacher was quite amused.  I’m glad someone was!  Ok, I was too…after several minutes had passed. All I can say is, I am glad I didn’t run out the door at work since this was my first week in my new job!!! Kids!!

Loki 

My Dearest Obi – 

It has been 96 Days since you left us. That’s three months and 4 Days. And not a day goes by that I don’t think about you. You will always be my baby and I cannot wait until we meet again. Maybe we already have. For today we adopted Loki. He is a very special (early) birthday present to me from my dearest friend, who knows how much I miss you.  

Loki is almost 8 weeks old and looks very much like you did as a puppy.  I would love it if he were you coming back to earth to spend another life with me.  Only time will tell if that’s possible. But regardless, you will always be special to me.  I will Love Loki as much as I loved you, and I hope he loves me as much as you loved me.  Please watch over your little brother, and if you can, please help him learn the ropes. 

I will love you forever my Obi. 🐾💙

Nailed It!

On behalf of the Owen Graduate School of Management, I am pleased to offer you admission to Vanderbilt’s Master of Management in Health Care Class of 2016-2017.”  In July of 2016, I read these words and cried.  I had been accepted into grad school, but not just any grad school, Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School.  I was one of only 34 people selected for the MMHC program from a pool of hundreds.  And on Saturday, August 13th, my journey began.

I was as nervous as I could be on that first day, for I was only one of a few people in the class who were not already in a management position of some sort.  The rest of my class consisted of business managers, healthcare and insurance administrators, nurse managers and doctors, all of whom I would be spending the next 13 months with.  It was intimidating, to say the least.  Unlike most school programs, I would be with this small group of 33 people, in the same room no less, throughout the duration of my graduate program.  Yes, I was intimidated.

However, over the course of the next year, I would quickly learn that we all have our strengths and weaknesses.  Even I knew some things that a few others did not.  I learned that we all are intimidated by something, and we all have our own personal struggles.  We only lost one person in the program, who left due to personal reasons.  But from the 32 who remained on board with me, I learned a great deal about business, healthcare, and myself.

This past Saturday, September 23, 2017, I was proud to walk across the stage as I gave my final speech and received my diploma (well, an unofficial one; the official one will arrive in a few weeks).  The emotions were overwhelming.  We all felt a tremendous amount of relief knowing that there are no more papers to write, no more presentations to give, no more grades to make or deadlines to meet.  However, I was also sad, for I developed some wonderful friendships with these 32 unique individuals. Some I wish I had more time to get to know better.  Together we shared our personal struggles, personal victories, new marriages, new homes, common interests, family (and pet) deaths, and we even welcomed the birth of a baby, and there will be another on the way in the near future.  The day was certainly bittersweet.

The past year has certainly had its challenges, some of which I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude for the support I received in achieving this milestone.

To my Family –  Thank you for cheering me on all the way, with a special thank you to my daughters for living like orphans and feeding themselves on school nights! Especially you Klara; as if fending for yourself wasn’t enough, you took care of our precious Obi during his last few months when I couldn’t be here every day for him.  ❤

To my Best Friend Rick – Thank you for brainstorming with me and helping me get through all those papers and presentations.  Most importantly, thank you for pushing me to apply in the first place!  I couldn’t have done it without you. ❤

To my Capstone Team- We achieved an excellent start to a great endeavor I hope to see through fulfillment and beyond!! I look forward to what the future holds for us!

To my Fellow Classmates – Thank you all so very much for sharing your expertise and more importantly, your lives with me.  You made this program enjoyable, and I am so thankful we took this memorable journey together.  I pray we can stay in touch and continue to celebrate what has yet to come. Most importantly, WE NAILED IT!!

So after 3 and a half years of school in a row between my bachelors degree and masters degree, what do I do with all this extra time on my hands?  A little R&R? More concerts? A vacation?  Perhaps a PhD?  Only time will tell.  To be continued…..

Dear Obi

My Dearest Obi,

41 days. That’s how long it has been since you’ve been gone. I had my last real cry when it was exactly a month. That was the day your ashes came home. Since then I feel like you’ve given me permission to let go. Maybe it’s just me giving myself permission now that you have “come home”.  I’ve been doing better. I looked at puppies yesterday that were up for adoption. They were adorable, but I couldn’t take any home. They weren’t you. But I was still alright. Maybe I felt ok because I had you at the forefront of my mind.

Ivy

Then I let go of thinking about you and dogs in general for the day and went shopping. That’s when I was surprised with grief again. I passed the dog food aisle and saw the treats. Just for a split second I thought about picking up some treats for you. Just a split second. Maybe it was the surprise of the unexpected, subconscious thought, but it brought back my grief. I got through it by letting myself get distracted. Even adopted another kitty that evening. A black one named Ivy. She will be for Klara to help her heal. She is still quite heartbroken over losing you just as I am. Ivy is a new friend for Baya too, as I’m sure she misses you as well. I can’t get a dog just yet. A dog will be mine. But I’m not ready yet.

 

Baya and Obi

Baya has been “taking great care of me” since you’ve been gone. Virginia’s cat, who at one time didn’t pay much attention to me, has now filled some of the holes you have left in my life. She is a part of my morning routine where you once were. She greets me when I come home like you once did. She has shown me so much love this past month, knowing full well that I needed it.  And she has also taken to sleeping in your spot on the bed at night. I didn’t think much about it until laying here this evening. It’s your spot. She knows it’s your spot. The alpha spot? Perhaps she is alpha now and that’s her stating so. I thought it was cute and moved over to snuggle with her. As I closed my eyes and pet her, the tears flowed. With my eyes closed I could feel you there. My Obi. My baby. I didn’t want to open my eyes to the reality, but there’s no way around it.

I miss you Obi. I will love you forever. Thank you for providing me with this small amount of comfort named Baya. It means more to me than you will ever know.

Love Mama 🐾💙

Baya

Bitter Sweet Memories

I thought I was getting better; healing from the loss of my sweet Obi. Each day seems a little easier. There are still small, sad reminders. My evening routine of giving my Obi food and water has been replaced with watering Obi’s tree…the tree we planted in his memory. But oh how I wish I was tending to him and not a tree. With his illness he would often get up at night to go out. I still wake up at 3 am, expecting him to be there and ready to go out.  There are countless other triggers that bring on sadness, but I am slowly learning to deal with them while replacing the sadness with good memories.

Then something so sweet, so beautiful takes place that the hurt is unleashed once again and the tears flow freely. Yesterday was one such day. I came home from work, no longer feeling the urge to cry when Obi doesn’t greet me at the door, as my daughter’s cat, has so lovingly volunteered to fill that void. She has been so loving and sweet, but I still feel the sadness.  I found the mail on the counter as I normally do, and what appeared to be two cards were on top. First I open a beautiful card from one of my best friends, Lori. She actually took the time to buy and send it while on her family vacation.  I could feel the tears building in my eyes, but I was still alright and touched by her thoughtfulness. I love you Lori. Thank you.

Then I opened the other card. This one was from my vet and his staff. Such beautiful words were written by everyone in the office, and because we frequented the vet so often these last few months, I knew they were sincere. They had gotten to know me pretty well, and they loved my Obi. I couldn’t hold back the tears and started to cry, and once again I relived his final moments in my head. But then I noticed something on the card. A paw print. At first it seemed like it was a part of the card and I didn’t think much of it. Then I noticed how it wasn’t centered, it was imperfect and smudged, and there was a small smudge from ink elsewhere on the card. Could it be? It is! IT’S MY OBI’S PAW PRINT! Now I was crying hard. Paws once so large for such a cute little puppy, but we were blessed that he would ultimately fill them.  Once he even sliced one of his paws open, our first of a few major vet visits.  So many times I heard those paws dancing through the house out of pure happiness. So many nights I lay in bed massaging those paws, sometimes tickling him and he would pull away. So many happy memories. Now so many tears. Such a beautiful gesture from the most caring veterinary clinic I have ever been to. It’s not my baby, and it cannot replace him, but I will treasure this card for eternity, for it bears a part of him that I will never see or touch again. Such a precious memento.

I will always love you Obi. 💕🐾

Think Before You Judge or React

As my daughter Virginia pointed out, have you ever noticed how detached from humanity people become in certain situations like when they are online while sitting behind a computer, or sitting behind the wheel of a car?  It amazes me how in both situations people will 1) gain a lot of confidence to say what they wouldn’t possibly say in person to someone (even things they shouldn’t say), 2) become quite righteous, 3) are quick to point fingers, 4) will never admit to being wrong, 5) are extremely judgmental…and the list goes on and on.  I’d like to share two.

The Dog in the Hot Car – Now I am a SERIOUS dog lover.  In fact I love dogs more than people.  I won’t bother to justify my love for dogs here, for those who know me already understand.  I am also against taking a dog anywhere in a car during hot summer months, IF you can avoid it.  Sometime this cannot be avoided – 1) going to the vet, 2) traveling long distances when your dog is going with you, or 3) transporting a rescue dog.  I am sure you may be able to come up with a few more scenarios, but for the sake of time, we will stick with these.  

Today I saw a Facebook post where a person came across a car in a grocery store parking lot with a dog in it; the window was down.  This good Samaritan called the cops, and the cops said it was legal as long as the window was down,  and I will repeat, it was down.  It also sounded as if this person came out of the store rather quickly, although no time frame was given on the post.  Of course the comments were flying off  the page condemning this lowest of the low person for torturing this dog in a hot car and how they needes to sit in a hot car hours on end to see what it’s like. Now at first, I too, was like WTH?!  But the law protected this person since the windows were down.  Why?  Then I had to ask myself some hard questions…Why was this person traveling with the dog?  Were they on their way to the vet?  Was this the dog’s last car ride ever (something I sadly experienced all too recently)?  Or even better yet, did this person live locally and were just running to the store (a serious no no if you ask me), or were they traveling a long distance with the dog and they had no choice but to stop?  Maybe it was a rescue dog they were transporting and they had to stop to get the dog water.  The scenarios could be endless here, and the fact of the matter is that no one truly knows.  I took a closer look at the picture. The car had a temp tag and a license plate frame that was NOT local. So obviously this person wasn’t just running to the store and carelessly taking the dog for a ride.  They also had the windows down, knowing that the dog was going to be hot.  So did anyone take any of these details into consideration?  Of course not.  Would you?  But then again, they were sitting at their computer making their judgments and accusations far separated from what was really happened.  Everyone insisted this bystander should have broken the cars windows….why?  They were already down!!  I feel for the poor dog.  I also feel for the person who finds himself in a desperate situation.  Again I reiterate I’m against dogs in hot cars; however I have traveled long distances with my pooch and it cannot be avoided 100%. So I couldn’t help but add a little logic to the situation.  Now I am being condemned for actually thinking.  Oh the irony.

There was another situation on Facebook where I was once also called racist because I pointed out some history of slavery that didn’t corresponded with a white liberal woman’s view of the subject.  This so-called history major could not fathom there being white Irish slaves or black African tribes who sold off other tribal members into slavery.  This also made me laugh since one of my very best friends is black.  I just wanted people to stop jumping on band wagons and to start doing some true research before passing judgment.  No such luck.  In this day and age of internet righteousness, some people will never research or admit they could possibly be wrong.  I had to simply back out of the conversation and ask her to just block me so I didn’t have to deal with her ignorance any longer.  Unfortunately for me, that white liberal crowd had already passed their judgement on me.  Lucky for me I truly don’t care.

Road Rage –  Another scenario that plays out all to often that shows how people become disconnected from humanity when they are isolated (this time when they are in their car) is road rage.  I can easily get mad at people when I’m driving, and while I may call them names to myself, I don’t publicly react or show any reaction, because I know that I do not fully know what has taken place.  For one, I have made my own stupid driving mistakes of cutting someone off that was in my blind spot and I didn’t see, or turning in front of an oncoming car during a moment of bad decision-making on my part.  But so many people are extremely quick to react.  People will chase other cars down in retaliation, whether it be to get them back or even start an altercation.

Back in December, my then 16-year-old daughter and I were in a scary situation.  I turned out of our neighborhood onto a slightly busier country road.  When I turned on the road, there were no other cars.  By the time I was approaching the end of the road, there was a pickup truck just feet from my back bumper.  I had a long busy day moving into our new home, and I was tired, so I was probably going slower than the speed limit.  I was also approaching a stop sign, so there was no reason for me to speed up.  Instead I tapped my brakes just to get them to back off.  When I stopped at the stop sign to turn right, the truck attempted to go around me to turn right in front of me.  Oncoming traffic made him stop.  Once I turned, he turned and started to pass me, but while he was still beside me, he attempted to come over and run me off the road.  I had to brake…HARD.  Once he came over, maintaining his speed, I resumed my speed.  He then slammed HARD on his brakes.  I had to brake so hard I narrowly missed him by inches, and a car behind me narrowly missed me.  My daughter and I were terrified at this man’s erratic behavior.  I instantly called the police.  He repeated slamming on his brakes again then took off at a high rate of speed.  I think I got the license plate correct, but I was so shaken I wasn’t 100% sure.  When he was about 100 yards in front of me, I saw his reverse lights come on.  He was backing towards me.  I am sure I sounded panicked to the police department, but I couldn’t help it.  Before I got too close, he drove forward again and slightly turned off at the next road. I think he was going to wait for me to pass then get behind me again, but there was another car behind me that got in his way, and he just took off. I never saw that truck again, but you can believe I have been on the watch for it ever since.  I do have a concealed carry permit, but I have never in my life felt that I needed to carry a gun.  That night made me think twice.  What if he had gotten out of his truck?  What would he have done to me and my daughter?  Did he think we could possibly have been a real threat to him?  I just wanted him to back off my tail end before he hit us.

Another more recent incident happened with my teen daughter.  I went out of town and she ended up in severe pain requiring medical treatment.  Her boyfriend was rushing her to the doctor while she was on the phone with the doctor and he accidentally cut another man off.  There was no ill will intended. He was simply a teenage boy panicking because he didn’t know what to do or where he was going.  It just so happened they ended up at a traffic light next to this man.  The man started yelling at my daughter and her boyfriend, stating that his kid was in the car and if they had hit him he would have killed them.  Seriously?  If they had hit the car, it would have been a minor fender bender and his kid would have been fine.  I know, because my children have been in car accidents as passengers.  They turned out just fine.  Guess what, most people do.  So a front fender is worth two lives?  Here’s another shocker…cars are repairable, replaceable and won’t be in your life forever anyway.  Now the life of a person…tell me how they compare.  What this man didn’t know…didn’t care to know, was that these were two scared kids… and at that moment my daughter was in severe enough pain that she ended up going to the emergency room.  For reasons such as this, whenever a person cuts me off I try to keep it in perspective…what is happening in their life?  Did they just lose a loved one?  Do they have an emergency?  Or maybe they just didn’t see me…we all have blind spots.

You may not like my take on these situations, you may come up with your excuses to support people similar to the ones I’ve describe.  You may also come up with excuses for your own reactions in these instances, but before you react, or before you even comment on this post, ask yourself some hard questions.  People want to view the world as black and white, but it’s not. I know I’m not usually a logical thinker, so I know it can be hard to think critically sometimes.  But try some critical thinking.  Try to think of what the bigger picture may be.  Then think about how this world would be if everyone did just that.  Imagine that.

 

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By Kris Heaton Posted in World

The Hard Hits

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It is so very hard to believe that at this very moment one week ago, I was saying goodbye to my beautiful Obi.  It has been a very difficult week for me emotionally. There are still many people who don’t understand.  I can’t blame them.  After all, to them he was just a dog.  But you see, he wasn’t just a dog to me.  He was a major part of my life.  For 9 years he was my morning routine, my evening routine, my snuggle buddy.  He loved me like no other creature could, and I loved him just as much in return.  An unconditional love.  Love like that is truly rare.

The first day was excruciating.  The second day unbearable.  By the third day, I had talked about it to so many people so much and it started to get a little easier to deal with.  Over the course of the week, the pain has lightened, but it hasn’t been without its moments of hard hits.

  • The silence each and every time I walk through the door.
  • Getting up in the morning to let Obi outside, only to realize I don’t have to get up.
  • Turning to feed him my leftovers, only to realize he’s not there.
  • Wanting to ask for a doggie bag so I can take my leftovers home to him.
  • The habit of returning home from a long day to ask if anyone has given Obi his medicine.
  • Shutting my bedroom door, and briefly thinking I better leave it open so he can get in…but he won’t be coming in.
  • Realizing, that even when I’m feeling ok, my daughter has had her share of moments and we break down in tears together.

There were many more moments that brought me to tears throughout the week.  I am quite thankful for the many people in my life who let me cry when the moment would hit me out of the blue.  I did receive a new source of affection, however.  My daughter’s cat, Baya, who didn’t want me to love on her very much before, has stepped in to help fill a void.  One day when I walked in from work to a silent house, I was about to break down crying, and she ran to me and provided me with some much-needed affection.  Aware of my morning routines to let Obi out while getting my coffee, she now runs to the backdoor as I make my coffee, and she and I go outside together.  We repeat the same thing in the evening.  She has started showing me a great deal of affection whenever I am sitting still.  She has even kneaded my head as I lay in bed.  I believe she knows my grief, and I am pretty sure she knows her love is greatly appreciated right now. God has truly provided humans with a gift…the gift of animals.  Only they truly have a pure and unconditional love void of any expectations or judgement.  He knew what he was doing when he offered us pets.  Sadly there are many people who won’t ever know that feeling.  Perhaps they are lucky in some way, because their hearts won’t be torn to shreds when they lose that love.  I, however, believe they are missing out on the greatest gift life has given us….unconditional love.

I will love you forever Obi. I know you are with me, but I look forward to the day I can hold you again.

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