Monthly Archives: June 2014

Pride and Puppies

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“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you’re wonderful.” – Ann Landers

Oh, why not?  If we could, wouldn’t we be the most loved, appreciated, sought after people in the world?  My rat terrier/lap dog has the uncanny ability to make me feel welcome home whether I’ve been gone five minutes or five hours, she wants to snuggle at all times – no strings attached, and she never seems to get tired of me no matter what I’m doing.

Maybe dogs are too good for our self-esteem.  Maybe they make us believe we really are awesome!  Can their constant devotion blow up our egos?  Nah, surely not!

Layla - the lap dog in motion.

Layla – the lap dog in motion.

In my latest writings, I’m dealing with a woman whose pride has been battered and destroyed.  The character has been humiliated at work, abandoned by her husband, and now is struggling with overcoming the abuse her pride has taken.  I’m quickly introducing a puppy into the story – what better way to help her get over her sorrows?  Even though pride can be a tricky trap into believing your better than others, I think for most it’s way more simple.  It’s simply wondering if you’re worth the space you take up on earth.

Maybe pride comes and goes.  Maybe for some it’s an ego trip.  Maybe for others it’s only a sense of accomplishment.  Maybe for most it’s only feeling happy that in that moment, on that day, things went as they should.

My goal with this new character is to pull her out of her misery while helping her discover her self-worth.  Not sure how I’m going to get her there yet but I do know a lost, pitiful puppy, an old house and an aging grandmother are going to be in the mix.  Just as with children, there’s nothing like the love of an animal to snap you out of your own world – whether it’s pride-filled or sorrow-filled – and I hope to take that feeling into my new story.

Layla's first day at home.

Layla’s first day at home.

Have you ever had an animal that adored you, that maybe even saved you from self-pity or depression?  What about an animal that became your companion or friend?

Heavy Hearts

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The Edmundson Crew

The Edmundson Crew

Our family has suffered another loss, so forgive my morbid post.  My husband’s aunt and uncle lost their second son yesterday.  They lost his brother 18 months ago.  My mind continues to spin with the enormity of it.  Our hearts are heavy.

Things I’ve noticed about death:

1.  Why is it we only notice or acknowledge the good in people once they’re gone?  Why can’t we look at someone while they’re alive and say, Hey – you’re funny and mischievous and you might be the best ball coach there ever was because you loved your players and cared about their little hearts?  Why do we wait until someone is gone to appreciate them?  How many deaths does it take before we finally wake up and say, I love you, man, and you’re awesome?

2.  Why do people, including myself, think we’ve done something wrong when we lose someone?  Almost like we’re being punished for not being the best friend or parent or partner.  Do we really believe that or are our hearts yearning for any kind of answer or reason for the pain?  Because not one of us deserve to lose anyone.

3.  I am a person of faith, pretty big faith.  God is my father, Jesus is my friend, and I spend a lot of time chatting with them both every day.  That being said, I’m in a yucky place this week.  I’m ill and sad and just confused.  I know death is part of living – it’s a guarantee whether we want it or not.  But shouldn’t there be limits?  I’m a big believer in fairness – as in one ball team should not win all the time, certain people shouldn’t receive all the attention, that kind of fair.  You spread the proverbial wealth.  So shouldn’t pain be evenly distributed too?  Why do some get dealt so much more pain than others in a lifetime?  Spread the stuff out!  How fair is it for parents to lose their only two sons 18 months apart?  It’s not, and it yanks at my heart and soul in the worst kind of way.  In my grief, I don’t blame God because I know life is just a side effect of the world we live in.  But dang…

4.  The best and oddest thing about death is the way it pulls people together.  People cling to each other.  It reminds people to love, to share, to remember with clarity things we don’t remember on an average day.  Suddenly, memories flood our minds…thoughts of the wonderful things a person did, the silly habits they had, the love they gave to so many.  Out of something so horrible, good seeps through.  For a little while, we tether to one another.  In the worst of times, people cling.  Maybe we should be clinging every day, not just on the bad days.

5.  Finally, it reminds me that no matter what, one day there’s more.  There’s a new life just beyond your last breath – a new body, a new home.  Death is just a stepping stone, a step into what’s next.  Next will be softer, kinder, and deep in my heart, I just know fairness will no longer be an issue.

 

Garden Variety

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It has rained for weeks here in southern Tennessee.  Every day for weeks.  The sun manages to pop its head out from time to time, but still, June has been soggy.  The only good thing about the excess rain is how happy my flowers are.  They are brighter, happier, more robust than they’ve ever been.

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Just like flowers, we are all so very different.  Have you ever noticed?  We are different in every aspect…appearance, personalities, needs, wants.  I heard a wonderful lesson on differences yesterday.  The speaker described people as flowers, a mixture of colors, shapes, sizes.  He declared that we’re all given qualities that make us unique and special in our own way.

My thoughts immediately went to my children, and being a lover of flowers, I began to think of what flower they would be.  What symbolic miracle are they?  (Because aren’t flowers a miracle we get to witness every day?)

When my daughter was little, she loved the color purple.  My girl was always thin and started wearing a belt when she started wearing big girl pants.  She’s still thin today, tall and thin with long dark hair.  She was always quiet, always listening but just beyond that, was a touch of wildness.  When at age ten she swallowed a live minnow on a bet, I knew another side of her was emerging.  Independent and tough, sweet and pretty, she’s all things wrapped in one.  She’s my Delphinium.

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My son came along a few years later, bursting into the world.  As a toddler, he was wild, absolutely buck wild, but now as he’s growing into a man, he’s become so much more.  He’s strong and brave, the kind of brave I will never be.  Happiest on a horse or deep in the woods, he’s all things nature.  He’s funny and sweet, outdoorsy and adventurous.  He’s my sunflower.

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Just as every flower is different, it reminds me that each person is different.  We are not carbon copies, made to do everything the same.  We are each our own unique being, thorns and all.  And I’m so thankful for the color and variety in my life.  Wouldn’t life be so very boring without it?