Monday, June 14, 2010
Everyone knows the joke about the dyslexic atheist who claimed "there is no doG". I have to say that as a Christian I believe in God and I had a doG who at times was the only one who could convince me He was still listening.
I grew up in a home where we always had a dog and cat. We learned about life and death with these beloved creatures. We watched kittens and puppies be born; sometimes in the most inconvenient places. I also felt the sadness of saying goodbye. As I grew old enough to understand the power of friendship and the symbolism in letting go of "man's best friend", I realized that there is more to life than just existing.
I found a way as a young woman to understand that life is not just a matter of our heart beating one minute and then stopping. It is about relationships; good and bad. It is about learning how to love, and how to forgive. It is as much about pain as it is about pleasure. It is about learning how to balance it all in a world that can be so cruel.
Grief has a funny way of cutting to the core of who and what we believe. I had a little dog named, Blackie. He was a gift to my first husband shortly after he had been diagnosed with cancer. I didn't know at the time, but that little doG would one day be the single life that would help me to cling to my own life. When my husband passed away I wasn't much interested in life. I went through my day to day routine just because I had to. On the days that I didn't want to get out of bed, that little doG would nudge my hand or do something to make me realize that I had to at least take care of him. Sometimes, that's really all I did do. But it worked, Mr. Blackie helped me to keep moving.
Last spring I had the extreme sadness of saying goodbye to my Blackie. But I am grateful that I got to be the one to hold him as he took his last breath because it was in that moment that I realized it was he who made me want to take another breath during the darkest time in my life.
If I wake up tomorrow and learn that there never really was a God, I will be grateful for the faith that has kept me through it all. Most of all today I am thankful for the doG who helped me believe that there is a God and he watches over me often in the most expected ways.
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