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Posts Tagged ‘joy’

waldo The next few weeks or months are going to be a time filled with great joy and sorrow. The joy comes from celebrating the graduation of my nephew from high school. He has lived with me for the past three years and I have seen him grow into a fine young man. Truth be told he is not my blood nephew but rather one that was created because of the love we have for each other. He is from Cameroon Africa and has been in America only four years, three of witch he has lived with me. So when I say I have seen him struggle and grow, I mean it. He spoke no English when he arrived and was thrown in to high school with the expectations of knowing all that was taught the past 8 years of American schooling. And when I say grow, well I also meaning both in his education and his size. Coming from a poor part of Cameroon he was a small child, but he made up for it fast! He ate like there might not be food the next day, because that was what he knew. It was an amazing time and still is, for him and for me. I have gained so much from the experience that i feel that I owe him a thanks. The is the joy I will experience over the next few months. The sorrow that will come is one that I am truly not looking forward to

My best friends name is Waldo, we have been friends for over 15 years, and have spent everyday together. Waldo is my dog but more importantly he is family. Waldo is a terrier mix, basically a mutt, he is a medium sized dog, about 55 pounds. So for his size he is old. Based on dog years he is about 100 years old, give or take. Up-until about two or three weeks ago he was basically healthy. I did have a scare about 18 months ago where I had to rush him into the vets for issues with his balance, it turned out to be an ear infection, but it still scarred me. The thought of no longer being part of my daily life is a thought that I do not cherish. But it is one I have to come to, his time is running out.

Last week I had to once again rush him to the vet. I arrived home about 9:30 one night to find Waldo spread eagle on the floor unable to stand or walk. He is now of a few meds and basically can walk. He has issues on slippery floors but on carpet he is mostly ok. I have hard wood floors through out the whole house with areas of rugs. So he has issues, I do what I can, I have placed rugs by his food and water and we, my nephew and I watch over him. But each day he seems to have new issues with his ability to stand or walk. Over all he is otherwise healthy, but old. This morning I was reminded of his issues, not that I have forgotten. When I woke up I gave him his breakfast and him meds that I mix in to his food with gravy or applesauce. Why he was eating I went to save and shower and get ready for work when I heard him crying. I found him spread eagle on the floor. The cry was one not of pain but more one of confusion and scared. It was a sound I never want to hear again, it was a sound of total desperation. When I ran to him He was looking at me for help and understanding and I at him with a look of fright and love. The thought of his passing is one that haunts my dreams and my waking hours.

This is the sadness that I will have to deal with over the next few weeks and months. Not to long-ago I lost my other dog, George, a few moths back. February 12 of 2010 George drowned in my back yard pond. And the memory is still vivid in my mind. The loss of a pet to some is nothing more than a loss of a pet, but to me it is a loss of a family member. George was eight years old when he drowned, so for eight years he depended on me and the feeling of failing him was over bearing. Waldo is 16 or 17 and has depended on me for 15 years. I saved him from the humane society days before he was to be put down. And in a way I have that feeling of letting him down because I can not protect him nor save him from what is to come.

I have loss both of my parents and a 23 year old nephew, so I know the pain of loss of loved ones. I would place the loss I feel for George to be on par as to the loss of my loved ones. The loss of Waldo will be felt deep within my heart and soul and my world will change forever just like it did with the loss of my father and than years latter my mother. The loss of any loved one is devastating at best. With the loss of my parents I have learned to celebrate the lives rather than morn the death. Yes I felt a profound emptiness and a deep sorrow that rocked my world. I cried and questioned God as to why He would take my parents at such a young age, but ultimate I celebrated the life they lived. I thanked God for the time we did have together and prayed for there souls. The same can be said for George, I cried and questioned and I cursed the pond that took his life. But in the end I thanked God for George and the happiness he brought to my life. I look at my pond with memories of George and how he loved to swim in it, chase the fish and turtles.

Waldo has and continues to bring me great joy. His personality is truly his and his love and devotion to me and the rest of my family is amazing. The joy he has brought into my life are too numerous to count and the idea of him no longer being their is to hard to phantom.

I know that God is with me, and that He will help me through the next few months of uncertainty. I also know that one day soon Waldo will no longer be waiting for me at the fence when I arrive home, he will no longer bark and anything that happens to pass by and he will no longer be at my side. God willing he will pass in his sleep with no pain, God willing I will be there for him when he needs me the most. And God willing I will be able to comfort him in his time of need.

The joy that my family and friends, including Waldo and George, have given me over the years have helped to create the person I am. With the passing of ones that are close to me I experience a great conversion of faith. I feel the hands of God upon my shoulders providing me the strength and comfort I need. I know the same will be true when Waldo is taken home. This knowledge does not make his passing any less painful, but it does help in the healing process. In Gods ultimate wisdom He knows the big plan for my life, and how each person and pet fits in to it. As for me, I am along for the ride, living my life to the best of my ability, taking each person and pet that comes into my life as a blessing knowing that one day, sooner or latter, they will be taken home. Some before me and others long after I have gone. It is a privilege for me to have had the past 15 years with Waldo, I feel honored to have taken care of him and to have him depend on me as much as I have depended on him.

The joys of sorrows of life are the ebb and flow of our existence, and it truly is a blessing to be experienced. The goodbyes are always hard but necessary, for every time there is a session, a session for joy and a session for sorrow. Soon I will be experiencing two passing’s, on of joy and one of sorrow, a graduation and a death, life is full of opposing forces.

Please pray for both my nephew and Waldo, that they may both my be blessed as they both experience a life changing event, one in to adulthood and one into the next world.

God Bless

Paul

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One of my favorite things to do is to read, I love to read. I read books for enrichment, for pleasure and for spiritual growth. And I love to read several books at one time. I have been known to have five books going at one time. At the moment I have 6 books in process, but am actively reading 3. The books rang from Steven King to St. Francis; I read different styles for different reasons. I allow my mood and my needs drive what book I pick up, so some books I may read in a day or two, and others, it may take me a year or more to read. I allow the moment to take me away and allow my mind to drift in to the world of the author. And at times I am sure the Holy Spirit guides me to read certain books. But in the end, I just love to read.

Reading is an escape for me, no matter the subject, be it deep with theology or shallow with the super natural. In truth, I try to learn something from everything I read, I look for that little knowledge that the author wants to share. I dig deeper in to novels than most would, so event the basic Stephen King book turns in to a search for some truth, and truth be told, I almost always find some nugget of truth.

I love to read, it’s my escape, others paint, some play games and others work out or play sports. We all have that one thing that we find the most relaxing, the most energizing. For me it’s reading, now truth be told, I really could use some exercising in my life, but I just find it hard to allow the power of the action to outweigh the action itself. Now I could read about it, and find some joy in that, but the results would not be the same. But that’s for a different blog, this one is about finding that one activity that gives you joy.

For me it’s reading, and I try to read every day, even if it’s for only 15 minutes. Some days I can spend hours reading, and other days, I get no time, but I average at least 30 minutes per day enjoying a good book or two.
Everyone needs to find the one thing that fills them with contentment, you need to find the one joy in this world that allows you to recharge and relax. Now comes the hard part, not only do you have to find it, but now you must make time to spend on it, daily! Five minutes, 30 minutes, in truth the time don’t matter, it’s the fact that you are giving yourself a break.

For me it’s reading, so I always have a book in my car, and several at home, and at work, I usually have something to read, if time permits. If yours is sports you may not be able to play a game of basketball at lunchtime, but you can read up on your favorite teams, or look for places to play after work. There is always a way to fill your day with the one joy you have.

I am sure many of you have more than one thing that relaxes and energizes you, as do I, but I chose the one activity that seems to be the most consistent. Like I said, some days I don’t read at all, I find it’s just too much work, if its summer time, I would work outside on my fish pond, if its winter, as it is now, I find myself watching old movies or working on new ideas for faith formation for my company STATIC Solutions (www.staticplace.com). And sometimes I just need to do something new, something different, but all in all reading is my one joy.

Paul

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Please except my apologies for not blogging every day, but my trip overseas was one of great demands on me, both work and personal. You see I have many friends in the countries I visit for work. One of the perks of my travels is the great friendships I have made with many people. So when I have the opportunity to visit with them, I take advantage of that. So in doing so, my blogging became a minor priority.

But the opportunity to visit with my friends, to rekindle the flame of friendship, well that became a major responsibility and it took its toll on me.  I’m not as young as I once was, so the late nights out for dinner and the few drinks (well, ok more than a few) also took their toll.

Friendship is the spice of life; it is what makes my life so enjoyable. I have friends all over the earth and each one adds something to my life. So when I have the opportunity to visit and chat with them, I take it! I choose to add fresh spice to my life, to mix it up a little and with any luck, leave a little of my spice behind.

So the trip, although long, I was away from my home for 4 weeks, was well worth it. The conversations with my friends where enjoyable and served to strengthen our bonds across the ocean, the dinners where filling and fulfilling, serving both the body and soul. Time was always working on me, it seemed as if the days flew by, and before I knew it I was off to another land, to work and visit with my friends.

Now of all my friends here and abroad, I count them equal, none greater than or less than the other. Sure the local friends I have I see more and talk to more, and yes they add spice to my life, but I value them no more than I value the ones I see only on occasions when I travel.

A life lesson can be learned from my travels, one of gratitude for the capacity of the human heart. I have learned that love knows no borders and friendships can sustain the miles between, a lesson that all should learn.

 Friendship is a privilege that we all can receive and give; it is not a right that one can claim. We must work for our friendships, learn and grow from them. The spice of life friendship represents is a spice of joy and happiness. A spice that should never be horded for yourself, but one that must be shared, if you truly wish to experience the true flavor of it, a spice that is not contained, but rather set free in to the winds of life.

Paul

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