Archive for the ‘Silence’ Category
Today, as in the past, there are problems that must be solved and challenges that must be met. We can tackle them with our full strength and creativity only because we are free to work them out in our own way. We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free.
Ronald Reagan, May 26, 1983
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
Just over a month ago we were saddened to learn that our devoted friend and family member, Flash, had bone cancer.
There is no more sobering word in the English language than the word cancer.
I still remember the day he picked our son out of the bunch of us. We had been looking for the “perfect” family dog for months and had decided to spare no expense in finding the perfect companion to grow up with our children. We contacted a local breeder and went to meet with her and the puppies.
When we arrived we were introduced to Flash’s mother, Pele, and his father, Banner. We got to see their temperaments in action, and we were amazed at them both.
We also learned that Banner was the son of Faera’s Future Classic, call name “Thunder”. Thunder is a champion Golden Retriever whose bloodline is well known and whose offspring have produced numerous “assistance” dogs around the country.
Magic happened when we got to meet the puppies. Let me just say now, that if we had a bit more money at the time we would have come home with two, or maybe even three, of them. We sat on the front lawn watching the puppies play and one of them walked up to our oldest son and laid down in his lap.
The puppy was making it clear that he picked our son. We played with him a bit and moved him over to the side so we could all play with one of the other puppies, but within moments he was pushing his way back through the crowd and into our son’s lap.
The choice had been made. We paid a deposit and we waited three more weeks to bring him home. That was the day our lives changed forever.
When we arrived to pick him up, the breeder brought him out to us and he immediately ran up to our son. He remembered him, that was very clear. Because he had picked our son we decided to let him name the new addition to our family.
His name was Flash. There were two reasons for this name. One, was the lightning bolt shaped mark on his forehead, and the other was for the superhero. Hey, when you are four years old, it’s important to pay homage to your superheros.
From the moment we walked in the door, I knew this dog was hard headed. Once he got something in his mind, he wasn’t going to change it, and you knew it. He made it clear early on that he wanted to be in charge, so I spent the next few years letting him believe he was.
For nearly six years he has been a devoted friend, an energetic playmate, a trusting guard, and most of all a loving family member. He was always cheerful, he was always happy.
Our vet recommended seeing a specialist who could confirm the cancer diagnosis, and let us know what the options were. As we walked out of that specialist’s office, my wife and I knew what was coming, but neither one of us wanted to face it. We drove home and reviewed our options. No matter what we decided we knew we had to do the right thing for Flash.
It turns out, he made the choice for us. Three nights ago, when I went downstairs to let the dogs in, he was nowhere to be found. It was getting dark and I had to grab my shoes and a flashlight. It took me 15 minutes to find him in the backyard. He was laying in the wooded area behind our home. It took most of his energy to get up, and he slowly limped into the house.
For the next two days he did nothing but lay in his bed by the front door. He could barely walk to go outside to do his business, and once he did he came right back in and laid on his bed.
Two weeks ago, I told Flash that he needed to let me know when it was time. I begged him to tell me when he had had enough. Yesterday, he told me. There was something in his eyes and the way he cuddled into me. There was a message there. He was telling me that he wanted to go. He made it clear that he was done.
I didn’t want him to be done. I still don’t want him to be done. I want to play ball with him. I want to take him for walks through the neighborhood. I want to feel his warmth at my feet. I promised him I would do the right thing when the time came, and I did. But right now, all I want is my friend back.