Beautifully said, brother. Sending you so much love.
I often hear people say those words; it’s just a dog. I can’t help but feel sorry for them.
They will never know the unconditional love a dog brings into your life. They will never understand that bond between you and your dog, that unspoken agreement, to love and protect each other with your entire being without question.
They will never understand that loyalty a dog teaches. The type of loyalty that says no matter how you are to me, I love you and will prove my love to you to my dying breath.
They will never understand unbridled joy. That simple joy a dog teaches us from things like a stick or bone or tummy scratch or praise.
They will never understand the warmth and comfort of that dog laying by your side when the world has walked out on you or given you reason to question it.
They will never understand that unwavering dedication and companionship. No, it’s not the same as we get from other humans. And thank God for that. It’s an escape from that. It’s a comradarie that doesn’t require defining or justification or defending. It just is, without question or complication.
They will never understand the ability to communicate with another being without words. There’s something otherworldly when it comes to dogs. They just know, and if we take the time and put in the effort, we do, too.
No, they aren’t just dogs, any more than we are just people. It isn’t good to humanize them. That takes away from their magnificence. But to say they are JUST a dog shows how very little you know and how very out of touch you are.
My mom wasn’t the worlds greatest mom. In fact, if one were to look back, they would probably wonder why I wasn’t taken away from her a couple of times. But she did the best she could, the best she knew how. She busted her butt to care for me and I will always be grateful. She was was an amazing woman. Because of her, I am who I am today.
I’m not highly educated, I’m not classy or fancy. I grew up poor, and on the streets. I’m not the kind of girl you can show off to your boss. I don’t have an impressive resume’ with a litany of names to drop.
What I am is wise and kind, empathetic and loyal. I do the right thing no matter how much it breaks my heart, not because it will get me someplace in life, but because its right. I work my ass off for what I have, which isn’t much, but its mine. I didn’t have daddy’s money to help get me anything so I cherish every single thing I get, even if its just a song from someone. I appreciate every breath I take because I know what its like to feel like I’ll never take another one. I know love, true, unconditional love on several levels, and I know loss, deep soul crushing loss. I’m not trash. I’m not less than. I love and respect and deserve that in kind regardless of my past or my status or my upbringing.
Thank you, Mom.
Over the past couple of years I’ve been reminded of a few important things.
People will always show you what you mean to them, regardless of their words.
Popularity is insignificant. True value is being loved genuinely and wholly by a handful of people that know you inside and out and vice versa.
The only person you need to impress is the person you look in the mirror every morning, and if you have a child, that person. The rest? They are the gravy.
You can bend over backwards to help people, support them, be there for them, even put yourself out for them, but if their interests are more important, they may make you out to be the bad guy. Don’t take it personally or be surprised. It’s how it goes sometimes.
As my mom always told me, at the end of your life, if you can count on your hand 5 true and honest friends that would be there for you as you would be there for them, you are a truly rich person.
Stop second guessing that little voice, that pit in the stomach feeing. It isn’t wrong. It’s an instinct. Don’t let people tell you you’re crazy for listening to it. It’s there for a reason. It never let you down before.
I survived growing up on the streets, stints in foster homes, etc. I don’t need college educated intellectuals telling me what life is about.
The decision to walk away from a few things lately has been difficult but cathartic in a way. Even though some of it may be temporary, it’s given me a sort of clarification and reminder of what’s important, of where I come from, and who I really am.
Yep it’s that time of year. We all do it. This year I’m just doing things. It’s 6 pm on December 31st and I’ve already started. They aren’t anything lofty or special or fancy. They aren’t going to make the world a better place or change anyone’s life. And I’m afraid that’s terribly selfish.
Here are my resolutions:
1: Heading back home, back to the people I know and love, I’ll be spending less time online. I’ve been busy lately and have already started this. It feels nice. And I love being late to the online party and out of the loop. I can’t wait to get back to my people, my home, and my life.
2: Dropping social media dead weight. I’ve never been one to hoard people for numbers, especially on places like Facebook and Instagram. If people aren’t reciprocal? Gone. It’s all about quality, not quantity. I don’t care how popular I look. I care about how much love I give and receive. I don’t like being hoarded and used as a number. I’m bad at catching up on follow backs on Twitter. The one thing that catches my eye on there is communication. If that doesn’t work, be blunt with me. I don’t mind. I promise, I’m nice. In fact, I appreciate it. Ask some of my followers.
3: There are a few things I really want to do when I get home. Try glass blowing, take that water color class that I missed while here, plant my cherry blossom tree and put in a koi pond for my parents. But I’m not giving myself a schedule. I am doing these things this year. And I’m super excited. That’s all I need.
4: Go back to work at a vet clinic. I miss working with animals.
5: Update my information with the agencies so if my son decides he wants to find me someday, he can. This one scares me. It might take me a little bit to do this one.
6: Go back to volunteering at another crisis pregnancy center.
Last month, on May 11, was the anniversary of my best friends suicide. He had 3 beautiful children, a great job, was surrounded by so many people who loved him including a beautiful girlfriend; the woman of his dreams. Yet something pushed him to his breaking point.
Just a few short years prior, his little brother Tim committed suicide. That devastated Todd. He was so hurt and angry. He vowed never to do to anyone what his brother did, leave us all behind, torn, picking up the pieces, wondering what we could have done to stop him, help him in some way, make it better.
The truth is, there is nothing anyone can do. Todd was surrounded by friends who were begging him not to pull the trigger when he put the gun to his head. It was too late in his mind.
When people hit that wall, reach their breaking point, there is nothing anyone can say or do to make it better. No amount of love and support can change it.
People who have never reached that point will never understand this.They see it as weakness, as selfish. They turn their sorrow to anger and hate. Its not something they can or are willing to comprehend.
Some of us on the other hand, completely understand this. The feeling that everything you’ve tried has failed. You are no good and everyone around you will be better off when you’re gone. Some wont even notice the difference. Some of the most important people in your life will see you as a blip on the radar, and move one like you never even existed.
Suicide impacts everyone differently, and no reaction or feeling towards it is wrong. We all deal with things in our own way. Feelings are not wrong; not even the feeling of not being able to continue to go on, emotions compounded by more emotions until they can no longer take it.
Often times, reaching out for help is paralyzing. The very thought of rejection, the minimization of their feelings is terrifying. And the worst, reaching out to the one person who was supposed to be there like a boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse, parent, etc. only to find out they aren’t there for you or for them to be dismissive is enough to solidify the decision to end t all.
Sometimes people just can’t go on hurting the way they do. Every breath feels like they are drowning. Every movement feels like wading through quicksand. And every thought is a painful, confusing mess. People who have never felt this will never understand it and will laugh at it. They have no idea. Its not some poor me victim mentality.
When someone reaches that breaking point, try not to hate them. Yes there are people in the world with what we may see as worse problems, but none of us knows what the other people are dealing with, how much pain they are in. No one ever knows whats really below the surface, we only know what they let us see, how far they let us in. There is far more to each of us that what we let on.
So if you can, try to find it in your hearts to forgive those who choose to leave us. We may never know the extent of why, but maybe it isn’t for us to know. Or maybe if we had taken the time to try and understand, care a little more about others than we do ourselves, we would have the answers to the questions we are left with.
Everything we do has an effect on those around us. Suicide has a rippling effect on the world, but so does the feeling of loneliness, detachment, and rejection. Maybe if we took the time to hear what people are trying to tell us, maybe if we cared just enough to be there before it got to that point, maybe if we stopped being wrapped up in our own lives for a moment, we could save another’s life.
A quick off the cuff response doesn’t absolve us from our part in this. You can say you gave them a compliment, but did you take the time to really listen, to ask questions, to open your heart and genuinely care enough to make sure they were alright?
There are a few sayings that ring true during times like these. One is about how some will give their time when they can spare it while others make time to give even when they have no time to spare.
The other is people will show you how they feel about you, words aside. When they show you they really don’t care, believe them.
Unfortunately sometimes these are the very people who are being reached out to. I wonder how many people would have avoided that wall, avoided their breaking point if someone would have just taken the time to listen.
This was deleted and updated on December 31, 2017 for spelling/punctuation errors. There are probably still some in there. I’m tired. 🙂
This past month has been incredibly difficult. I know you know this and have been by my side the whole way.
I keep imagining you hugging me, whispering your words of wisdom in my ear. I’d give anything to hear you now, feel your arms around me while you tell me things I don’t want to hear but need to; things only a mother can say in a way that is both sobering and full of love.
Life isn’t the same without you. You always tried to convey that feeling to me when you spoke about your mom. I don’t think it’s anything anyone can truly understand until they too have lost their mom.
Anyway, I miss you. I love you.
Keeping my eyes open for signs of you, your messages.