This past spring in a span of 6 weeks, my poppa and my dog,Bella, died. Bella is the dog you see pictured on my website. Both were great teachers, but in very different ways. This blog is a tribute in deep appreciation of them both.
The lessons I learned from my poppa:
- Problem solve…every mechanical problem to my dad had a solution, and sometimes it was to scrap it, but only after looking at it from many angles and asking Jesus for help.
- ..don’t try to convenience any one of any thing; rather, share a story from your perspective…a favorite technique of Jesus’ too!
- Love animals…he did and as such he always had animals in the house. The animals and our time together are some of my most cherished memories as a child.
- How to play pinochle. Great game, especially a great teacher…what it taught me is that how I play cards is how I live…that has changed immensely over the years!
- Work hard (directly), but not to the exclusion of wholesome relationship (indirectly).
- Provide for those you love and that may take a multitude of forms.
- The three primary lessons learned as child of an alcoholic are don’t trust, don’t speak and don’t feel. My poppa battled with the bottle from a teenager until about his 60’s. As a result, as an adult I get to learn to trust, to speak my heart honorably, and to feel all of my feelings. Thank you poppa!
The lessons I learned from Bella:
- My action is not personal, I am just taking care of myself. I trust what I need and ask you to trust it too!
- Live here now.
- Do what you love and do it until you stop dead in your tracks. Bella loved to swim. About six hours before she died, she stumbled into pond to feel the water on her body one last time.
- ..in her last days, although not interested in walks or food, she still wanted to play ball.
- Greet each moment…every smell, every being…this is the first and last time you will experience them like this.
- Experience everything at least once and repeat when you love something.
- Accept and surrender to what is…a few years ago, Bella stopped jumping in the car on her own. Instead, one day she knew that was no longer an option for her and she simply waited for me to lift her in. Her (final) death was just like that too.
- Let people know what you want and concurrently go with the flow.
- Don’t hold grudges.
- When you have had your fill, remove yourself from the situation. So when my nieces would love on Bella and to the point she had enough, she would simply get up and leave. She would retire in her kennel or my bedroom, which were her safety zones.
- No need to growl, except when it is really needed, then use it and be done with it! Thank you Bella!
Who are or have been your teachers? What do you appreciate about them? What lessons have you learned? How have they influenced who you are today? This moment will NEVER be again, let’s honor it fully!