Wednesday, January 16, 2008
First a couple of house cleaning items:
1) I did not win Poet Laurete of Organ Verse for my last blog entry "Ode to a Gall Bladder." Seems there is a guy in Wisconsin whose poems about the pancreas make grown men weep and small children sit in awe. Whatever.
2) I did not blog yesterday, a Tuesday. Usually I am very dependable about blogging on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My explanation is included in today's Puppy Love story. But today, my husband John called me from work and told me that the wife of a friend of his, Elizabeth in California, was concerned because she went to read my blog yesterday and there was nothing new. Elizabeth, thank you! When John told me this, I felt so good. I have a readership! Okay, I have a reader! But hey, it may me feel really special to think that my readership, okay reader, was out there looking for me. THANK YOU!!!! And I apologize.
It has been six days since gall bladder surgery. I am off the hard stuff, thank God. While I was on the blessed pain medication I drifted in and out of consciousness and our living room. Enough of that. But I still have bouts of pain as to be expected. Monday night I felt good so I planned to attend my Words for the Journey Writing group the next day. I put out my clothes, made a plan and everything.
The next morning I awoke at 5 a.m. to horrible stomach pain. Gas. I laid on the couch and thought that after a while it would leave. It didn't and by 7:30 when my guys were leaving for work and school I was still on the couch.
"Scooby, take care of Robbie." John told our puggle before leaving.
At this point, I prayed big time for God to take away the pain so I could go to the 9:30 a.m. writing group. Sharen was teaching on proposals and I am writing a proposal for my new book. I needed to go!
God's answer, "Robbie, relax and listen to your body."
My body: "OUCH! I hurt! I want to sleep some more."
So I dozed off thinking that maybe I would feel better after an hour nap and then I would go.
I woke up at 9 a.m. still in pain. I am a big ole whiner. Just add cheese and I am good to go on most days. But today I wasn't just whining. I was upset. I looked at the clock and felt the moisture in my eyes. Then one tear drop. Then a deluge.
"Why God must I feel pain? Why can't I feel better? At least just good enough to go to my writing group? Why, Lord?"
It was a pretty pathetic scene, but an honest one. Sadness overwhelmed me. Dealing with pain, a heart procedure and a gall bladder surgery within two months all caught up.
This is when I felt such deep inner need for comfort. I ached, not just physically but emotionally.
And this is when I felt a wet little nose burrowing under my hand.
Scooby was on the couch with me and was inching his way up my side to my hand. I couldn't believe how careful he was being, as if he knew my stomach was in such pain. I looked down at the dog with blurred eyes and this is when he started licking my hand. Sweet wet licks. Not like he was sniffing for food or trying to scarf up any remnants of crumbs. Just love.
We have had Scooby for almost six months and if you have followed my journey with the dog, you know I am not a dog person. My dad, Walker, instilled in us that pets were to be enjoyed but never, ever invited into our hearts as family. This would only lead to pain.
I have followed Dad's philosophy. But in that moment, in a moment of pain where I NEEDED somebody, I believe our Father in heaven used a little dog to meet my need and give me comfort. Studies show that pets actually help people in grief or deep pain to feel better. My annoying, chewing, colon blowing, howling dog brought me a moment of real comfort that led to real joy.
The picture above is not a flattering one of me. In fact, I may come back in a couple of weeks and delete it and replace it with PICTURE NOT AVAILABLE like we used to have in yearbooks. But it is an honest picture of a woman having a really rough day and a picture of the vessel of joy God gave her to get through.
I gave in. I listened to my body and told myself the truth. I needed another day to let myself heal. I began to pet Scooby and I prayed a little prayer out loud right there.
"Father, thank You for Your comfort and Your joy that You bring in unexpected ways. Thank you for Scooby who is here to help me get through the pain."
"Let's go back to sleep, Scooby."
He understood and retreated back into his position of curling up next to my legs. My fur covered heating blanket, my Scooby, made me feel safe as I drifted off once again.