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April 16th, 2010, 05:15 PM #1Death and Taxes
The following is a random commentary that I just wrote. Perhaps it is nothing more than a cathartic way of expressing the emotions of the past two days, but here it is, for what it is worth. Have a great weekend!
Yesterday our girl Weimaraner Jasmyn died. She had undergone surgery to remove a tumor that was choking her. It was cancerous.
Jasmyn on my lap earlier this year
The surgery went well, with most of it being removed. I found this out early in the afternoon. My wife, Tara, and I were looking forward to getting her through some chemotherapy and then to having her live for a few more years happily with us.
Three hours later as we ran into the vet hospital, we got the call that her heart had stopped. She was nine years old. We just missed getting to say goodbye.
For much of the past year and half, I have found myself, admittedly, more annoyed with her dog habits and needs than anything. Being a dog somehow did not allow her the same knowledge and abilities as I have, as though God actually created her to be different than me. People are that way too. I think it just dawned on me that we are not all created equal, but should be treated as equals.
She used to slobber on me from time to time. I was always annoyed by that. I would give anything to be slobbered on by her right now.
She often smelled like a weird mix of original Doritos and well a dog who just came in from being outside. It wasn’t a pleasant smell to my own sensitive nose. I miss that smell so much right now.
Last night Tara and I paid our taxes. We had to wait until the last minute because of combination of an incorrect W-2, missing giving reports from churches, the stress of Jasmyn’s situation, and mostly procrastination.
So I went to the Post Office at 7:00PM and unlike years past, it was not open late, but it did have an automated thing to print out postage that was time stamped. The line was almost out the door.
The old guy in front of me was rambling on about something and then could not figure out how to operate the machine. My frustration level was growing.
We already had postage on there so now we were going to waste another dollar on this. Not that the dollar was the issue, of course, but the mere thought of giving the postal service another penny was killing me.
I wanted to just wallow in my own self-pity and be angry. I have important things to do and these people are holding me up!
And then they only take debit cards and ours is in the car with my wife and other dog. Fantastic.
As I walked back in to an even longer line and the same old guy still trying to figure out the machine, I suddenly I realized that this was all pointless. My attitude sucked and, quite frankly, I was getting on my own nerves.
For the next 15 minutes, the entire mood of those in line changed.
We joked, we helped each other with the machine, and we gave out leftover stamps to each other as we left so that some people would not have to wait in line as long.
As I left, I handed a stamp to a couple that just looked like they were worn out and maybe the $0.44 was worth something to them. They were so grateful and tried to pay me back. Who knows what is going on in their life? Seeing them smile was gratifying in its own sense.
Today, I cannot shake the feeling that I should have done more. Even in those moments, my selfish nature ruled when I could have easily have bought $30 worth of stamps and handed them out to everyone in line. I know that God would have wanted me to do that.
I wonder what kind of impact that would have had on people there?
I wonder if during that moment, I had forgotten my own problems and my own needs and realized that every person in that line was in just as much of a hurry as I was. They have just as many problems and frustrations. I wonder if that is what the apostle Paul meant when he told us to “in humility consider others better than yourselves”?
My view of many things changed yesterday. I still wish that I had bought those stamps, but my eyes are open for many similar opportunities.
I still miss Jasmyn and always will. But I am thankful for our time together and for the memories she leaves us with.
Rest in peace, Jazzy. Love, Dad.
Jasmyn in one of her favorite positions on her bed
April 16th, 2010, 05:37 PM #2
Matt, there are times when you get blindsided by a lot all at once and it's ok to be selfish. You'll have plenty of chances to be generous later. The main point is that you took a look at yourself, realized what was going on, and decided what you needed to fix. Those are the first steps to self-improvement.
I'm sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how I'll feel when our pup (now 7) leaves us. Incidentally, we call her "dorito feet", because that's exactly how her feet smell. I miss that smell too when I'm not around her though...-Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
- Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.
April 16th, 2010, 05:41 PM #3
April 16th, 2010, 05:55 PM #4
- Join Date
- November 14th, 2005
- Chapel Hill, NC
you bring a tear to the eyes of this old Hill Billy. A couple of years ago, my wife and I lost our Jack Russell in similar circumstances. I understand your loss.You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
April 16th, 2010, 06:46 PM #5
So sorry, Matt.
Your other doggie will need a lot of attention to help get over its loss as well.
Our two dawgs are 14 and 11, and we spend a bundle keeping them in top-shape, including quality food (their dinners sometimes cost more than what MrsHound and I eat) and after a long search, we found a great vet that practices traditional and holistic vetmed. Its all worth it for the love, fun, and companionship they provide, even though they've never been 100% housebroken.
As to the stamps, in stressful situations, we don't always see as clearly as we otherwise might, and the good idea comes a bit too late. I'm sure the next time the chance to help someone out arises, you'll seize the opportunity.
April 16th, 2010, 09:33 PM #6
Matt, great post. Makes me think of God's grace.. I'm usually too caught up in myself to get the correct perspective. Thanks for the kick.
April 16th, 2010, 09:37 PM #7
April 16th, 2010, 10:12 PM #8
Pets are family for many of us, you have had her love for all those years and it does leave an empty spot. It's good that by the end of the day humanity gave you some good perspective. It's hard to deal with everything at once but it brought out your best instincts.
April 18th, 2010, 06:03 PM #9
Awwwww Matt, losing a pet is so hard. This post made me cry, too. So sorry for your loss. :-(
Having pets is asking for heartache down the line. They are like children to us and they will usually die before us which is unbearably hard to take but we keep doing it anyway. Just because pets have a shorter life span than we do doesn't negate us loving them and accepting them into our families with open hearts. We're pretty big-hearted that way.
I read a lot about "being of service to others" and how that is a huge reason we're here. I still haven't quite figured it out. ;-) I suspect many of us have no idea how to be "of service to others" but I think it boils down to being kind and generous of spirit. You are both. Generosity of spirit is a wonderful way to walk through life. It doesn't mean handing out money to all who ask, it means being generous with yourself, your knowledge, your ability, your heart and sometimes passing out coveted stamps in line at the post office. What you give will always be returned 10 fold. Maybe not in the way you expect but the universe keeps track. (Karma, if you will)
Being of service to our pets is, to me, equal to being of service to people. It's about love and filling our lives with loving intentions. Those loving intentions are energy that spills into the universal energy bank and balances the negative and evil energy competing for attention. No amount of good will or kindness is lost, it all adds up. Having shared love with our departed pets has made this world a better place.
RIP Jasmyn. She was a beauty!Peace,
Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic
April 19th, 2010, 10:42 AM #10
This weekend was good overall. We had family in town so that helped to keep our minds off of things and Benton got as much exercise the past three days as he has in most months with everyone wanting to play with him, going for walks, chasing his ball, etc. so that was good.
I just had to share these other two pictures Tara sent me. So cute:
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