The heart of a skeptic.
This is not the post I thought I would write tonight. I was set to tell you all about my past few weeks, about the call I got on Saturday saying that my former foster dog John Wayne had become ill and about how I could not…..seem…to get…
What I was going to write will have to wait.
It happened innocently enough, I went to check the baseball standings and saw the breaking news story that said there had been an explosion at the finish line of the Boston marathon today, two people were confirmed dead and many others critically hurt. Like so many my heart sank in devastation for the suffering of these innocent people, then the rage sets in, a bubbling lava of thoughts, mostly what a worthless lot we have become. Killing each other for our beliefs, our gods, drugs, money, revenge or for no reason what so ever. I accidentally click on a picture of a man in a wheelchair, a stranger’s belt makes a tightened noose around his upper thigh I thought I saw an electrical cord hanging down, how odd I thought, then I realized it was a vein or artery hanging down like unstrung Christmas lights. I was done, I did not want any more information, I have grown weary of the evil in this world, I can’t take more stories of abuse to animals or local headlines of people beating 2, 3, 4 year old babies to death after months of neglect, and I did not want to stare like a deer at the television headlight listening over and over to the same commentaries and pieced together scenarios of what might have happened before there is an actual investigation conducted.
After work I would drive to the emergency veterinarian hospital where John Wayne is staying. His foster family called me on Saturday with news that John Wayne was very sick and they were concerned he would not survive. The family made the hour drive to Cincinnati where he would get the very best care possible and after a scary few days he is now on the mend and recovering well. I love that little guy like one of my own and thought perhaps just what I needed tonight would come in the form of a low riding basset hound mix with little feet that pointed in opposite directions and giant ears that always make me smile. I entered the waiting room and on the television flashed images of the tragic events in Boston. I tried not to listen but then I hear something that made me change my mind…. runners who finish were continuing on to Boston Mass Hospital in order to give blood to the injured victims. Restaurants were feeding anyone who was hungry, if you couldn’t pay they didn’t care. Then they gave information about an app which was created letting local residents open their homes to folks who needed a place to stay, I felt my jaw tighten as I tried not to cry, one read. “I have a couch to offer and two beautiful chihuahuas to love you. My apartment is open to anyone in need”…. jolted back to reality I hear someone say, “Are you here to visit John Wayne?”
Once alone inside the room with him, I would drop to the floor and bury my face in his soft brown fur until it is soaked with my tears, he would kiss my face and eventually lay next to me as close as he could get, I felt comforted by his presence and I thought about John Wayne and the amazing family who adopted him, the two little boys in the family who light up at the mere sight of John Wayne with his short legs and happy go lucky trot. How there really is so much love in the world, which I tend to sometimes forget especially when evil creeps into our lives with a unsuspecting stinging slap, that leaves a lasting mark.
In these times of truth, when we have the opportunity to be our best selves despite our differences we always seem to triumph. In these moments no one stops to think if the person in need is of the same political party, if they agree with a tax hike, support gay marriage or voted for their local school levy. No one wonders if the person in need attends church regularly or if that person graduated from college. In the end all of the labels, misconceptions, judgements and classifications we work so hard to tether people to, just do not matter. The brave rescuers today never stopped to think, they only had to feel the pain of other human beings in a moment of heartbreaking terror to reach out and give the unthinkable act of selfless love to a stranger. Maybe we can carry that with us as we go through our own marathon of life till we reach the finish line. I know I want to try harder to judge less and love more. Tonight I pray for peace, understanding and comfort to those who lost so much today.
Ending the post with some pics of Mr. John Wayne….. a never ending source of unconditional love to all those he meets.