His Journey Has Just Begun

Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

My father passed away a few years ago and there isn’t a day that goes past that I don’t think of him. I miss the times that we shared together fishing, traveling, camping, laughing, and doing the plethora of other things that I loved to do with him. He was more than a father to me, he was my buddy, my confidant, my best friend.

Today, I was going through my desk here at home and came across a poem that a friend of mine had shared with us. For some reason, I don’t remember reading it at the time, but after reading it today, it brought a sense of comfort to my heart.

It is for this reason that I felt as though I should share it with other people that may be going through a time of grief, loss, or nostalgia.

So, here is the poem…

“His Journey’s Just Begun”

Don’t think of him as gone away,

His journey’s just begun.

Life holds so many facets,

This earth is only one.

—–

Just think of him as resting,

From the sorrows and the tears.

A place of warmth and comfort,

Where there are no days and years.

—-

Think how he must be wishing,

That we could know today.

How nothing but our sadness,

Can really pass away.

—-

And think of him as living,

In the hearts of those he touched.

For nothing loved is ever lost,

And he was loved so much.

~ Ellen Brenneman

Listening to the Sound of Silence

Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

Today’s world is getting busier and busier. It seems as though the anxieties, stresses, and the speed of the events going on around us are going faster and quicker every day. There are times when it seems like we just can’t catch up with the things that we would like to do. Our minds sometimes seem so overwhelmed with all the vast amounts of technology and information bombarding us…it can sometimes feel like we are going “over the edge.”

Well, I have good news for you time! The following is a simple story that I hope serves as a great reminder…for all of us…the importance of taking some time for ourselves each day!

There once was a farmer who discovered that he had lost his watch in his barn. You see, it was no ordinary watch because it had great sentimental value for him. The watch had been passed down to him through the generations and it broke his heart knowing that he lost the watch.

He searched and searched but he could not find the treasured heirloom. After much thought and contemplation, the farmer decided to enlist the help of a group of children that were playing outside the barn. The children looked and looked for the watch, but they just couldn’t find it.

The farmer was heartbroken…it seemed like the watch was lost forever. But just when the farmer was about to give up, a little boy came up to him and the farmer, “Mr. Farmer, can I look for the watch one more time?” The farmer looked at him and thought, “why not?” “It certainly wouldn’t hurt…after all your friends looked for a few hours and couldn’t find it,” the farmer said.

So, the farmer told the little boy to go back into the barn and continue his search.  To his complete surprise and astonishment, the boy come out, face beaming with pride, with the farmer’s watch in his hand!

The farmer was so happy and surprised! He asked the boy, “How did you find the watch? There were so many other people searching for it and they couldn’t find it, how did you discover it so quickly?”

The boy simply replied, “I did nothing but sit quietly on the ground and listen…in silence. Then I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in the direction the sound was coming from.”

You see folks, in the hustle and bustle of today’s world, we all need to take some time for ourselves to be quiet and allow ourselves to enjoy the gift of relaxing, re-energizing silence. A peaceful mind will allow us to think better and more clearly than a mind full of turmoil, anxiety, and stress.

Allow yourself to take some time each day to silence your mind and discover how it will help your day run a little smoother and happier when you quiet your soul!

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

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greg-rakozy-oMpAz-DN-9I-unsplash

Life and death. The two most basic components of every living person and thing on earth. It was once said that the two most certain things in life are death and taxes. Each one of us will pass on from this world someday and we all probably know of someone who has left us.

Unfortunately, there are times when our loved ones leave us suddenly. We never had the chance to say good-bye and share our final thoughts with them.

I came across the following poem in a paper a few years ago and decided to share with it with you today. I hope that it may bring you a measure of peace and comfort…or please feel free to share it with someone who you may think need it.

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

When tomorrow starts without me,

Please try to understand,

That an angel came and called my name,

And took me by the hand

 

The angel said my place was ready,

In Heaven far above,

And that I’d have to leave behind

All those I dearly love.

 

But when I walked through Heaven’s Gates,

I felt so much at home,

For God looked down, smiled at me,

And told me “Welcome Home.”

 

So, when tomorrow starts without me,

Don’t think we’re far apart,

For every time you think of me,

I’m right there in your heart.

 

~ Author Unknown

An Angel’s Hand

person holding hand

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The death and loss of a loved one, family or friend, is never easy. There are times when it comes unexpected and other instances when it arrives after a long period of time. I have experienced this kind of loss with dear friends of mine as well as family and relatives.

For me, I have always found comfort knowing that despite the hard and painful time I was going through, there was a promise and hope that I would see them again…whole, perfect, without pain and suffering.

I recently discovered the following poem, written by John F. Connor, that really gave me a beautiful image about what happens to our lost loved ones and their souls the moment they pass away from this earth.

It is simply a wonderful, heartwarming and beautiful little poem that I felt I needed to share. It is my hope that it will comfort someone today.

An Angel’s Hand

An angel whispered in my ear

Believe in me and have no fear,

Come with me and take my hand,

I will take you to another land.

 

A place of peace, a place of light,

Don’t be afraid, just hold on tight.

Your earth days are done but don’t be sad

Remember all the times you had;

Loved ones will join you, don’t despair,

You have many in Heaven waiting there.

 

Your body dies, your soul is free,

That’s why you get to fly with me.

Spending Christmas With Jesus This Year

a city built between the mountain and the sea

Photo by Luke Barkhuizen on Pexels.com

The Christmas and Holiday season is one of the most beautiful and exciting times of the year for millions of people around the world. The celebrations, music, parades, and all of the other thrilling festivities are some of the things that make the season so beautiful and heartwarming.

Unfortunately, for an untold number of other people, this time of year can be very sad, miserable, or depressing. The loss of a friend or loved one, or the remembrances of times and people in the past can make this time of year downright depressing. I lost both of my parents during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season…my dad, two weeks before Christmas, and my mom, seven days before Christmas. It seems funny to me how every year, a few weeks before the holiday season, I subconsciously begin to become sad and nostalgic about my parents.

So, it goes without saying, that I recently came across the following poem on a friend’s post called, “I’m Spending Christmas With Jesus Christ This Christmas” (written by Wanda Bencke) that I thought was a unique perspective of someone who has left this earth and is now in heaven with God. The following rhyme is a wonderful and touching piece of writing that I hope with help uplift your heart and touch your soul!

 

“I’m Spending Christmas With Jesus Christ This Year”

I see the countless Christmas trees,

Around the world below.

With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars,

Reflecting in the snow.

 

The sight is so spectacular,

Please wipe away that tear.

For I’m spending Christmas,

With Jesus Christ this year.

 

I hear the many Christmas songs,

That people hold so dear.

But the sounds of music can’t compare,

With the Christmas choir up here.

 

For I have no words to tell you,

The joy their voices bring.

For it is beyond description,

To hear the angels sing.

 

I can’t tell you of the splendor,

Or the peace here in this place,

Can you just imagine Christmas,

With Jesus, face to face?

 

I’ll ask Him to light your spirit,

As I tell Him of your love.

So then pray one for another,

As I lift you eyes above.

 

Please let your hearts be joyful,

And let your spirits sing.

For I’m spending Christmas in Heaven,

And I am walking with the King!

Cherish Your Dog

woman girl animal dog

Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

I am a huge animal lover. Growing up, our house always had pets such as cats, gerbils, goldfish, and lizards. Just before I left for my first year of college, my mom and dad decided to get our first dog…needless to say, it was my favorite pet. He was a Collie-German Shepard and was smart as a whip. We could teach him tricks within five minutes…yes, he was that smart. He was just like another member of the family and he went everywhere with us. He went swimming, played soccer (he was the goalie), went for walks, protected us from strangers, on and on. He was an amazing dog that I still miss to this day.

I found the following little description of the life with a dog that I thought all my dog-lover friends out there might relate to and appreciate like I did…

It funny, but no one tells you how quickly dogs age. How one day you wake up and suddenly their face is all white and gray, how their eyes start to seem milkier than before, how you have to call their name a few more times than you used to.

People tell you not to blink when you have children, but what about the dog who was with you before your children were even thought of? The dog who was by your side before you found the love of your life, the dog who jumped from apartment to apartment in your early 20’s. No one tells you to cherish every moment you have with them.

Cherish your dog. The one who’s been there through every break up and every dumb fight with your best friend. That dog who slept in the bed with you when you were lonely and made you feel safe when you left home. Cherish him, because one day you’ll take him on a walk and he’ll start to get tired before you and you’ll realize just how many years he’s been walking by your side.

Cherish your dog.

Praying for Pappy

Praying for Pappy

Photo Credit: George Hodan via publicdomainpictures.net
Photo Credit: George Hodan via publicdomainpictures.net

This is a story that took place in the south and involved a little boy and his mom. It shows us the sad side of war and reactions that a family endured at the loss of their loved one. Get a box of tissues ready as you read this story of a little boys love of this mom and dad.

Tommy’s Maw Maw and Pappy used to take Tommy to church every Sunday before his Pappy left to go to war.

Tommy had learned early in life all about God and how to pray. Every night Tommy would kneel by his bed and pray before going to sleep.

Today is the day the soldiers are to come home. Tommy and his Maw Maw dressed and went and stood at the dock waiting for his Pappy to arrive. They would wait and wait… Until the last boat left the dock but Tommy’s Pappy would not be arriving this day.

When they got home Tommy was too tired to care about eating. He kissed his grand mother goodnight and went straight to his room. He changed into his pajamas and knelt by his bed.

“Lord,
It’s Tommy.
We stood at the dock all day. Every one walked away and we just stood there. Pappy must have missed the boat so we waited for the next one then the next one until all the boats were gone and the tall man in the uniform said all the soldiers had gotten off but he is wrong ’cause Lord, Pappy didn’t get off none of those boats. I hate it when maw maw cries Lord. Please send Pappy home so she will stop crying.
Thank you.”

 

All week long Tommy listened as his Maw Maw cried. He heard her on the phone several times asking about why his Pappy didn’t come home like the rest of the soldiers. On the seventh night he knelt by his bed and prayed.

 

“Lord ,
It’s Tommy .
It has been a long week. Maw Maw just sits and stares out the window when she ain’t cooking and cleaning or on the phone asking where Pappy is and why they didn’t send him home.. She hasn’t hardly spoke in days other than when she is on the phone.
Mrs. Nelly Baker from down the road came by to see if Pappy had come home yet but he hasn’t and Maw Maw began to cry again as Mrs. Nelly Baker talked to her. I heard her say You might have Pappy with you Lord. If you do , could you please tell him it is time to come home ’cause Maw Maw and me miss him and Maw Maw cries at night and calls for him. I’d sure ‘preciate it if you would.”

 

Slowly the days passed by, then weeks. Every day was more of the same. Tommy was worried about his Pappy and his Maw Maw. It had been a little over a month now and Pappy still hadn’t come home. He walked in the living room and there his Maw Maw sat staring out the window until a knock came upon the door. A man in a uniform stood at the door. He backed up and Maw Maw walked outside. His Grand Mother screamed falling to the ground. Then the women in the neighborhood came running.
Tommy was confused. Why was his Maw Maw screaming and crying Pappy was coming home finally. He felt heavy hearted, So he went and knelt by his bed and prayed.

 

“Lord,
It’s Tommy.
It’s been a month and three days since Maw Maw and I went to meet Pappy at the dock. Some man in a uniform just showed up at Maw Maw’s door and made her scream. He ‘pologized for making her scream and cry before he left. Mrs. Nelly Baker and some other women came running . I guess they heard Maw Maw screaming before she fell to the ground.
I don’t understand Lord. Why is she so upset ? The man said Pappy would be coming home tomorrow with something in a pine box. Don’t know why he needs a box. I guess he lost his suitcase. I thank Lord for sending Pappy home.”

 

Tommy didn’t know his Maw Maw stood silently by the door. She listened as the little boy of ten prayed through sobs.

 

“Lord,
It’s Tommy.
I un’ stand now. My Pappy came home today. I know all about the pine box now. I guess I forgot to ask for you to send him back to Maw Maw alive. I hope she will forgive me. I thought You knew what I meant when I asked you to bring my Pappy home. But you did do what I asked. I made a mess of things. Now my Maw Maw will never be happy again. Lord, the next time I ask for something make sure I ask the right way please and tell Pappy I am sorry I got him dead I didn’t mean to. It’s all my fault Maw Maw is sad. I am so sorry.”

 

Tommy opened his tear stained eyes to see his Maw Maw standing in his doorway , tears streaming down her face. ” Dear child, it is not your fault.” She said through sobs and held her arms out to him. ” If it had not been for your prayers, your Pappy may never had come home at all.”

———————–

Source: friendburst.com

The Incredible Power of Music

turned on black samsung smartphone between headphones

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

Music. Its power and effect on people are unmistakable. It can soothe and comfort the soul, it can create an air of nostalgia, make that special moment more romantic, make you mad, make you sad, the list goes on an on.

It’s funny how sometimes the small things in life can make such a huge impact on other people’s lives and we don’t even know it.

We all are aware of how our actions can affect an individual’s well being, etc. but what about other things that we may use every day? Music can affect people’s lives in many ways… take watching a movie as an example. Imagine if you were watching a sad movie and the background music was a fast-moving pop song. Or imagine viewing a scary movie and ballet music was playing in the background? The music would not fit into the movie and you wouldn’t enjoy the film…..but used correctly, music has a huge impact on the total movie-watching experience.

Another example of music’s effect is how well music “can soothe the soul” or how athletes sometimes use loud music to get “pumped up” for a game.

Music can be used in many ways and affect every person differently.

In today’s story (it’s actually a video), watch how the power of music totally transformed this old man’s state of wellness. It’s inspiring, beautiful, and heartwarming. The power of music…AMAZING!

The Golden Slippers

Hilary McHone

Photo credit: Hilary McHone via CC Flickr

There are times in each of our lives when we need a reminder of the importance of having a spirit of giving and generosity towards others. Thus, is the case for the following story that I had posted on an old blog page of mine. While the author of this story is unknown, it is a beautiful story that I am sure will touch your heart and hopefully, remind all of us of the wonderful essence of a caring heart. (warning: tissues may be needed 🙂
It was only four days before Christmas. The spirit of the season hadn’t yet caught up with me, even though cars packed the parking lot of our local discount store. Inside the store, it was worse. Shopping carts and last-minute shoppers jammed the aisles. Why did I come today? I wondered. My feet ached almost as much as my head. My list contained names of several people who claimed they wanted nothing, but I knew their feelings would be hurt if I didn’t buy them anything. Buying for someone who had everything and deploring the high cost of items, I considered gift-buying anything but fun.

Hurriedly, I filled my shopping cart with last minute items and proceeded to the long checkout lines. I picked the shortest but it looked as if it would mean at least a 20 minute wait. In front of me were two small children — a boy of about 5 and a younger girl. The boy wore a ragged coat. Enormously large, tattered tennis shoes jutted far out in front of his much too short jeans. He clutched several crumpled dollar bills in his grimy hands. The girl’s clothing resembled her brother’s. Her head was a matted mass of curly hair. Reminders of an evening meal showed on her small face. She carried a beautiful pair of shiny, gold house slippers.

As the Christmas music sounded in the store’s stereo system, the girl hummed along, off-key but happily. When we finally approached the checkout register, the girl carefully placed the shoes on the counter. She treated them as though they were a treasure.

The clerk rang up the bill. “That will be $6.09,” she said.
The boy laid his crumpled dollars on top of the stand while he searched his pockets. He finally came up with $3.12. “I guess we will have to put them back, ” he bravely said. “We will come back some other time, maybe tomorrow.”

With that statement, a soft sob broke from the little girl. “But Jesus would have loved these shoes, “she cried.

“Well, we’ll go home and work some more. Don’t cry. We’ll come back,” he said.

Quickly I handed $3.00 to the cashier. These children had waited in line for a long time. And, after all, it was Christmas. Suddenly a pair of arms came around me and a small voice said, “Thank you, lady.”

“What did you mean when you said Jesus would like the shoes?” I asked.

The boy answered, “Our mommy is sick and going to heaven. Daddy said she might go before Christmas to be with Jesus.”
The girl spoke, “My Sunday school teacher said the streets in heaven are shiny gold, just like these shoes. Won’t mommy be beautiful walking on those streets to match these shoes?”

My eyes flooded as I looked into her tear streaked face. “Yes,” I answered, “I am sure she will.”

Silently I thanked God for using these children to remind me of the true spirit of giving.

A Story of Christmas Magic

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Photo Credit: Dragon Lady via Flickr

One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season, is finding interesting and heartwarming stories that touch your soul and put a smile on your face. Well. today, I was reading some stories on the web page “The Gathering Place” and came across this story. Even though the author is unknown, I felt that it was a sweet little tale to share with you! Please be prepared…a box if tissues may be required.

————————

Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on his lap, holding a picture of a little girl.

“Who is this?” asked Santa, smiling. “Your friend? Your sister?”

“Yes, Santa,” he replied. “My sister, Sarah, who is very sick,” he said sadly.

Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby, and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

“She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!” the child exclaimed. “She misses you,” he added softly.

Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy’s face, asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.

“What is it?” Santa asked warmly.

“Well, I know it’s really too much to ask you, Santa, but ….” the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa’s elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors.

“…The girl in the photograph … my granddaughter . well, you see … she has leukemia and isn’t expected to make it even through the holidays,” she said through tear-filled eyes. “Is there any way, Santa . any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That’s all she’s asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa.”

Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do.

Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon. He knew what he had to do.

“What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying,” he thought with a sinking heart, “this is the least I can do.”

When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying. He asked the assistant location manager how to get to Children’s Hospital.

“Why?” Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.

Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah’s grandmother earlier that day.

“C’mon …. I’ll take you there,” Rick said softly.

Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa. They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said he would wait out in the hall.

Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed. The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl’s brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah’s mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah’s thin hair off her forehead. And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah’s aunt, sat in a Chair near the bed ! with weary, sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.

Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, “Ho, ho, ho!”

“Santa!” shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him, IV tubes intact.

Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of his own son — 9 years old — gazed up at him with wonder and excitement.

Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart melted, and he ad to force himself to choke back tears. Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah’s face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room.

As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa’s shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering “thank you” as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes.

Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she’d been a very good girl that year.

As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl’s mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah’s bed, holding hands.

Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels.

“Oh, yes, Santa … I do!” she exclaimed.

“Well, I’m going to ask that angels watch over you,” he said.

Laying one hand on the child’s head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease. He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her. And when he finished praying, still
with eyes closed, he started singing softly,

“Silent Night, Holy Night …. all is calm, all is bright.”

The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all. When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah’s frail, small hands in his own.

“Now, Sarah,” he said authoritatively, “you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time next year!”

He knew it was risky proclaiming that, to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he “had” to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could — not dolls or games or toys — but the gift of HOPE.

“Yes, Santa!” Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright.

He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room.

Out in the hall, the minute Santa’s eyes met Rick’s, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed.

Sarah’s mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa’s side to thank him.

“My only child is the same age as Sarah,” he explained quietly. “This is the least I could do.”

They nodded with understanding and hugged him.

One year later, Santa Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap.

“Hi, Santa! Remember me?!”

“Of course, I do,” Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her. After all, the secret to being a “good” Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the “only” child in the world at that moment.

“You came to see me in the hospital last year!”

Santa’s jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest.
“Sarah!” he exclaimed.

He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy — much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before.

He looked over and saw Sarah’s mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.

That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus. He had witnessed — and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about — this miracle of hope. This precious little child was healed. Cancer-free. Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, “Thank you, Father. ‘Tis a very, Merry Christmas!”

A Beautiful Short Story of Love

man wearing blue jacket holding a brown stick towards the heart drawn on sand

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This is a short little story of unconditional love that will be certain to make your day!

An elderly man hurried to his 8:00am doctor appointment, he wanted to finish quickly so that he could get to another appointment. The doctor asked what it was, and the old man proudly said that every morning at 9:00am he would go to the hospital and have breakfast with his wife.

The doctor asked what her condition was, and he replied that for the past 5 years his wife has had Alzheimer’s and hasn’t known who he is. The doctor asked the old man why he continued to visit her of she had no idea who he was…and the old man replied…” Because I still know who she is.”

Beautiful words of unconditional love.

I hope this little story made your day and put a smile in your heart!!

Why Dogs Live Less Than Humans

tan and white short coat dog laying down in a brown wooden floor

Photo by Bruno Cervera on Pexels.com

Dogs really are man’s best friend. Most people have had some sort of pet sometime in the life and can attest to the fact that they were a joy to have. Dog’s are usually the most favorite kind of animal that people have. There is no other pet that is so adoring, loving, faithful, happy, and dedicated to their masters. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and for many people, this sad time can be very sad, depressing, and lead to a great deal of despair. On the other hand, there are some instances in which people remember fondly their pet, learn from the situation and move on. They look at the circumstances from a different perspective.

Such is the case in today’s story. A dear college friend of mine, Heidi, sent me the following story which…I am sure…will warm your heart and, maybe, cause you to look at life a little differently.

———————————–

Here’s a surprising answer from a 6-year-old child.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owner Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle,

I examined Belker and found that he was dying of cancer. I told the family that we couldn’t do anything for Belker and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for their old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me that they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped away peacefully.

The boy seemed to accept the transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that dogs’ lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It changed the way I try and live.

He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life like loving everybody all the time and be nice, right?” The six-year-old continued.

“Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay for as long as we do.”

————————————

Live Simply.

Love Generously.

Care Deeply.

Speak Kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When your loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be faithful.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

 

That’s the secret of happiness that we can learn from a good dog!