Any misconception we as humans have that we are in control of our own lives should have left me years ago, but this past weekend I was reminded once again that life can change in the blink of an eye.
It was a family outing at a baseball game. There were laughs, bonding, and shared memories being made and if the Minnesota Twins had been winning, it was on pace to be one of the best times I’ve had in a very long time. Until it wasn’t.
We had just left the parking ramp when my brother-in-law texted me because he couldn’t get in touch with his wife (who happened to be driving our car). Usually quick to tease me about things, the jokes we sent back about why she wasn’t answering him fell flat. Then he sent one very direct text. “Tell her to call me now.”
At his words, the car grew silent and somber. Their dog, a dog we all adored, had apparently had a stroke and she was in trouble. My sister was desperate for answers about what exactly happened but being ninety miles away there was nothing we could do except make phone calls to get help for my brother-in-law and drive as fast as we safely could in the hope that she could get home to say goodbye before her beloved dog was gone.
For a few miles, we all said nothing – too afraid to say the wrong thing, too afraid to say what the rest of us animal lovers knew – that it probably was time to say goodbye. This wonderful dog had been a rescue and she came with a load of medical issues that had arguably made her life a challenge. They had overcome and learned to deal with each challenge as it came, but the healthy times were becoming less frequent and as the pup’s health continued to decline, my sister and her husband were struggling with making the inevitable decision that all pet parents must face.
As the dark landscape rolled by, a quiet voice from the backseat told a story about the dog. A story that brought a smile to our faces and helped dry the tears of my sister. Then there was another and another, and soon enough we were reminded of how wonderful the pup was and even while we all knew the end was most likely finally here, those shared memories brought a smile to our faces and eased the initial shock.
As difficult as it was, they said goodbye to their beloved Princess the next morning amid a flood of tears but knowing that they had rescued her from a bad life and given her one filled with love and joy. That little furry being had touched all of us and will never be forgotten.
The evening was a not so subtle reminder that life is balanced by death. Happy is balanced by sad. Joy is balanced by sorrow and that life changes in the blink of an eye.
Be well my friends….