Friday, July 4, 2008

Land of the free - Memories

Happy 4th everyone! I spent the day with my family & running errands. Something so normal and something I miss in my life. I was so content to be at home, to run errands with no other agenda for the day except to get done what I had to get done. I did laundry, I watered my plants. I didn't fight the crowds to go see fireworks and I am perfectly okay with it. I have many memories to fill my head with happiness.

I was talking to my mom today on the phone after she visited my dad. She took today for me to give me a break despite the fact that we got a call at 6:45am that my dad had taken a fall out of bed last night. Thankfully he wasn't hurt very bad, no broken bones. We have put an alarm on his bed now in case he tries to get out again. Anyway, she was telling me how she was just talking to him, telling him it was the 4th of July and she was telling him the story of how our dog Cheyenne use to get so freaked out on the 4th due to the fireworks. Oh the poor baby, our sweet baby, a 65lb. German Shepard! Unfortunately, when he was a puppy the neighbors shot bottle rockets off at him and he was never the same. On the 4th or during a thunderstorm our strong, fierce German Shepard became a big baby. He'd try to crawl into cupboards to escape the noise. It was quite a site to see. This big dog trying to crawl into this little space. Of course it was so sad too. Usually on the 4th we would have to give him a tranquilizer to keep him calm.

One of my favorite stories about Woofie (as I called him) was one year my mom had gone out to get something at the store. While she was out, she saw a German Shepard roaming the neighborhood and wondered why and how Cheyenne had gotten out. After making our friend follow the dog in the car, she finally got out to catch up with him. Our friend wasn't so sure she should approach him as he might be freaked out from the tranquilizer and wasn't responding to his name but my mom insisted. She got out and told him to go home and get my dad to help her with Cheyenne. Our friend left only to return several minutes later with a look of panic on his face. He told my mom "Lynn get in the car." My mom was like "what are you crazy, where's Tom?" Our friend said it again "get in the car." My mom said "no I need help with Cheyenne" and our friend said through gritted teeth, "that's not Cheyenne." Cheyenne was back at home with my dad sound asleep at his feet. My mom realized she had her arms around this huge, strange dog! She was so lucky he didn't bite her! I love that story and my mom can probably tell it better but it brings a smile to my face every time I think of it or hear it.
I showed my kids Cheyenne's collar I found at my dad's apartment when I started cleaning it out the other day. They seemed as touched by it as I had been. Especially the fact that my dad had kept it all these years and now I will too. It brings tears to my eyes now as I think back on my childhood and how much we loved that dog. My dad really loved him and the feeling was mutual. I wrote in my e-mail update the other day how I had found the collar and it made me cry. My friend wrote back that she was fine until she got to that part and then she broke down crying. She said it was funny how a good dog story brings it all out and that is so true. It is weird to me how at times when other people are sad about my dad's health or his weakening condition, I can't cry. But then when I come across our family dog's collar, I break down and continue to tear up every time I think about him or my memories of him. Sometimes I wonder if there is something wrong with me for not crying about my dad. Then I find myself tearing up at other times when I wouldn't expect it. Maybe when others are sad, I am being strong for them? I am sure when I see my dad move onto a more peaceful place I will find the tears will come easily and probably from a variety of emotions; sorrow, relief, anger, regret, and pure weakness of heart.