“Don’t Worry Chaela… I’ll Be Much Sadder Than This When You Die.”

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Most people remember the best Christmas present they have ever received. I know I’ve had a lot of favorites… Once Chaela got me a container of raspberries, and oh my stars I felt so special because of that gift! Last Christmas, Autumn got us tickets to see FUN. in concert. That was definitely one of the best presents ever. What beats seeing one of your favorite bands with your best friend? But the best Christmas present ever would be my dog Sam Wise Gambgee Wilder that I got when I was six years old.

Sam was a tiny little toy sized poodle, and he got put through a lot!! I fell on top of him a few times, and let him fall off my bunk bed. Once, my cousin Tommy dropped him and broke his leg. A bigger dog got poor Sam in his mouth one time and almost ate him. After a few years of owning Sam, I told my mom I wanted to give him away to someone who could take better care of him. “Don’t you like Sam, Ruthie?” asked my mom. “Well yes, but that’s why I want him to leave Mom. We’re killing him!” was my response. We kept him anyways.

This weekend my parents went up to Charleston to see my sister, leaving me at the house all alone. (I visited her last weekend, so no worries. I am not an awful sister or anything.) My duties are to feed the animals and… well yeah that’s about it. I guess I’m supposed to make sure the house doesn’t burn down or anything as well. But this morning when I went to go get Sam so I could feed him, he wasn’t responding to my calls. I could see him lying in his pen with his legs in the air. He wasn’t moving. There were bugs flying around him. I decided he must be dead.

To be honest, I wasn’t too terribly sad. I mean, he was blind, he had asthma, and he smelled like his skin was already decaying, even when he was still alive! He only had two teeth left. We didn’t know how we were going to feed him when he lost those two last stragglers! The poor guy had no control of his bladder, and it’s really taken a toll on my mom’s patience. It was his time… But there was still the body to deal with.

Chaela and I were going to go lay by the pool this morning before we went to hang out with other friends, but sometimes life doesn’t go the way you expect and plans don’t always work out. Sam’s passing was definitely a wrench in those plans! I gave Chaela a little call and told her what was going on, and you know what? She came right on over, and helped me out! What a wonderful, wonderful friend!! That’s pretty much what this whole post has been leading up to… Chaela is a true friend who is there for me! Not that I didn’t already know that, but I just want to let it be known how much I appreciate it!

She came over in a nice black dress, and brought a beautiful white flower. I put on a black dress too, and some old tennis shoes. I dug the hole, and she put him in and covered it up. Now that is what I call teamwork! We placed the flower on his little grave in the woods, spoke some words in his memory, and sang along to “Tis So Sweet to Trust In Jesus” with Hawk Nelson.. It was all pretty funny in all honesty. I found it hard not to laugh. I’m pretty sure I’ll remember it forever, swaying back and forth to the bagpipes in the woods with my best bud, standing on top of my dog’s grave in black dresses on a nice summer morning. Something tells me that just isn’t something most people do. I’m sure glad we don’t live typical lives.

So today I propose a toast to friendship, loyalty, individuality, and the joy of life that the Lord provides! Well… not really a toast, but you get the idea.

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