Saturday, October 2, 2010
One tail and many letters
Parker my Japanese Chin has huge skin problems. He has ever since we got him 4 years ago. When he's on antibiotic's it gets cleared up, but when he's not scabs start popping up. I decided to shave his back today, so we could see all the wounds and then work on healing them. They are on his tail too, so I shaved some of that off. It left a weird patch of hair on his tail and so I took scissors to it. The scissors were cheap dull dollar store brand - or so I thought, because I literally cut off the tip of his tail! While it was only like 2 mm, it bled like crazy. Mom and I sat with him for a while holding it with a paper towel as that soaked through. We let him down and he went out the dog door and left blood on the door. There was blood everywhere- on the floor, on the wall, on the couch, on my shirt and pants and on Parkers back. After trying holding him again, I called the vet and they said to take him in. Mom carried him to the van. He got blood everywhere there. When he sit still it stops bleeding and I almost turned around and came home instead of spending money, but went ahead anyway.
The walk in vet clinic was full of people and animals. I'd never seen that many in the entry way.
We waited and got in a room and waited some more. They wanted to do surgery- to stitch him up to the tune of 300.00. After 2 surgeries in July we just couldn't, so with a penicillin shot, and 2 meds we headed home. Of course back in the lobby were new clients and their animals and here's my dog spraying blood everywhere on the floor and people asking me what is wrong and why didn't they bandage it up. It's so great to tell people that you cut your dogs tail off! So many stupid things have happened at my hand lately I feel like I swallowed a stupid pill. Does anyone know where to get a smart pill?? So Parker is at home, not bleeding anymore. He just ate a flat squid for a treat that was given to Jason and I a few months ago from our landlord upon returning from some Asian country. We froze them, but yesterday I took them out to bring to the dogs as I watched conference with my mom.
Usually I'm frozen to the screen hanging on every word those leaders have to say, but with my mom moving to Boise next summer it's clean up time. I started going through a box of letters that I had received from others in college at Ricks from roommates, sorority sisters, my high school ward friends young and old, while I was on my mission. I'm not done keeping and throwing away. The largest stacks are from my mom and Ann Braithwaite (my second family).
There are letters from boys I don't remember who they are now. Letters from mission companions (oh, how I love their words) and people I taught on my mission as well as families in the wards. Letters from college roommates, some I'm still in contact with and others who I haven't thought of in over a decade. Precious few letters from my father- one about my grades! A letter from my grandfather and a few special letters from siblings that will be treasures. The memories of how we felt about each other then, as one was still at home and I was in college. Often letters that mentioned my desire to get married- oh how I worried about that- and as it turned out I was right to worry. It took forever to happen. There were letters mentioning "Randy" and "Elder Gardner", I guess I really stressed over that last one. One letter mentioned my decision to go into special education- of which I didn't, but my life has been just that -helping others 'less fortunate than me', as my patriarchal blessing says. There were letters from Sunday school teachers and YW leaders, birthday cards, every holiday card you can think of. Cards with sentiments like " I think of you all the time", "I love you madly"( this one is not from a boy), "You've been on my mind", "you'll be a great missionary", "you've touched so many lives", "You're such a great example". It feels good to know that in essence I was and am the same person with the same desire to do and be a good person and to make a difference. That people still say the same things about me today as they did all those years ago.
It's also interesting to note the letters I threw away and the letters I kept- who they were from, and how I feel about that now and perhaps the depth or lack of depth they showed even in those letters back then. There is more in the box and I will have to continue to go through them and decide- keep or throw away. It's hard to through away words of love and the handwriting of your mother and others. I suspect in a future day I will have to go through them again, this time letter by letter to decide which ones had special memories in them and which are just the everyday stuff of life.
There are even letter from nieces and nephews as children who are now grown up with children of their own.
But one thing I thought was how sad it will be for the kids today- they will have no letters. How can you keep a text message sent on a cell phone or a Facebook greeting? You can't. As much as I love Facebook- and I do- something is missing. Some of those people in those letters I"m still friends with. I still visit them when I travel and I still call them and I'm for sure friends with them on Facebook. But what I have is proof of love and care. I have handwritten letters that took much more time than a text or a quick sentence or two and that say I love you, I miss you, because we just don't know when we will see each other again or if we will see each other again, but that we made an impact on each others life and were friends and although we are far away from each other, we want to be close, if not physically, then at least emotionally and spirituality. It's proof that people care. Proof. I love that and need that in my life.
Those letters are a treasure.