Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In remembrance of Molly

It has been over a year since Molly left us. Jake has grown from an irritating 10 pound puppy to an irritating but lovable 75 pound puppy who has some of Molly's sweetness. I would like to think she passed a bit of her wisdom on to him.

A few nights ago I dreamed of her. Molly came up beside me as I lay sleeping and began to lick my hand. In the dream I looked at her and exclaimed, "Molly are you okay?"
She said (in her Molly voice), "Mama I am fine, I don't hurt and I can run again!"
I awoke with tears on my face.

It was one of those dreams that did not seem like a dream but like a visit. I want to believe she is okay, that her spirit lives on elsewhere and that I will see her again and we will run together.

Then today I found this poem. I had forgotten I had written it. I love her still and miss her even now...


The sun is setting
rose and
cobalt ribbons
a golden ball
in a dying sky.

She lies panting
her russet sides
her eyes closed,
her paws move in
dreamlike chase
of rabbits
or deer…

She is dying,
my dog.
Her days shortening
like the summer
that is ending
outside my window.

The leaves are changing
to match her coat
rust, brown,
golden red,
soon I could lose her
in the woods
were she to lie down
amidst the piles
of oak and maple

She has been by my side
in summer heat,
winter cold.
She has listened
to my human tales of woe
and leaned so fiercely into me
that I could not fall
though my world was crumbling.

She has walked with me
her life entwined with mine,
a companion, a pet,
a friend, a healer of my heart.
I watched as she has grown older
her instincts dimming,
her hearing gone,
her steps slowed by pain,
no longer the pup running
to greet the rain
digging up the flowerbeds
or chasing her beautiful
full tail
she is dying now,
my dog.

She deserves mercy.
she deserves peace.
She deserves all the love
I can give her.
I hope I can be brave;
I hope I can be strong;
I hope when it is time
I can let her go.


Alone in the desert
a scorpion appeared at my feet
small but deadly
yet it sought refuge
in my shadow.
I sat watching
as it grew and took a new form
shedding its carapace
to reveal a body
like my own
skin the color of mine
clothing of linen and flax
finer than my tattered robe.
He stood before me
emerging from hunger
from folly
or fantasy or fear,
he held bread for the taking
if only
I would forsake You.
I knew I lived not by bread alone.
I chose you.
He lead me to the lofty dome
where all the world to see
lay before us
mine for the taking
if only I would forsake you.
Castles, kingdoms, dominions,
but I chose you.
He said to me
“This one you choose
will he save you?
Jump, if he is real
you will not fall!”
I left his side. I walked away.
He was no more than a insect,
a scorpion beneath my heel,
because I chose you.
Eloi, I chose you.

~ Martha Parks Johnson

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Realize: to make real; give reality to (a hope, fear, plan, etc.)...

  /ˈriəˌlaɪz/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [ree-uh-lahyz] Show IPA verb, -ized, -iz⋅ing.

–verb (used with object)
1. to grasp or understand clearly.
2. to make real; give reality to (a hope, fear, plan, etc.).
3. to bring vividly to the mind.
4. to convert into cash or money: to realize securities.
5. to obtain as a profit or income for oneself by trade, labor, or investment.
6. to bring as proceeds, as from a sale: The goods realized $1000.
7. Music. to sight-read on a keyboard instrument or write out in notation the full harmony and ornamentation indicated by (a figured bass).
8. Linguistics. to serve as an instance, representation, or embodiment of (an abstract linguistic element or category): In “Jack tripped,” the subject is realized by “Jack,” the predicate by “tripped,” and the past tense by “-ed.”
–verb (used without object)
9. to convert property or goods into cash or money.

To make real...

This year has held a lot of reality for me. But I have not always "realized" the benefits or grace that has occurred for me.

As with many people, 2009 was a very difficult year. The hubster didn't work much, a by product of the economy and recession. We lost Molly Dawg on the eve of 2009 and our beloved Sniffy Pie in February. Dennis the fish also left the realm.

I went through a pretty serious depression complete with anxiety attacks. I watched as other family members struggled with similar and dissimilar things...

HOWEVER I am slowing realizing (making real in my mind and heart) that good things have come from 2009.

I have had to learn to let go of "stuff", material goods that are not the people who bestowed them upon me, things that are just things...

I have had to accept help from others. I couldn't do it by myself anymore. This has been the hardest lesson to realize of all.
I want to be able to take care of myself and everyone and everything around me and never ever ask for help or anything else. I am that stubborn. Its a family thing...

But I couldn't do it anymore this past year. I ran out of resources, hope and energy.
I felt weak, helpless and ashamed.
It is only now that I realized I was human, hurting and loved.

My family more than once stepped forward and helped me. My mum in law came down two times and stayed as long as I needed, doing laundry, drying tears, cooking, coping w/ me and holding me up.

My brothers and sister and spouses have dried tears, prayed, dug me out of several holes and always, ALWAYS were there without hesitation and unconditional love.

New Years Eve I sat crying, talking to my sister & brother in law when it hit me how much they loved me.

Therein lay the problem I realized. I felt undeserving of such love. I realized too if my family loved me this much then God loved me just as much if not more.

How does one accept that? How does one start to believe they are deserving of such love? How does one ever repay that kind of love?

I have no answers yet. I don't know how I will repay the family and friends who love me that much. I still am having difficulty wrapping my mind around deserving love as broken and wounded and human as I am.

Because no one, NO ONE has asked me to be different, to change, to even repay them.

I don't feel worthy, because I know my faults, my frailty, my weaknesses and my dark side. I sometimes feel if everyone knew how weak I was, they wouldn't love me. Yet, incredibly they do.

I am finally, maybe, realizing (giving reality to a hope, a fear, a plan...) that I am too worthy of receiving love, not just giving it.

Thank you Mum, Bob J. Bob M., Bobbie, Paul, Debbie, Bobbie Jo, Doug, Mark, Melissa, Leslie, Debbie, Diane, Donna E, Tim, Bonnie, Sandy, Members of St. Martha's, St. Michaels, Advent, co workers and friends too numerous to name.
Thank you all for sticking with me through the worst year of my life and making sure I got to 2010.

I could have done it alone and thanks to all of you, I didn't have to. And I won't have to make it alone in 2010.

I love you all more than I can ever say or do.

May you realize how grateful I am and ever shall be.

Mary Martha