My father, though generous and kind was a perfectionist. No one is really perfect, but he wanted us to believe he was and he expected it of others. Hard to please. He was in his late 80s before he told me he was proud of me which came as a complete and utter surprise. So much that all I could say in response was that I was proud of him, too.
So for many years this high bar was the source of a lot of frustration.
My ex-father-in-law I can recall often said, “don’t do as I do, do as I say do.” Though he was one of the most humble men I have ever met.
I have learned many things. Just watch as a dog struggles to dislodge a rawhide chip or some other much-wanted morsel from under something. Until all efforts are exhausted they will go at this with persistence showing no anger or impatience.
So this week my two rescue dogs, Lily and Lulu and I were finishing our long walk when I threw a stick for Lily, a favorite game of hers. As she turned to go after it she yelped and came limping back, her left hind leg dangling uselessly. Not far from the car I helped Lily into the backseat praying the whole way home it was not her ACL.
Her vet scheduled her surgery for January 8 and sent us home with two prescriptions for pain.
She occasionally looks up at me with her “Walkies?” face and I sit by her and pet her soft fur and explain we can go for walkies but not today. In nature the injured, sick and aging are often left behind their pack. I reassure her that she is still loved and she will be ok.
When we go outside I have learned to walk more slowly so as not to rush Lily. I notice things. I can feel tension drain away. I feel more rested. I am more present with Lily, with myself, the air.
Marquise Amaryllis that I noticed blooming this week
I am realizing that even though I have been retired for over 10 years I need to slow down more. Like Lily I can no longer push myself as I once did, or I shouldn’t.
I have 4 steps onto my front porch. Lily can manage getting down much better than she can climb. So I help her as she steps up each step one at a time. How many times I have cried out to God when I find myself in a mess or situation that leaves me helpless.
And each time He has shown me the way.
“ Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” –Isaiah 30:21 NASB