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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 269 - Give A Day

We're linked with Messy Marriage's From Messes To Messages, a great resource for marriage and relationships...please check it out!

Many years ago, I had a Pit Bull, kareem, who had developed a brain tumour. It did respond to treatment, but the medication made him feel very ill indeed.

On Thanksgiving Day, during that period, Kareem crawled up into my lap and curled up, for comfort. This was not a trivial exercise, as he was a 90-lb dog, solid muscle.

And so I spent the afternoon with him. I had plans, but chose to set them aside.

It was the best decision I ever made, because while whatever I had intended to do would have been long-forgotten by now, a couple of decades later, the afternoon I spent with this small and tough soul nestled against me is burned into my memory. I never regretted it.

Days like this will happen for you, dear caregiver. You'll have plans, and your spouse and patient will look at you with mute appeal, from the depths of aplace you can feel but can't know.

Take the time. Cancel the plans, and be there in the moment, because one day those moments will never come again.

You won't be sorry.

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.

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  1. This is true at every stage of life, Andrew, so thanks for the reminder. There are days when it feels as if our home might collapse from the sheer force of boys growing up so quickly and leaving the nest!

    1. Michele, that's so very true. It is important for every season. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. What a sweet and tender moment you've shared with us, Andrew. I just love how he viewed you as the one to turn to when he was in need of comfort and affection. I've heard it said the dogs pick a human to be their pack leader and I suppose you were that leader and lover for Kareem.

    Yes, those kinds of memories never really leave us and truly paint the kind of tenderhearted and ever-present portrait that our caregivers must aspire to reflect. I can't imagine it being any other way. My prayers continue for you, my friend, and I'm always grateful for your insight into the needs and desires of the dying.

    1. Beth, you're absolutely right that dogs do pick a pack leader...or maybe a source of hope and refuge that transcends species. I know that even the most skittish stray dog will come running to me. Barb says they can hear my heart.

      That time with Kareem was a salient moment in understanding caregiving, for me. When in that position in my life, with people and dogs, I've tried to live the spirit of that moment. Not always successfully to be sure, but with sincerity.

      Thank you so much for the prayers. I really, really appreciate them.

  3. A "simple" trip to the grocery store isn't so simple with children, or even with a spouse who has dementia...and I call him my "78 year old toddler" because at times that is how he acts.

    YET, that "simple" trip to the grocery store makes him feel so good; he tells me over and over how much he enjoyed it! Think how he feels when we spend a morning with our daughter and granddaughter...at the zoo! At the end of our outing, we were both totally exhausted!! But, it was "the best day of my life" (again) for him!

    I thrive when I can get away; yet, I know HE thrives when we can get out and "DO" something, no matter how short or small!

    Thank you for sharing this moment that will be remembered...HUGS AND PRAYERS!!