Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hey Hey Boo Boo!

Today has been difficult. When my mom woke up, I learned that she decided it was time to put-down her dog Bandit "Boo." We've known for a while this time would come but I wasn't planning on it being today.

He was 13 years old and very loved. I'm still a little too shocked by it, but I know it was the right decision. Boo has suffered from dementia and incontinence for years, but it was still hard to say goodbye. He's served a special place in my family. He was the last pet we had as a family. My family has been blessed that all our pets have been passed on largely due to old age. They haven't died young or had serious lingering illnesses that drastically shortened their lives. Since Boo was the last of our pets to have ever known my dad, today is the passing of another era. Yet another step further away from my dad. I know these will continue to occur the rest of my life, but that doesn't make them any easier.

Boo hasn't been himself the last couple of months as the dementia took more and more control of his little puppy mind. My brother and I gave him the nickname "Boo" because he was Mindy's sidekick and the brains of the operation. Mindy was my brother's dog and she passed on years ago. They were quite the team, just like Yogi and Boo Boo.

Tonight all I want are comfort foods, a good cry (preferably one that doesn't result in a headache), and hugs from my family and friends.

Boo's favorite playmate was my brother. His favorite game was anything my brother invented and played with him for hours on end. When my brother wasn't available, the little stuffed frog "Kermie" was a great stand-in. He also loved to wash toes and had a fondness for cats. Cats were his size and great pals in his opinion. No matter how many cats have joined the household over the years, he always welcomed them as playmates. He also knew all his toys by name and would retrieve which ever one you told to him to get, quite an impressive feat!

My favorite activity with Boo was opening gifts. It was a game that he really only played with me. He would help me tear off the wrapping paper by pulling on the end I gave him. I will miss you, Bandit! You were a great puppy and member of our family!

Strange, but Wonderful

It seems strange that I have a little more than one month left before starting classes in September. It also seems strange to be returning to school for yet another degree.

I have several friends with blogs and enjoy being able to keep up with their lives (to varying degrees) via this technology. I even started a blog a couple years ago on another site, but never really did much with it. While I'm a chatty person, posting my thoughts or things going on in my life online doesn't appeal to me. However, since my courses are all online, I need to get over that fear or I won't do well in school.

For the past four years or so, I've become very adept at keeping people at a distance. I was so hurt by my friends in college that I shut down emotionally and have just limped along through life since then. I have close friends who have managed to break down some of my walls, but as one observed a year ago, I've "learned my lessons too well." I know I still have many walls up, but several have fallen in the last year. The protected life I've been living is not how God created me to be.

I recently moved back to Aurora after a year in Fort Collins and was not happy about the move. I didn't understand why God would want me to be somewhere I so desperately desired to avoid. I still don't fully understand His reasons for having me here, but amazing things have been happening since I've stopped fighting Him on it. I've even moved past just accepting it and have started to embrace being here and making friends. It never ceases to amaze me that the Holy Spirit prepares my heart to hear what God has to say to me.

This past Sunday's sermon was on living out your life completely for God, to be consumed by Him. Being consumed by anything but myself has been a huge fear of mine in the last four years. I've tried my best (on and off) to live a balanced Christian life. After everything I've been through, that's all I could handle. But now? Now, I'm tired of life as I've been living it. It hasn't been nearly as fulfilling as I know living God's life for me can be. I want to be consumed by God; I know that things I've grown attached to will disappear, but in the end I will be so much closer to the woman He created me to be. Finally, that's all I want.

I think Aurora is becoming a place of healing for me instead of the place of pain it once was in my life. To quote a song I heard in middle school, "God's promises are rainbows in the night." I don't remember much else about the song, but that line has stayed with me all these years. It's so true because if nothing else, I've learned God is there for me in my darkest hour and turns it into a thing of beauty.

All of this to say, I'm finally coming out of my hiding place of the last four years. I'm going to let God knock down my walls. And I think a step of that is blogging, it's a way to let people in.