>> Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I had pictures of Annabelle to post tonight. I had pictures of the coyote basking in the sun in the field behind my house. I had pictures of three deer grazing in the same field. Had them is the operative word here. I LOST THEM ALL! I don't know if it's me or the camera.
Anyway, after I realized the pictures were gone I decided to visit blogs instead of getting frustrated. I had just gotten started when I landed on DJan's blog. Somehow, the topic of fathers came up and I began to read the comments that were left at her blog. The comments brought back a flood of childhood memories that I had forgotten.
My dad died when I was nine. My mother was very sick too. Because it was such a painful time for me, I have unintentionally blocked out a lot of those memories. Tonight, when thinking about my dad, I suddenly recalled his great love for animals.
Tears came to my eyes and I could almost hear my dad saying, "Show me a man who doesn't like a dog and I'll show you a man who's no good!"
Wow. Thinking about people I have encountered during my life makes me honestly believe that my dad was mostly right. People who love dogs are almost always compassionate caring people.
My dad didn't just like dogs though. As I thought about my father, I remembered more and more. There was the time that we were driving down the road and he spotted a dead raccoon. Nearby was one live baby.
Dad brought our car to an abrupt halt. He was a tall masculine man - 6'4". I remember thinking how gentle he looked as he picked up the baby raccoon and put it in the back of our Ford station wagon. How could I have forgotten about this until now?
My dad didn't stop with just picking up the baby raccoon. He went home and built a cage for it and scheduled an appointment at the vet.
I remember going with my dad and watching as the vet pulled tick after tick out of the poor baby's ears. I remember watching the vet draw blood and give inoculations. It never dawned on me until tonight that most fathers probably wouldn't have gone to all this effort but mine did.
And I remember the November day my dad died. He was 39-years-old. Much too young to die but back then Hodgkin's disease had no cure. As always, we had a dog. She was a wonderful loyal boxer. Tawny never left my dad's bedside. He would reach down and stroke her head as she waited with him. Tawny was there as my dad took his last breath.
Is it any wonder I love animals so much? And isn't it amazing that a blog brought back all these wonderful memories for me? I'm still crying but not because of the loss of my parents at a young age. I'm crying because of the wonderful memories that are coming back to me that I had all but forgotten. They are a part of who and why I am.
I'm so thankful that I lost the pictures on my camera tonight. I found something so much more special....I found a part of me.