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August 3, 2013

Friday - Reflection and Balance

Wow! Today's message is a powerful one. The most powerful yet. It is one of self reflection and attaining balance, one of "what if's" and regrets.

Jennifer captures so well these many thoughts and feelings. I'm sure we've had them in the past too, if not we will certainly be having them in the future.

I've had them when Mrs. Nate and I both had to decide the fate of our cats on two separate occasions. Even though I can relate and empathize with these thoughts and feelings, I certainly could not have captured them in words nearly as eloquently as what you are about to read.

Dog's collar and tag that jingles as he walks.

Jennifer writes:
"Today I am mesmerized by the jingling sound your collar makes as you slowly make your way to the fireplace. It's rainy and overcast this morning... again... and I feel as though my heavy heart is causing this dreary weather.

Last night when we went through the pictures and video and laughed our butts of watching you chase a pen light... or had our hearts grow seeing how patient and gentle you were with our children even though Gage crawled all over you trying to "be a puppy"... but today it dawned on me that there aren't many pictures of me with you. My heart feels heavier now... I should have been in more pictures.

**because I am human.. I have my "semi-angry regret and self blame moment" - wherein we should have taken you more places, climbed mountains and swam oceans, invented wings so you could fly, taken you snowboarding or trained you to sniff for bombs... you'd have been so awesome! It's like I only lifted you to my shoulders, but because I didn't raise you over my head and proclaim your awesomeness I somehow feel like I've let you down.

I don't get it... as I look at you, my mind is noisy and yours is peaceful.

**because your a dog You look up at me, pausing momentarily from slurping water from your bowl... dribble... then shake and splatter a three foot radius and look down and lick the newly created puddles... perhaps giving you wings went a bit too far on my part.

Your jingling collar chimes every morning as you take stock of the household as we leave for work... it is the "yin" to the "yang" of the garage door when we arrive home at the end of the day. At 4:30 pm each weekday, I hear its familiar tune as you wait by the door for Chris to walk down the back path... and, just last week, I said to our family how much I was jealous of that "jingle" because I had never had heard it just for me.

The "family is coming/going" jingle and the "my master is gonna be home any moment now" jingle weren't the same as having an "ooooh that's my Jennifer" jingle... I can't remember hearing my jingle...

Surely there was a "Jenn" jingle somewhere... words last week seem like forever ago, Diesel.

I thought about our "moments captured in time" and tried to think about your perspective on "me" - who am I in your pack... and again, as I watch you watching me, you tell me all the answers to my questions - silently as always - whispering to my heart.

Everywhere we go I take pictures or video or blog the adventure. When I lost my mom to cancer when I was 20, I wanted to grasp every single moment so that I would never forget they way people looked or the sound of their voice... so I could have this digital "safekeeping" box of memories to revisit anytime. I don't have a lot of pictures "of my mom". I have a lot of pictures "of teenage me"... I struggle to remember what her voice sounded like and I feel like I dropped some kind of proverbial ball because I didn't hold onto "that moment" better... taken more pictures of the people I loved instead of myself...

So I vowed to capture as much as I possibly could and now have terabytes of digital back-ups... back-ups of back-ups just in case... CRAP loads of back-ups... but, as a family, we realized that we rarely sit down to revisit them. When the movies were done last night... they asked to watch more. Sure enough, I'm behind the lens more than I am ever in front of it... but that also means at anytime people know exactly where I am.

You know where I am.

I'm the "keeper of the archives" - I'm in the moment... but on my own terms. That leaves me only 75% in... again. This is not balance.

So, as I look in your eyes and study your "whaaaat?" face as I write this and sip my coffee, it dawns on me that I don't have a "Jenn" jingle because you always know where to find me.

I am right here... beside, in front of, slightly behind, in the loft above, fluttering around, or "insert GPS co-ordinates that are relatively close to" you... how can I have spent your whole life around you but have only come to enlightenment these past few days?

(Diesel looks at me again... ya.. I know... because I wasn't living in the moment... I was not balanced... I get it )

Yesterday, it was really overwhelming for me to see all your life moments before me - you've been called our "furbaby", a term I didn't really find anything more than "cutesy" - and, because of this perception, I wasn't prepared for the level of emotions that came over me...

You ARE our furbaby!

...and for quite some time, I sat on the cold tile floor of the bathroom, the door closed so I don't upset you, quietly sobbing coming to terms with just how much I will miss you... from the other side of the door... approaching... accompanied by a slight, but well known dragging sound...

...I hear the "jingle".

In this moment, with a door between my heavy heart and my heavy dog, I am in the moment and feel "balance" - as much as I will miss him, is as much as he loves me.

Diesel, I won't look for you in the places we used to go to together, instead I will look for you in all the places I wish we could have taken you.

(The destinations will be a surprise - as they are now to me - so you'll have to come find me... I will listen for your "jingle" and know you are with me.)

I will be 100% in every moment - whether on camera, film or memories that reside only in our mind with no tangible record other than the smile they bring to our face long after the moment has passed.

When life gets crazy, overwhelming, when I feel like I am failing or could be doing more - I will close my eyes, sit on the floor, lean my back on a door and remember how your energy on the other side made me feel "balanced"... at peace... grounded to something bigger than the earth itself..."

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." ~Lao Tzu


  1. Jennifer, Thank you for sharing your heart. Words cannot express how raw my own heart has been feeling reading your memories and thoughts during these special moments. Your words have enabled me to understand my own loss of our 14 year old Lab, Isabelle on May 3, 2013. Our last 5 days with her were long, but way to short and to have them back, I would have taken more walks, more pictures, fed more treats and gave more hugs!
    Thank you for helping me - know that I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

  2. Jennifer,Your words are touching and powerful.I am facing a goodbye with our furbaby Buddy who is a 16 year old cocker.He has been a loving and loyal part of our heart for so long I am having a hard time knowing that with his failing heart we will soon need to part.Each time we walk into the Dr.s door I pray that the gentle soul who slowly ambles beside me will be given more time, that his medication is giving us a few more weeks to months together.Thank you~We will be taking many more pictures,movies,savoring our moments together and listening to the jingle that we will miss so much. Bless you Jennifer and bless your beautiful Diesel...