Having a hard day? Do you ever find yourself in a slump? Mama said there’d be days like this…
No one certain thing can explain the feeling. Looking around it seems, life is good. “I have so much to be thankful for.” And yet, it was one of those days.
Saturday I woke up to the vivid recollection of a terrible dream. Bordered on a nightmare. As I sat at the kitchen table that morning, I told my husband, “last night I dreamed that Gracie died”. My eyes filled with tears, as they are as I type this now. Of all the dogs we’ve loved and lost, it was the first time I’ve dreamed such. It was a sweet comfort, upon my waking, when she snuggled up to me that morning, kisses, and tail wagging to my hugging her around the neck.
Sometimes you can’t shake a dream. This one stuck with me. Knowing the day would come when we’d have to say goodbye. If you are a dog lover, life with them is never long enough. And, often once the good-byes come, the next thought is “I can’t possibly go through this again. It hurts too bad.” And before you know it, you find yourself welcoming another into your heart. The love outweighs the loss.
When Jacob’s Mamaw passed away in 2020, we brought some of her belongings into our home. One was a lamp and I found a perfect spot for it in our living area. It reflected her personality and made me smile thinking about it being on her end table for many years. The only problem was, the new place was in a space that Jacob passed by daily, and more than once, I saw him sliding the lamp or moving the table it was on. His dad mentioned that I needed to find a new spot for the lamp. That one day, it would get broken. I knew it could happen but there wasn’t another spot that seemed just right. I took a chance to enjoy it as long as I had it.
It was always baffling to walk in and discover that Jacob had moved the table. Sometimes a good 12 inches. It wasn’t all that large, it WAS heavy. My dad made the one-of-a-kind tabletop. He secured it to something that, if I remember right, was used at service stations in the tire changing/repair business. HEAVY metal. For some reason, Jacob enjoyed moving it. Maybe testing his muscle strength.
It was Sunday afternoon and I was engrossed in a book and heard Jacob playing in the den. I had looked at him on the monitor and watched him chilling on the loveseat with his MP3 player at full volume. Not a minute later, I heard a crash. Jumped up to discover this:
My heart sank. I didn’t yell. I didn’t fuss. I got both dogs out of the room. I took his loud MP3 player and calmly walked back to Jacob’s bedroom telling him to follow me. He did. Without a word about it, he knew I was upset.
My eyes filled with tears. The day had come that Mike warned me about. It was beyond repair. I grabbed the broom, dustpan, and vacuum cleaner. Slowly cleaned up the broken pieces. While I still had the memory, the lamp of Mrs. P’s would go in the garbage. I enjoyed it until its unfortunate end. Scolding Jacob would not have done one thing to help the situation.
My mood was going downhill fast. “This is why we can’t have nice things. Jacob destroys them.” “This is why we need leather furniture so spills can be wiped up easily.” “This is why any carpet we have needs to be the color of dirt.” blah, blah, blah
Days like this hit us all, I know this to be true. The next day I was in the mood to rearrange, hoping to have Jacob’s approval of a new spot for the table. One he wouldn’t be tempted to test his strength. He walked through the room and studied the change. For now, he seems to accept it. I did quietly tell him that I was sad that he pushed the lamp off and to please try harder not to break things.
I love this table made by my dad’s hands. It has nicks and is more distressed than it was years ago. It is a treasure and makes me appreciate the gift of memories and making new ones.
A couple of days before the dream about Gracie, I had a dream about my dad. It was the first one that I’d had since he relocated to heaven. We were in a room that looked like rehab. He appeared to be doing great. He was telling me and my sister to remember something and she assured him we would, because she was recording it. Upon waking, I had no idea what I was supposed to remember. The memory was fleeting and I wondered and wondered what daddy was saying.
It could have been something like this: there will be good days and there will be hard days, always remember, God cares for you.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:6-7
I hope you know the truth of God’s care.