Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Regret Fulfilled...

Well, as many of you know, a cancer diagnosis makes you take stock of your life.  It can allow you to fulfill some of your greatest regrets.  
Maybe you wished you had traveled to Europe.  
Not me -- I hate to fly.
Maybe you always wanted to jump out of a plane.
Not me.   I don’t even want to sit on a plane.
Maybe you always wanted to own that convertible Mercedes.
Not me.  I hate it when my hair whips me in the eyes.  
Oh, wait.  
My hair can’t whip me in the eyes.
You want to know what my regret was?
Never having a Golden Retriever.  
Yep, that’s one of my greatest regrets.  
I’ve never been a dog person, but I am absolutely a 
Golden Retriever person.
And my daughter is a chip off the ol’ block.  We’ve been really Golden  addicted for about six months now.  We love spotting Goldens walking by our house, and we'll always stop to pet one at a park, a parking lot or through a car window.  
So what are us girls to do?  
Get one, of course!
Well, kind of. 
Given that I’m more practical than my nine-year-old, I thought it best to become a foster family to a Golden Retriever.  That way we could experience living with a Golden for a couple of weeks and then get it out of our systems.
Until we met....

Rachel and I drove out last night to Oxnard to meet our foster dog Tucker.  I explained to Rachel on the way up that given we have three cats, an old dog, no desire to walk a dog in the rain or pick up ginormous piles of “tootsie rolls” we would make a great foster family.  We could welcome this dog into our home for a couple of weeks, take him on walks in the sunshine, and then hand the leash over to his forever family.
Well, I think we are the forever family.

Our 88-pound bag of fur is too good to be true.  He has no interest in our cats (although they flew up the stairs the moment his black nose entered the front door), hasn’t chewed up one baseball (and there’s plenty to choose from back there) and sleeps by the feet of each and every one of us every chance he gets.  He’s the perfect Golden.  Not a tad bit of hyper in him.  My kind of boy.

His sweet parents Lauren and David rescued him from a bad situation.  They had him for only one week before they called Forever Friends Golden Retriever Rescue.  Lauren’s allergies prevented her from keeping him.  

We decided to meet at a park near their home and as Rachel and I walked toward them, I saw this beautiful boy just sitting beside Lauren.  Off the leash.  So calm.  So poised.  So sweet.  My heart looked beyond his 88-pound frame and just saw a sweet boy who needed a home.  He welcomed us with gentle nudges so we could pet him.  Within minutes, he had rolled onto his back so Rachel could give him a big belly rub.  
Her specialty.

They were drawn to each other instantly.

So we’ve only had him for less than 24 hours, but he’s pretty much a dream come true.  As I write this, he’s lying down beside Rachel as she watches tv.  And smiling.  He never stops smiling.  Actually, neither does she!
As I’ve always said, so many silver linings to cancer.
If any of you are interested in rescuing a Golden Retriever, visit
Tell them Tucker sent you!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Right Before My Eyes...

Well, a little piece of me is sad today.  No, don't worry -- I’m healthy!  All is well.   But...  
Right before my eyes this week, my little boy grew up.  The little boy who used to be strapped into a denim car seat,  then moved into a big-boy booster and then sat snug beneath a seatbelt in the back seat of my car has now joined me in the front seat of my car.   
Oh, I know most of his friends have looked out of the front windshield for awhile now.  But this safety-sadie mom has tried to keep her one and only son safely tucked behind her for as long as she could.  Our pediatrician recently told me that it’s safe for him to sit beside me if he’s over 80 pounds (he is) although she reminded me that the backseat is always safer than the front.  
But as I walked back to my car after picking up my daughter and her friend from school, I found my son sitting in the front seat.  With a grin on his face that said,
I think I’m ready.  
As I met his grin with a quiet smile, he quickly rolled down the window and rested his right arm on the ledge.  His posture whispering, I have arrived.   And before I could start the car, his fingers had already reached for the stereo knob.  And the volume button.  What is it with kids and loud, obnoxious music?  Why don't they want to crank up the volume and listen to Dr. Dobson?

That sweet little boy who drank from an Elmo sippy cup behind me and counted "power rangers" (cyclists in colorful outfits) from the back window is quickly turning into a young man.  
Later that night, we had to jump in the car and run to church.  I could have bet my new set of Ballard curtains that he would have sat in the front seat.  Again.  But he opened up the back door and settled in next to his sister.  Probably out of habit. 
I love old habits.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mom's Day!

Isn’t every day Mother’s Day?  I kind of say that sarcastically, but at the same time, I say that quite honestly.
Because every day I’m called “Mom” is a gift.  I thank God daily for those two kids who sometimes forget to shut the back door and sometimes forget to take their little organic milk cartons out of the backseat of my car.  In the middle of summer.  But I am grateful, so very grateful, they are mine.
Speaking of grateful...

I’m so very grateful for my Mom. She has always made our house a home and has always filled our lives with sweet memories.  And this past year has again reminded me that she has always put my needs before hers.  Only a Mom can do that.
 I’m so very grateful for my mother-in-law.  God filled the physical distance between me and my Mom with Ed’s Mom.  She too puts my needs before hers.  Always.  Again, only a Mom can do that.
And I'm so very grateful for all my Mom friends.  Life is just sweeter because of all of you.  Your friendship is celebrated in my heart every day.

And to one Mom in particular whose little boy is in the hospital today.  Again.
If he could speak, he would say, "God hand-picked my Mom just for me.  God knew just who would love me, protect me and be by my side.  Every single day of my life.  I love no one more.  My Mom is an angel!  Happy Mother's Day, Mommy!"

And to all those who miss their Moms today, I pray for God's peace.
One of God's many names is Father.  I know He can fill the role of mother too.
He can do everything.  If we just let Him.

* * *

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me.
They have clung to me all my life."
-Abraham Lincoln

"A mother's happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future
but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories."
-Honore de Balzac

Happy Mother's Day everyone!!!
I Love You!!!