Removing The Blinders And Finding Freedom

September 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

A friend sent me this poem by the Sufi Scholar, Rumi, who is considered to be the most read poet in the world.

Quietness

Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Escape.

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Puppies Behind Bars

July 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

On July 7th I posted the below blog about the love of dogs.  Going through Time Magazine online http://bit.ly/vWqnf , I came across a story about an incredible prison program that has inmates training dogs for the blind and the disable. The program actually trains a lot of animals for disabled veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What is also remarkable is how much these dogs can change how these once hardened criminals think about themselves and the world.

“The program has taught me to be patient, honest with myself, and how to work without ego. My last dog, Yankee, went to a war veteran somewhere in Colorado. Just knowing that I helped to change someone’s life makes me feel as if I have a purpose and a destiny. These dogs have a way of touching a person’s spirit” says Tyrone, a man who has already served 8 1/2 years in prison.

This program also reminds me of a night I went to the Sony lot to see a screening of shorts directed by young men who were incarcerated.   This was a program run by a number of filmmakers in California who wanted to reach out to these youngsters and hopefully repurpose their lives. What was really interesting, was that every short was about love; either love or lack of for a girlfriend or a mother.

As the Beatles used to sing “All you need is love” it seems that the service dog program and the youth filmmaker’s program are a testament to that.

 ——

Previously posted on July 7th 2009

I got a dog six months after my husband had his liver transplant.  Both Chris and I were extremely allergic and so we could only have a purebred Poodle or a Portuguese Waterdog.

When I was visiting my parents in Brazil in December of 2006, I passed by a pet store with one of my nieces.  When we walked in a caramel toy Poodle was sitting in a box.

He was just so friendly and loving that I had to bring him back to the US.  Chris was waiting for me at the airport with all kinds of toys for the dog.  I had two dogs before but Chris had never had a pet.

Chris fell in love with the dog.  He couldn’t believe that this little animal was always ready to play and to love. He became so much part of our lives that we no longer travelled if we couldn’t bring the little dog with us.

When Chris’ cancer came back and we were making the first trip to Mayo Rochester, we took the little dog with us.  We told others that the reason we were taking him was because we didn’t know where and with whom to leave the dog with, but the truth was we needed him.  We needed to have this being, full of love and always playful, to help us through the first set of diagnosis and tears.

As the time went on and Chris got sicker, the little dog was his constant companion, always by him and loving him.  Having this little dog giving us so much love helped us to keep going.

It came a time when Chris was too sick and fragile to have him around and I had to make sure the little dog didn’t jump on Chris’ very swollen body. 

When Chris passed, my little dog became very attached to me.  When I laid in bed sometimes not wanting to get up, he laid next to me pulling my hands with his paw and demanding that I pet him.

These days whenever I feel blue I just need to spend sometime with my little dog, his antics bring a smile to my face almost immediately.  And what does he do for me?  He just loves me and I just love him.

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Double Jeopardy

July 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Earlier today I was talking with my daughter and told her about a movie that I had seen several times.  To my amazement she, too, loved and watched the film more times than she could recall. “Double Jeopardy”, starring Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones it’s quite entertaining, but nowhere near a recommendation as one of my all time faves.

For those of you who have not seen the aforementioned, it’s summarily about a woman who gets falsely accused of murdering her husband, who later is revealed to still be alive … with another woman the child of his first wife.  The erroneously sentenced mother goes to prison and is released after six years, determined to reveal the untruths that have turned her life upside down while vowing to find her son.  I won’t disclose the ending, but there was one moment that had me studying the movie as though I was Roger Ebert .

While imprisoned, one of the inmates assured the falsely accused that no matter when or where she would locate her son, he would know her. It was explained to the pensive mom how the other prisoner could be so sure.  She simply explained that children essentially always remember the sounds and touches of those that birthed or raised them no matter how young they were when separated from the adults.  

This scenario was particularly interesting to me as didn’t know that my daughter was my daughter until several years after she was born.   Quite honestly, it was a joyous as well awkward time in my life … and hers as well.  We both discovered that having not had that initial interaction created a few stumbling blocks along the way.  I found myself attempting to recapture something that I didn’t have in the beginning.  Those early recollections of my turn to change diapers or well intended refrains of “Rock-a-bye Baby” were not mine to have.

I quickly realized that good parenting doesn’t come in an easy-to -swallow capsule and the next day you get voted Dad of the Year.  It takes even more time, more experience and all the love that you had back then plus all that you can muster presently.

Through some universal phenomenon, the love, whether to lift your baby’s feet to put her bootees on or to help her put her backpack on, manifests itself …  no matter at what stage of life it happens.  

For me ….and my daughter,  ”Double Jeopardy” could have been entitled “Second Chance”.

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