By Lynell Morgan
Just over a week ago, Elgin and the surrounding areas were visited by the Snow Fairy. Actually, “fairy” may be too nice of a word to use considering we got dumped on. Feel free to insert the word of your choice there.
On most snow occasions, the husband does the snow removal because he says that it’s his job. If I go outside to scoop snow or mow the lawn, he has a good number of friends who will go out of their way to jab him about the wife doing that work. Little do any of the guys understand that I actually enjoy getting out and doing some hard labor every so often. Oh well, he insists that it’s his job. His role.
We all have a role in this world. For a few, it’s obvious. For most others, not so much. The sweet and nurturing souls are here for healing those who have been wounded either by words, actions or deeds. The mean and destructive ones? Well, I guess they are here for some reason. Maybe it’s just to create the wounded ones so the nurturing ones have someone to help. I doubt that’s the only reason but for today, it’ll work.
Our dog even has a role in our daily routine. She tells us when it’s time to go to work, when someone is coming. When the noon whistle in town blows, her eyes tell us — “go to lunch and bring me back a snack!”. Beginning at about 4:30 every work day, she begins her end-of-day stare down. It means she’s ready to go home. She is definitely a creature of habit.
Her name is Lucky and many think we named her that because we took her in as a stray. Actually, she was named “Lucky Girl” by our dear friend who found her after she strayed onto their property in Auburn, NE. We call her Lucky not because of us but because she found Amy. See, she was lucky, very lucky.
Hang in here with me, this isn’t about dogs. Wait a bit and it’ll become clear.
Amy is a God’s send for discarded animals. She and Tony (sweet guy of a husband) have an acreage on the edge of town and a little menagery of animals. Under a sprawling tree by a barn rests their family pets of the past, each with a marker. With their pets rests one of ours. Our still-loved and still-missed husky/german shepherd mix CB Dog (too long of a story on the name to share). We can never repay her for giving him a special resting spot on their place.
The reason I mention Amy today is she shared some sad information.
Her message yesterday…
Today my old friend Boo had a stroke that he would not be able to recover from. He left us a few hours later while in my arms. This is definitely not the first pet/family member that I’ve had to say goodbye to and likely won’t be the last. He, however was one that will be missed and will always hold a special place in my heart. He came to us physically and mentally wounded by someone I’ll never know. For that person’s sake let’s just say that it’s a good thing. I’ll never understand why anyone could harm such a beautiful creature with such a pure and loyal heart as his. He showed up over 12 years ago as a young adult skittish beyond belief, shot gun pellets under his hide, skeletal with bloody pads on his paws. It took a couple of weeks for him to even allow my touch. I would have to pick his trembling, frail body up and carry him in the house for the first several weeks. He spent most of his days hiding out in quiet corners alone. We named him Boo as it seemed everything scared him. He didn’t want human touch and it seemed to me he had almost shut down all emotion other than fear. I spent countless hours quietly holding him, trying to convince him through gentle touch and quiet words that he would never want for a warm bed, a full belly or a human friend to love him. He slowly came to know that he was safe and loved with us and began to show signs of his sweet, sensitive personality.
In the early days with us a noise as innocent as a three ring binder being shut would sent him running. The broom seemed to remind him of a rifle and if I needed to sweep he would run into another room and face a wall trembling. Over the years with much reassurance he became comfortable with most of the daily household demons. The fly swatter was always his worst enemy. If I even reached for the hook it hangs on in the kitchen to swat a pesky fly while he was near he would hastily retreat to his comfort zone ( his soft bed on our bedroom floor).
He was gentle with his family, children and other dogs. His only vice was chasing cats. He somehow detested them with every fiber of his body. I’m certain that someone loved him enough to neuter him and leash train him before he became a victim of abuse. If I accidentally bumped his leash that hung on a hook by the back door he would start bouncing around so excited that I would have to take him for an outing even if it wasn’t on my agenda. God blessed me with over 12 years with this wonderful dog that decided to own us. I will miss him following me around the house and barnyard and I’m praying that there will be another one sometime down the road that will try and fill his shoes.
So sad for my friend Amy. But this story tells you what Amy’s role in this world is. She’s one of those nurturing souls. She is as kind and patient with people as she is with animals. A great daughter, wife, mother and grandmother. All that being said, she’s strong as a ox if she meets up with one of the nasties and can give it right back if necessary. She is the epitomy of the phrase “Mama Bear”, protective of those who need protection whether they are human or animals.
She fits her role well and has never fought it. I would say she loves her role even though her heart gets broken often.
I still haven’t figured out my role and I have occasionally pondered that question. My biggest fear is that I’ll discover my role isn’t for the good…. looking back, perhaps I wasn’t good for my family or my community. Will knowing your role change anything?
Would Hitler stop being who he was before all the war, the murders? Would Jeffrey Dohmer have changed? The names of infamous people could go on and on. When it comes to evil, do they even want to change? I doubt it since evil can seem to spin what they are doing into good. Sometimes just to themselves, other times to the entire world.
Perhaps I never will figure out my role. However, I will continue to ask that question and challenge you to also. What do you do for the good of this world? What could you improve on?
While I ask the big question, right now I know my role is to start a load of laundry, clean my kitchen and make some dinner. Wait, since I’m not on the farm anymore I have to call it lunch. Time to “take on the day”!