Miracles

A few years ago, I read C.S. Lewis’s book Miracles. I later found it received a lot of criticism and negative reviews, but I found the book in of itself a miracle to me at the time, because it contained powerful lessons I needed at the exact moment I opened it.

Lately, I’ve been anxious, worried about the future concerning recent events regarding my grandfather, my boyfriend, and my dog. I have also been praying. A lot. Here’s a story about that-

Last week, my dog Marley stopped eating his food. He began vomiting. He was given medicine to treat ulcers. Marley continued avoiding his food bowl, continued vomiting, continued losing muscle mass, continued being lethargic and pitiful. Finally, our Vet told us yesterday afternoon to bring Marley in to the office first thing the following morning for surgery. This would make it the second incision from his chest to his lower abdomen to investigate his condition. We hated the thought, but we also wanted answers, because this little boy wasn’t getting any better.

I’ve always been taught to pray. My dad used to have us kneel beside him with heads bowed at our bedside before we were tucked in. I never fully comprehended the power of prayer until I was much older and wiser, but I am a firm believer in it these days.

Last night, we shed our tears and mourned over the possibility that our baby would not be okay- that something would remain in his system, causing him to suffer, until the day eventually came that… well, you know… The thoughts were disparaging, and I held my baby’s stomach and paw, and whimpered while my forehead rested on his. I started to think about my recent thoughts of dealing with loss, and how I wasn’t ready to do that yet– “I am still unprepared. I don’t want this. I want him to get better and enjoy a full and happy life with us.”

So I closed my eyes with my head still bowed above his, and I silently spoke. You can call it meditation, prayer, self-talk… whatever. I pleaded with my Maker last night. And when I finished, I felt better. And I felt like He heard me. He listened. So I slept, and the following morning- this morning- Marley ate a little bit of his food. I left for work. While on my morning commute, my boyfriend called me.

-Marley just pooped probably two feet of rope. It’s shaped like his small intestine.

I was ecstatic. I felt confident about our dog making a full recovery. When I got to work, I sent a text to my boyfriend.

-I feel so much better knowing Marley did that this morning. I prayed over him so hard last night, and I thought- I just want his pain to go away… I’m relieved.

-Yes I did, too. And I’m almost 100 percent sure that was the problem…

I realize a lot of people do not believe in creation, a creator, a heaven, a hell, or the power of prayer… but sometimes, despite the skepticism and all that anxiety that comes with it, you gotta have a little faith. Because miracles, believe it or not, happen every day.

 

Marley Jones and Barney Miller

Marley Jones

Never saw the movie Marley and Me, but I know it’s about a dog that people loved, and I believe the story involves the dog dying. I heard it was sad and I heard that nobody should ever name a dog Marley again.

Well our dog’s name is Marley. He is a pit terrier mix and we suspect he has some catahoula somewhere in that mix due to his coat colors and patterns. His “spots” are in the shape of hearts, and he is devastatingly handsome. His pupils are very strange, unlike any I’ve ever encountered. His eyes are marbled with bright light blue and dark brown. He is water and earth. His demeanor revolves around love, and he is playful, protective, and often chill, but overly excited when Mama walks through the door. He especially loves when his oldest sister Echo- my human daughter- plays with him. And his master, his best companion, my human mate, is his numero uno. He watches him and follows his lead curiously, always learning, always wagging.

Marley has had stomach issues for months now. We have placed him in our Vet’s care on numerous occasions, with no real solid leads as to what might be causing his sensitivity to food. He often experiences vomiting or diarrhea for no apparent reason. He underwent a surgery a couple of months ago when he stopped eating for days and couldn’t keep the fluids from his IV down. He hasn’t been back to “normal” since the surgery, and we still had no real inkling as to what the underlying issue might be.

My boyfriend took Marley to the Vet for another check-up yesterday (day two in a row) since he hasn’t eaten his food in a few days, and is still sick with an upset stomach. Yesterday we learned that kidney disease is the likely cause. Marley is still not eating, he is still lethargic, and still vomiting and having diarrhea.

I love my dog. And my dog loves me.

Loss is something I’ve always experienced, unwillingly. Loss is something I try with my might to avoid. Loss is something I will always have to deal with, and prepare myself for… The older I get, the more I realize that it’s coming, ready or not. I’m never ready to lose someone or something I love. But I understand that this is the cycle of life.

Barney Miller

I also learned yesterday that the mightiest and most invincible man in the world has lung cancer and will have to go through another biopsy procedure to determine if the cancer is malignant or benign.

My papa has always been a real hero to me. A Korean War vet, a member of the Georgia Country Music Hall of Fame, a deep-sea fisherman, an AC repair man, a guitar builder and instructor, a cameo role player in My Cousin Vinny and Lawless, a metal worker, a husband who flirts with his wife (still- in his upper 80’s), a father of five, a grandfather of eight, and a great-grandfather of four.

This man can do any damn thing. This man backed out of selling acres of his land after learning that the forest areas would have been demolished and developed. This man told stories out of this world with humor, animation, and heart. This man played the dobro unlike any other on this entire planet. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but his flaws made him all the more legendary. And his disease makes him all the more human. But despite this, he is still a seemingly god-like creature, immortal in spirit and full of life.

I am unprepared for what is surely to come. And my heart is shattered into a million pieces, it seems. But I know I have to be strong, strong like him… strong enough to fight as hard as I can, like my grandfather and my dog.

It’s important to have a shoulder to cry on, and yesterday, we cried. We snotted. We trembled. We tightly embraced. And we were okay. We knew despite everything, we would be okay.