"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Book: A Teacher's Gift of Love




In the summer of 1980, I had just finished the fourth grade and also my last year of elementary school. I would be crossing over into the unknowns of middle school the next year, and I didn’t know yet how different things would be. My third and fourth grade years in school were two of my best. I was so fortunate in those two years to have been in the same classroom, with the same teachers each year, in an environment where I felt safe, supported, and even loved.

Somehow, within those years, within the walls of that classroom, or “suite” as it was called then, I found confidence in myself. This was no small feat. In those two years, the three teachers in my suite made me feel as though I had something special to offer the world. I had never felt that way until they ignited that spark in me. In particular, they all recognized and fostered my writing talent. I remember my poems being featured on bulletin boards, and my short stories being entered into contests. But most of all, I remember being told that I had talent—and somehowbelieving it. One teacher in particular, Ms. Garwood, always seemed to find opportunities for me to shine, to highlight my writing. Instead of us performing a play from a book, she would let me write one for my classmates to perform. She did this for other students, fostering their talents, finding ways to make the classroom a place where we all found our own paths while learning everything we needed to, and understanding the importance of appreciating one another’s gifts.

Somehow, I knew things would never be quite the same in my future classrooms. I struggled the following years in middle school, as everything seemed to be changing so fast, and being popular became more important than finding talent in one another. I honestly felt like I had slipped into a black hole once I stepped onto my middle school campus. The one thing that kept me going was remembering the love and support of Ms. Garwood, and her belief in me. Even though I felt that I didn’t fit in, and that some of my best friends were moving into different circles and leaving me behind, I remembered that I had someone out there who believed in me and had no doubts about my success for the future. I can’t express how powerful that was.

I don’t think any of my teachers or friends for that matter knew how hard things were for me at home. I couldn’t even articulate it myself. Children that take dance lessons, that have enough food, that do well in school—these don’t add up to things not being right at home. These aren’t the signs of an alcoholic father and a broken marriage at home, and little pieces of my confidence and self-worth were taken away as things got more and more tense. I would tell myself I was fine, when I wasn’t. I would keep secrets and smile when most of the time I felt as if I was so fragile I could crack apart and disintegrate at any moment. There wasn’t anywhere that felt as safe to me anymore. I was still a good student, but the rules of school seemed so different once I left the safe nest of elementary school. A few teachers still called out my writing talent, and many were supportive, but it wasn’t the same cocoon I had felt so safe in. It was the last time I would feel that for a very long time.

But that summer before middle school, I didn’t know any of that. I just knew I was sad that I wouldn’t see Ms. Garwood anymore. I wondered if she knew how special she was to me and how much I was going to miss her. And then, she asked to come by my house. She said she had something for me.

I can remember this moment as if it was yesterday. I was sitting on the kitchen counter in our house, alone, and I looked out the window to see Ms. Garwood arrive. She was wearing a purple dress, and she smiled as she walked up the driveway. I don’t remember exactly what words she said, I just remember how heartfelt her words were as she handed me the gift, a blank book to fill with more of my poems and stories. I remember we laughed as she showed me how the pattern on the spine of the book somehow perfectly matched the material of her dress. She read her inscription out loud to me. That moment, that book, her faith in me…it meant the whole wide world to me. That book was so much more than a book. It was belief in me. It was belief in a talent I had only quietly dared to hope I had. It was love.




She left, and for awhile we kept in touch, but without the magic of social media and email, cell phones and affordable long distance calls, over the years, we lost touch. But I never ever lost the feeling of her love and support. In times when I felt alone and struggled, even well into my adulthood, I would draw strength from that moment and her belief in me.

At first, right after I received her gift, the book almost seemed too precious to write in. I didn’t want to put anything in it except my absolute best work, the most beautiful poems, my most exceptional stories. The result was blank pages for a long time. But I kept the book with me, always. I finally broke down and starting writing poems in it, once I had finished my usual pattern of scribbling on notebook paper, changing lines and words, and finally reaching a finished product in the margins and on the back sides of five or so pages of paper. Once I had the completed poem in its final stage, it would go into the book. And then I added another and another. Then I added a short story. And another. I was still picky about what made the cut. It couldn’t go into that book unless I felt it was worthy of the love behind the gift.

The book traveled with me through middle school, high school, and college; carried in back packs, purses, and packed in an untold number of moving boxes. I had such a fear of losing it, that when I moved, I would always mark the box it was in with a big star so I could make sure that box made it off of the moving truck. If possible, I hand-carried it to my next destination.

I had finally filled its pages seven years after the book was given to me. The filled pages were my heart poured out in ink on sometimes tear-stained pages, lamenting loss, longing for love, and enduring the pain of my first heartbreak. Many of the pages also help me remember what the world looked like to me through my eyes then, the reality of the storm at home, that at times is still foggy in the midst of my mother’s denial. These pages are a truth, a touchstone, so I know that my memories are real. Painful, but real.


For years after that, I bought my own blank books and filled their pages. I always dreamed of being a writer, but in some dark times of my life, when I lost sight of so many things, I would give up, let go of writing for awhile, and the words stopped flowing. Without fail, I would be cleaning or packing and come across the purple bookits edges faded and worn from years pastand start reading my own words, then Ms. Garwood’s words, and I would find my way back to pen and paper. 

Blank books later morphed into blogging, which really became the place I felt I was finally honing my skills and getting somewhere. It took a long time, but I got published-- an essay in a magazine I loved and admired-- and I felt things shift. Since then, in the middle of life and work, and everything else, I am working harder than ever to make this dream of finishing my book happen. I got the courage last year to finally attend a writing workshop and get that final push of feedback from a successful author that I was indeed ready to do thisready to write, ready to finish my book. 

It has taken a long time, but the words I am writing now had to grow from all the things I have lived, seen, and known. I am a better writer for the time it has taken to get here.  I finally can see a glimmer of hope of achieving a dream I have had since I first picked up a pencil in my tiny hand as a child. I am getting closer.

I can say without hesitation that I was first given the confidence to do this by an amazing teacher, Ms. Garwood. She walked up my driveway in her purple dress thirty-four years ago, and handed me her belief in me, and her love for me, that I have carried with me every day since.





~~~
A note: Ms. Garwood (now Mrs. Sidden) and I recently reconnected on Facebook. Her first post on my wall mentioned this book, this gift. I let her know I still had it, and I had planned on sharing photos with her. I saw that her birthday was approaching, and I decided to write this blog post-- as I couldn't think of a better gift than for her than to see how much she has meant to me all these years.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Five Years with Bear




During some really hard times for me and my husband over the last few years, I have questioned a lot of my choices. The more I looked back over recent decisions, I started going back further and realizing there might have been a lot of things I could have done differently that would have impacted my future in a positive way. I always try not to have regrets and believe I am where I am for a reason, but in truth, I know there are times I could have made better choices—stayed at one job a little longer, or chosen to move one place instead of another, and boy, could I have made better romantic choices in the past when I was younger.

Many of the choices I questioned were those that were quickly made, under pressure, or without planning--usually during times of great emotion. I know a lot of my romantic choices were made during times like that, and even career choices, unfortunately, sometimes involved a combination of pressure and emotion that probably could have used some time and reflection.

But one decision that I made at one of the lowest moments in my life, and in an instant, without planning, and totally based on emotion, was adopting this sweet boy.
And never, not for one second, have I ever thought it was anything than one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

The year I adopted him, after a few months of healing, I wrote about how I had rescued him, but in turn how he had also rescued me. That was just the beginning. I knew then that he was opening my heart. In truth, he taught me to love again. That may sound far-reaching or dramatic, but anyone close to me knows that I was in a very dark place in my life and I had a long way to go before I could find my way back to the land of the living, and learning to love was a far off place I didn’t dream of ever really visiting again. 

What I didn’t know then, was that Bear would continue to teach me things, all the time, day after day.

One of the things I am always in awe of is how he constantly communicates with me, without speaking, now for five years. He has taught me that there are non-verbal ways to let people know you care that are so meaningful, powerful, and real. Bear’s eyes are very expressive. So many people have said he has very “human” eyes. When I am sick or upset, he never fails to check on me, or stay near me when I need him. But it is the way he looks at me, in a different way than his usual playful way, with concern in his deep brown-doggy-sweet eyes that darn near brings me to tears.


I have always known the power of laughter, and it was one of the things that made me fall in love with my husband. He can make me laugh, a truly desperate, grab-onto-something laugh like no one else. I love that. Bear has taught me about the joy in laughing every day. There have been times over the last three years when, honestly, my husband and I were struggling with so many things that for months, there seemed like there was nothing to talk about but bills and stress. Out of the blue, seeming to sense tension, Bear would do something silly or pose in a funny way and cock his head and have us laughing. It would shake us out of where we were for a moment and remind us that even in the middle of what seemed like everything caving in, we could still laugh. We held onto that for awhile. I remember that once we turned a curve financially, we were able to say, “You know what? We still laughed every single day.” And we knew we owed a lot of that to Bear.

I knew once we were on our feet that I wanted to try and add another dog to our family, a sibling for Bear. But, I only wanted to do it if it was right, and if Bear was still happy and felt loved. I also wanted to do it so that Bear would stay active and have a playmate. This year we added a puppy, Boone, to our household. Once again, Bear taught me a lesson. I watched in awe as he shared his food and toys and loved his new little brother in a way that made me love Bear so much that I thought my heart would burst. This sweet dog had so much love to give that it seemed endless.


The most important lesson brings me to tears. Bear is teaching me the deep importance of small moments. Taking pictures of all the things that matter. Kissing his head 500 times a week, because I know I will always want to know I kissed it as many times as I possibly could. Rubbing his ears to get him to fall asleep next to me, because it magically makes his eyelids heavy as it has since he was 12 weeks old and first lying next to me in his new home. Going to bed each night knowing that we are giving a rescue dog that we love immeasurably the most beautiful life that a family could give a dog, because if all was right in the world, all rescue dogs would be this happy and celebrating their fifth adoption birthdays like this:



The lesson he teaches me is that life is so precious, and the years go by so fast. We are so lucky to have Bear. So lucky. If our luck continues, we will have him for many, many more years. He is healthy and strong, and handsome and happy. All we can do is appreciate the small moments and treasure our time with him. 

He is teaching us well.

Happy five years Bear.

~~

You can read my previous posts about Bear here:

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Permission, Courage, and Telling My Story




There have been so many changes in my life in the last year, really in the last six months, especially on the career front. This year alone, I have worked for three different employers, with an end of the year scramble that made me dizzy with a mixture of fear, excitement, and hope. But it was mid-October when things really got interesting.

I was at my desk at job #2 for the year, when I was just beginning to figure out that this particular job wasn’t going to be the long haul, career home job I had hoped it would be. I was already job searching, miserable with a boss that knew nothing about marketing, management, or people skills, and watching people quit by the dozens around me every day. I had started only three months earlier, and I had never seen a workplace go downhill so fast.

My cell phone rang, and an out of town number popped up, and I answered a little excitedly, hoping it was a response to one of the dozens of jobs I had applied for. Instead, a voice I vaguely recognized responded to my hello, almost in mid-sentence before I could put two and two together. It was a vendor calling me, but she thought I was still behind the desk at my last job, a failing startup in San Francisco that I had been relieved to escape. I had spent months there watching several wealthy men fight and break promises (and do little else) for months. I finally got in a few words edgewise and was able to explain to her that I was no longer with the startup and couldn’t help her with the event she was calling about. She paused, and expressed disappointment.

“I so enjoyed working with you Kim,” she said, “you did a great job.”
I thanked her and prepared to hang up, but she continued.

“I really hope you are doing something you love and have always dreamed of doing.”

I was almost stunned by her words. First, they were so genuine, she really meant what she was saying, and secondly, it hit me like a punch to the stomach. Even if things at my current company weren’t unstable, even if I was in the perfect marketing job—was this what I dreamed of doing when I was little? Was this what I dreamed of doing every night when my thoughts were racing and I couldn’t sleep? No. All I ever wanted to be was a writer. When I can’t sleep, I am thinking about my book that still isn’t written, and about my blog that is gathering dust. 

I thanked this vendor who will likely never know the events she helped inspire, and then hung up the phone. I was in tears at my desk. I felt hopeless. I felt like every job I was taking was a mistake, every decision I was making was taking me further away from what I wanted more than anything. Most of all, I had made the decision to move us across the country, far away from everything, to this place of opportunity—California, and what had it gotten us?

I made my way to the office restroom and spent a good half hour crying. I reminded myself that very few people I know are doing what they always dreamed of doing. We all have to earn a living. I told myself that, as a recruiter recently reminded me, there are more f-cked up workplaces out there than there are normal ones, and you just don’t know how it truly is until you are there, until you are inside and working there. I took a lot of deep breaths and tried to give myself a break about everything.

I got back to my desk, and as I working on some social media posts for work, I clicked over to Facebook to find a link I needed. I was on my personal page and scrolled down, and stopped on a posting on an author’s page that I followed.

One spot left for my One-Day Writing Workshop.

I was frozen. For a minute, work was forgotten, everything was forgotten. The words stared back at me. This wasn’t just any writer, it was Joyce Maynard, a writer I had long admired. I had always toyed with the idea of going to a workshop like this, but didn’t have the confidence, or usually, the money.

I clicked the link to check out the details, whispering to myself, please don’t be too expensive, please don’t be too expensive. The page came up. It was expensive for us, for this time in our lives. But, it was local. It was 18 miles away. When would I ever have a chance like this again? I needed this right now. I needed to go and find out if this dream I had was crazy or if I should keep plugging away. The only way I would ever know was to go somewhere and get honest feedback from a writer I trusted and believed in.

I called my husband, and through tears explained that I needed to do this, I knew we couldn’t really afford it. He was alarmed that I was so emotional, and agreed immediately that if I needed to do this, to do it, we would figure out the money somehow.

The date of the workshop was November 3rd, and we had to submit our essays beforehand. To say I was a nervous wreck didn’t even begin to cover it. There were six other women attending the workshop. I was so afraid to put my words out there, to have Joyce and these other women read them and think I was a horrible writer. I was afraid I would read their words and compare mine and know immediately that I was not cut out to do this.

To be honest, over the past year, I had been asking myself why I was putting myself through this torture. No one said I HAD to write. It was just me doing this to myself. It would be a lot easier to let this dream go. I had to work- that was a have to. If I was supposed to be a writer, I would have been discovered or I would have figured out a way to make a living doing that by now, right? I had started thinking that maybe it was time to just let go.

What I wanted from this workshop was some kind of answer for myself. I felt stuck. And if I got a positive answer, I hoped to find a group of women that I could connect and continue with after that one day. I prepared myself for the worst. I wasn’t prepared at all for what I got instead.

I turned in my essay at the last possible moment. A few days later, all the essays were posted online so we could all read each other’s work before the actual workshop. I did feel humbled by the other women’s work, and I didn’t know what to think about how my work would be perceived. The workshop was memoir-focused, but Joyce had also encouraged writers of fiction to attend. Many of the other women had submitted works of fiction.

One of my biggest struggles with my writing is also what to write. I have avoided my story (as in writing a memoir) because I just didn’t know who would want to read it. I am not famous, I don’t feel I have accomplished that much, although at times, I do feel I have a story to tell. I have started a novel, but I have struggled. That’s the other part of me feeling stuck with my writing, and the other answer I wanted out of this workshop.

November 3rd came and as nervous as I was, I made it to Joyce’s house in one piece. She was incredibly warm and inviting, and as the other women arrived, my nerves eased a little bit. Regardless of the answers I got about my writing, I at least began to feel I was among friends. 

We began by going around the room and introducing ourselves and talking about why we were attending the workshop. Joyce let us all do this, and just listened carefully and said very little and took notes. When we had all finished, she went carefully around to each one of us and responded.

When I introduced myself, I talked about feeling stuck, about not knowing if this is what I was supposed to do. I told everyone about the day at my desk, and being the person who took the last spot at the workshop, and how I had dreamed of being a writer. I explained that there was a book my mother had kept for me that chronicled every year of school, with my school photo pasted in it, and a few memories jotted down below it. And every year, underneath that photo where the book asked, What does Kim want to be when she grows up? The answer was always: writer. Every year, from kindergarten on up. I explained about my hesitation to write a memoir, and my biggest hesitation of all—my mother. I didn’t want to put her through any more pain, she had been through enough. I remember Joyce hesitating for a moment when I said those words. But I had continued and soon it was time for the next person to talk.

When Joyce got around to responding to me, she got out of her chair. She hadn’t done this with anyone else, so I was a little taken a back. But she got in front of me, on her knees, and she told me she was doing this because she wanted to make sure that I heard her and remembered what she was about to say.

She told me there were so many things that held us back in life—money, work, everything else—but this was MY STORY and that I had every right in the world to tell it and not to let anyone or anything stop me. She told me I didn’t have to protect anyone, especially someone who did not protect me. She said that if my mother was in the room, she was sure she would be touched and moved by her story, but that would be her story. This was mine. 

I can’t repeat her exact words, and I can’t ever express the passion with which she said them, because I was crying. This release of permission she gave me, I can’t explain it. I felt I had part of my answer. A huge part of it. 

As I got to know the other women that day through their work and their own personal journeys, it amazes me how we all travel through such hard places to get where we are. I felt so fortunate that I had landed in this particular group of such compassionate, giving women. Everyone was so supportive and thoughtful.

Joyce worked through each woman’s piece, one by one. With each piece of work, I was learning more and more, and I was nervously awaiting my turn. My essay was the last one Joyce reviewed. Her critiques and the input from the other women at the workshop gave me my other answer. I need to keep writing.  The positive feedback I got from Joyce and these women was a huge turning point for me. I was so emotional, and it was almost hard to leave Joyce’s house that night. I didn’t want that connected, creative feeling to end.

The good news is, it hasn’t. The women from that workshop have been amazing, and we all stay in touch and have met once and have another meeting in January. I feel so fortunate to have this group of supportive, positive, amazing, talented women to share and grow with. We are all each other’s biggest fans, and can openly share anything and everything about our writing with each other.

I am forever grateful to Joyce for opening a door for me that I very nearly let shut. It is still a battle to carve out time for writing, but I am making myself do it, especially with my writing group’s encouragement. But I wouldn’t feel the confidence and I wouldn’t have the direction I do without Joyce kneeling in front of me that day, passionately making sure I heard her words.

And really, how many times in our lives does someone do that for us? Really make sure we hear the words that make all the difference—that can change our lives?

If it happens, be grateful. Listen. Don’t take that moment for granted. Take the words to heart. Do what you are meant to do.

I plan to do just that.

It might take a long time, it might not work out like I’ve planned, and I am sure it will be ten times harder than I can even imagine.

But, this is my life. 

I am a writer. It is what I was meant to do.

I will tell my story.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Bringing Boone Home

It started with this picture.



He had been rescued from a high kill shelter, only 12 weeks old and just hours away from being euthanized. The whole process of whatever had happened before he got to the shelter, plus his time at the shelter had just traumatized him. He was incredibly timid and shy and needed a home with patient caregivers, and in the best of situations, a confident big brother to help him get his bearings and come out of his shell.
 
I stared at the picture for a few seconds and looked into his eyes. I have seen hundreds of rescue pictures. I follow a lot of rescue organizations on Facebook, and every now and then, one dog will catch my eye, or a story will tug at my heart. This was one of them. But this one in particular felt different. I emailed the rescue contact and asked if there had been a lot of interest in the dog, whose name at the time was Cameron. She responded, “No one yet”. I told her we really weren’t looking, I just wanted a sibling for Bear before he got much older, and something about Cameron got to me. We emailed a little, back and forth. She checked out my Facebook profile and the pictures and stories about Bear. She felt like Bear would be THE perfect big brother for Cameron. She sent me an application, and asked me to “just fill it out and let’s see”. Cameron, she said, was a special case. The foster mom was very attached and wanted to make sure he was placed carefully. He was incredibly sweet, but was having a hard time.

I hadn’t yet talked to my husband about this crazy idea.

We currently had four furry residents in our house. Three cats and our beloved dog Bear. I can honestly say that Bear is the center of our world, and we both love him so much, that there is no doubt he is spoiled and cared for beyond measure. I have, for awhile, wanted to get another dog as Bear has started sleeping a lot and getting less active, and at five years old, he doesn’t need to do that. He is only doing that because we are doing that, and honestly because our schedules have let us do that. Bear loves to play, and we don’t always make it to the dog park as much as we used to because his energy level isn’t as intense as it used to be. I didn’t want to wait much longer to get another dog, because I want him to be young enough to enjoy a playmate.

When I first broached the subject of another dog, my husband Shea looked at me as if I had completely lost my mind. He loves our animals just as much as I do, and he and Bear are incredibly bonded. But, we aren’t financially in the best place, we do already have FOUR animals, we are renting and will probably be renting for a long time to come (which isn’t always easy to do when you have a small zoo in tow), a puppy is a lot of work, and to top it all off, I was about to leave for a business trip for six days. He wasn’t even considering the possibility. All of his arguments were valid, and honestly, right.

Usually, when I have gone through this before, even sometimes a rescue would call or contact me about a particular case, something would happen, someone else would adopt or foster the dog, and the whole situation would be resolved without my involvement. But in this case, that just didn’t happen. And usually, every other time, something in me told me it wasn’t right. This time was different.

Shea knew the person I was when he married me. Within the first year after we were married, he definitely knew what he had gotten into. We were still living in South Carolina then, and he was riding with me to a sales appointment. It was a rainy gray day and we were getting off the interstate. As we drove on the exit ramp, I saw two dogs wandering precariously in and out of speeding traffic. They were muddy, the rain was coming down and drivers were swerving in the bad weather to miss them. I started to pull over immediately and Shea stopped me. He said something to the effect of “Are you insane?” I drove a little further and stopped. I looked at him and said, “You knew who I was when you married me. I am the person who will stop on a rainy, muddy day and pick up strange dogs. I can’t live with myself otherwise.” I knew I was with the right person when I saw his face soften as he looked at me and then got out of the car with me and called for the dogs, who at first seemed to have disappeared, but then gratefully ran to our car. They jumped in, mud and all. A funny side note to that day, after they got into the car, they immediately both jumped over the back seat and all over Shea, licking him in gratitude, but also covering him in mud. We had to throw away his shirt. But he was such a good sport. We were able to find a local vet nearby who took them in and called a local rescue after checking for microchips.

We had agreed to meet the rescue contact at a local pet fair on the upcoming Saturday, and even though Shea was not on board completely, he said he knew how I felt and would come with me and see what happened.

Both of us were most concerned about Bear. If Bear was unhappy or overly jealous, or if this would impact him negatively at all, it wouldn’t happen. Period.

They brought out this shy little puppy, warning us that he probably wouldn’t even walk around with so many people around. But when he saw Bear, a light went on. It was love at first sight. He immediately jumped and romped and wagged his tail. Bear became a big brother right away.

We had already decided on a name if things worked out…Boone (for my husband’s college town). Boone’s foster mom was there and the rescue contact and they were both so happy and touched watching him open up so much more quickly than they thought he could.

I kept coming back to Shea. I knew he was unsure. I knew he was right about all his worries. He always says he loves my heart. And despite his concerns, and everything else, he looked at me then at Bear, and said, “Bear, let’s take your little brother home.”


I was home for for five days before taking off for a six day business trip to Chicago. In those five days, I suddenly remembered how hard it is taking care of puppies. Boone was still very shy for about five hours. Then, it was as if he suddenly knew he was safe and he bounded through the house, and romped outside, and ate and ate and ate. (something we couldn’t get him to do at first). But it was tiring, and non-stop. The thought of leaving Shea alone with all of this for six days was daunting. I laid awake at night worrying if I had made the right decision, and if Shea would be ok, and if everything would work out alright. But, I remembered that I felt the same way when I first brought Bear home and sometimes felt overwhelmed, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that bringing Bear home was the best decision ever. I just had to trust my gut and my heart.

As I prepared to come back from my business trip, I worried. Six days was a long time for Shea to handle everything alone, especially in the early days of helping a puppy adjust. But I came home to find that he had fallen in love with Boone, and vice versa. How could he not? Look at that face! But I was so relieved. I knew seeing Shea and watching him and Boone that everything was ok and I had made the right decision.

My love for Bear has only grown, sometimes I think my heart will burst as I watch him be such a patient big brother. Shea and I both thought he would be more possessive and jealous about his food, but he has been surprisingly forgiving. He is learning to share his toys, which is taking a little more time. But overall, the two boys are romping and playing, Bear is getting so much more exercise, and they are both having a blast.


I could never have known the love and comfort my animals would provide in my life. I have been so lucky to find my way to these animals at just the right moments. I have written before about this, but as much as I have saved them, they have saved me. There is something so magical about being a part of a rescue animal's journey, about seeing that light come on when they know they are safe, and that everything is going to be ok. It fills my heart, and honestly at times, gives me purpose. Thankfully, my husband understands. We are at full capacity now, though. There's no more room in our house, or our bed for that matter, for any more fur babies for a long time. 

But I am so, so thankful that we had room for just one more.



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