Saturday, August 30, 2014


The past few weeks I have been recovering from our beloved dog's passing on June 29th, 2014.  I had kept a journal about the days prior to her passing because I was so comforted at God's bending down toward me, embracing me and giving me love and direction through this difficult journey that I had to write it down.  And as a tribute to Elle and to the help God gave me, I wanted to blog a little about what my experience was like.
God is my Father.  Jesus is my Savior.  Our Lady is my Mom.  I'm on a journey through a thick forest, keeping on the path with a constant ear toward the sky.
I subscribe to "Magnificat" which is a monthly publication of the Mass Readings.  God frequently speaks to me through scripture and spiritual works written by others.

May 28, 2014
God cared that my dog was dying.  He cared that my heart was broken.  I felt Him close by as the Lord is close to the brokenhearted.  During struggles, God speaks and tends to His children in special ways to protect and guide, to comfort and reassure and ultimately to strengthen the bond between Father and child.

The Lord sent me to comfort all who mourn.
                                      Isaiah 61:1-2

Wondering the purpose of Elle's suffering and why it was permitted.

My word shall not return to me void but shall do My will, achieving the end for which I sent it.
                                       Isaiah 55:11  

She gave us so much love and laughter, she brought tenderness and compassion to our marriage and to our home.  She gave us purpose and helped us to learn self-forgetfulness.

In the May issue of the publication "Magnificat", page 388, Saint Hedwig said "Yet every sorrow was folded into prayer."

I feel every sorrow should allow us to grow closer to God and to give purpose to our loss thereby uncovering the truth of the loss and turning it into spiritual gain.

Saint Hedwig further said, "Our lives are His; our will is whatever He is pleased to ordain, whether our death or that of our friends."

Merciful Father, through the intercession of St. Hedwig, grant us total trust in Your Holy Will.  _Magnificat

Beasts wild and tame, Praise the Lord!         Psalm 148

God gave this little dog to us as a gift.

Rather it is He Who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.  Acts 17:24-25

Page 391 Magnificat May 2014 issue:
O God, Creator and Redeemer, You are the Author of being and of life.  Inspire in us a spirit of praise, that we may give you glory in everything we think, say and do, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Amen   

I pray that my grief for Elle gives glory to God.  We need the Spirit of Truth to guide our rebellious human spirits.
Trying to remember: HE COMES TO THE DOCILE.

May 30th
Early in the morning during barn chores I wondered about something God had told me a few years ago.  I had asked Him why He would allow me to love my horse so much if only to have her die and vanish someday, like a common soap bubble.  Would God use a living creature for all it's worth and then......pfffffft!?!
He assured me, with these words received as an inner locution:
"I take nothing from you".

I continued to ponder if that meant what I originally thought was that all animals He created go to Heaven when they die.  But now, a new thought entered my grieving mind:  He takes nothing from me because I never had anything to take, it was always His to do as He wanted.  Had I just thought I had been given something?  I began to feel frustrated, but based on experiences of lessons learned, I knew to put it on hold until God decided, if ever, to address the subject further with me.

Later as I read the devotions in the Magnificat for the day this scripture was given:

Everything that the Father has is mine, for this reason I told you that He will take from what is mine and declare it to you.           John 16: 12-15

Again, I am humbled by His everlasting arm and marvel at how compassionate and caring He is towards His children.

Perhaps you will ask how can I imitate Jesus as He is God and I am misery?  by the Spirit that dwells in you, you can acheive holiness.  As God's child.  An heir to the Kingdom by the Savior's gifts. (Magnificat).

 June 14, 2014
The look in her eyes says goodbye and I love you.  Her eyes indicate her resolve to accept that she is dying.  A sadness and serious attempt to connect to me before she goes.  Sadness because she must go, but seriousness because she wants me to remember how much she loves me as this will have to last until we meet again in Heaven.
I am nauseated with sorrow.  Everything hurts ten times more under the roof of grief.   She feels like she is full of sawdust, but it is cancerous tumors and the hardening of her flesh and organs.  This all seems like a nightmare.

Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected when received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the invocation of God in prayer.  Timothy 4:4

"cherries are small, but as soon as you have a ripe one you immediately realize how much goodness can be contained in something so small"  _Fr. Sullivan


June 29, 2014 We had to have Elle put to sleep.  She died in my arms.  My husband and I sobbed and spent the rest of the day walking around sniffling and trying to be strong for each other.  I spent a lot of time in the barn hugging my horses.  They seemed to understand.
In the weeks that followed I've had a tooth extraction, a sinus infection and several bad colds.  I must have gone through a stack of tissues 10 feet high.  I've found myself talking to toads, tree frogs, the neighbor's dogs, bugs and the like as if they were my very own babies.
It's been quite a summer and the only place I really find a break from my grief is on the lake.  Which is a first for me.
My husband bought me a kayak and I've been spending time out on the lake.  I would have never guessed this would come about, but out there on the lake, I feel a sense of space and calm and for that I am grateful.  The exercise has helped with my depression tremendously!
Soon, we will be adopting a new dog.  Her name is Lacey.  She, as was Elle, is a rescue dog.  I went to meet her last week, we locked eyes and I fell in love with her.  Meanwhile, I pray to St. Francis for a smooth transition and his blessing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Every spring the barn swallows return to my barn to bring up their young.  "Hello!"  I am excited to see last year's babies come back to their old homestead to raise new families.   When I enter the barn to feed the horses, they stay up in their nests and watch me.  Once in awhile, they'll flit out, but for the most part I feel they trust me and so they stay rested.  I feel honored to be trusted and known by them.
I pray for their safety as they seem so very vulnerable, just like us.  All they want is to take care of their children and each other.  
Somewhere on this earth, if possible, safe keeping just has to exist!   I yearn for their well being and find my heart longing for Heaven where no one thing suffers.   If only for a tiny bit of time, I pray these birds can rest inside where they are warm and dry  and have plenty to eat.



Barn Swallows

Coffee colored specks on chalky white shells
beneath the nest and among the droppings
 a constellation of sorts
splattered spring after spring
on a cool cement floor.

Another notch on life's belt.
Reflecting the span of time's passing I find myself floating above the barn where
the swallows dart,
"Lord, are you there?"
"Where am I, what am I, where are You, What are You,
why, how?"

To comfort my own caged soul, I leave the barn door open
day and night to tend to the swallow's freedom.
All I ask dear tenants of the barn
is to keep my horses company.
Thank you for answering God's call to be
Barn Swallows.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

For anyone who struggles with Hereditary Peripheral Neuropathy you know that come morning you can wake up an entirely different person than you were the night before.  This morning I woke up feeling neuropathic (my word), which means I feel sluggish, heavy and a tad disoriented.  Doing my morning chores becomes a major challenge and I get a bit cranky about it.
The cold and snow do not help.
After years of dealing with HPN, I have learned that you cannot give in to it.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other and think about anything that might make you smile.  Pray!!!   Remember that it will pass!  Know that putting up with oneself is not an easy task!
Pushing oneself not to give in to despair has it's rewards as I did managed to make it to morning mass inspite of myself.
The readings were about "a change of heart".  Father John said sometimes we as spouses, friends, etc., can influence a change of heart, for the good as well as sometimes, for the bad.
I really thought hard about that!  I don't want to change another person's heart towards the bad because of the way I treat them, even if I have somewhat of an excuse due to illness.
But what of the illness?  Why let it rob me of even more?!!!!
When I got home I found a note from my husband who had cleaned up the kitchen while I was gone.  He said he hoped I had a better day and that he loved me.
My husband's kindness turned my heart towards God, love, hope and the feeling of being accepted, warts and all.
It's been about 5 hours now since I woke up.  Friends at mass were so kind.  My husband was so good to me.  I got a call from a dear friend telling me about an art exhibit I should go see which all fed my energy and lifted my soul.
My heart is turned toward God and I feel better physically, mentally and spiritually.
                                               George and Nancy enjoying a corn/hay casserole.

                                                A sparrow enjoying breakfast on the front porch.