Wednesday, April 27, 2016

You Were the One for Me


Tell me again how you became my Mom, please?

Abby Lab asked me to tell her the story again of how we adopted her from animal rescue.  After Barkley went to the Bridge we made the decision to adopt an older hard to place rescue, which I wrote about in "Saving Grace" and she just caught my eye, with her shy demeanor and soft coat, even though she was so very thin with  heartworm and several months at a really awful shelter that was closed down.  Her foster Mom had driven 12 hours round trip to snag her before she was put down, and having already been approved to adopt through her Foster Mom's Lab Rescue, she just seemed destined for my home. One reason I selected her over some other senior dogs as she was smaller in size than a purebred lab (easier to walk with my bad knee) and she was very relaxed on car rides, important when for the first year and a half with me she drove back and forth between Indianapolis where I worked and had a small apartment after my house sold and Chicago where my new husband and I lived.

I've been up in Chicago full time since fall, but tonight, in rain which caused some delays, I thought back to one of those last drives.
Abby - quit biting Mr. Lion in the butt and get ready to load up in the truck.

Sometime in  2015

It was going to be  a long drive home with traffic after a long duty shift.  Adding to the fun would be an assortment of truckers who truly believed that because their truck could go point five mph's more than the other semi truck in the right lane truck they should take over the only passing lane and stay there for 15 minutes, while cars back up behind them 10 miles. Usually when I finally get past one of them, I'll speed by like a lizard on a tile floor, full throttle and giving him that friendly Hoosier wave (involves a distal phalanx). Since our kitchen floor is not quite done, and I'm very tired, My husband suggested I just get a good nights sleep while he lays the rest of the tile, and I'll go up in the morning. Sounds like a plan and I have Heidi Pops popcorn (pretzel jalapeno this time)

I can't say I love the commute, but I love my husband and our home, and it just happens to be several hours from where I work.  But sometime it's a pleasant enough drive, listening to music and the news. After all the news of Washington and terrorists and such lately, I'd almost love to go back to the good old news days when the headlines were simply some New York mayor candidate that can't keep from sending  nudie photos of himself to strange women.  All I could think of was, as tired as I was -  "what if politicians were named like the seven dwarfs".  You'd have  (in New York anyway) Hippy, Horny, Sleezy, Gropey, Greedy, Humpy (only six dwarfs, Doc was replaced by Obamacare).

But you know, for every story I read like that, for every relationship that's imploded in the news, I still know dozens and dozens of people, many like family to me, some actual family, that have someone in their life that is their one and only.  Many of us also have had the blessing of parents that weren't just partners in the marriage, but were best friends as well.
Not long ago, a friend shared a picture with friends of he and his not-yet wife in 1971, re-united after he'd been away for four years in the military, two without even seeing one another once. She waited for him, and you can tell by the look in their eyes in that photo, they are both very glad. You look at the picture of them now, forty some years later, and they still look at each other like that and when my husband and I shared a meal with him last, and he talked about her, his face lit up in the same manner. That just makes me smile.

Every family has their stories of when "Mom and Dad" met.  My parents - sixth grade.  Dad mercilessly teased the new girl in school all day. On the way home she wound up and beaned him from a good distance with a milk bottle. I'm surprised it didn't hurt him, but he was certainly impressed by both her throw and her aim. They were pretty much inseparable after that, only being apart during WWII.

Since I work with all guys (my secretary is male and ex Army) no one really talks about "relationships" though (unless it involves a relationship with a buffalo chicken wing), but once in a while someone let's something slip. When leaving for a business lunch with someone that's also a close friend, he  noticed the large tire iron wedged where I could easily grab it from the front seat of my truck (the "drive through Gary road service tool").

He just smiled.  He then told me the story of when he decided he was going to marry his wife of some thirty years. She was a research scientist and I'd  met her several times when we'd all get together for a meal and really liked her, but I had no idea how they had met.
He said "we were in our 20's, in her car, at the mall for something she was supposed to pick up for her Mom.  We came out and though she was well within the lines of her spot, this young jerk pulls in, parking so close to her there is no way she can get IN, let alone OUT, then walks off with a smirk. There was barely enough room on the passenger side for her to get in.  I couldn't fit but she was able to climb in the passenger side, but getting out of the spot was almost impossible, he being an inch from the driver's side door.  After quite a few minutes of  small, but precise maneuvering, she got the car free."

Ahh, I thought to myself, a woman who can handle a vehicle.   Then he continued.

"What I was so surprised with, was how calmly and skillfully she just take of the problem, without asking for help. She just calmly and expertly, got her car free".

So I said "that's when you decided she was the one for you?"

"No". . he said.  "It  was when she had backed out.  She got out of the car, all composed in her pretty little dress, took out the tire iron and busted out his headlights."
Oh, how I laughed But I bet we all have some stories.  Certainly we all have the ones of when we knew someone was NOT the right one for us.  Stories that involve bad manners, crazy relatives, "you have HOW many pet ferrets?", underwear under the bed that's not yours, not work safe yard gnomes, an assortment of 2nd degree felonies and personal computer misdeeds that would make Snowden blush.

Almost all of us have been there, and it usually leaves you wanting nothing more from the world than air to push on through and exhale. Then you meet someone,  Sometimes you come together like two ships, becalmed, floating next to each other until you finally, and softly, touch, and you are captured by that which is the essence of dreams. Sometimes you meet in heat and flame, built up over years of carefully tended embers that survived some rough miles, just needing the right touch and a breath to give spark to it.
Either one is a wondrous journey, one that for me began in a little coffee shop in Indiana where a little train ran on a track along the ceiling inside as the forgotten coffee grew cold and a black dog waited patiently at our feet. We had been the best of friends online for many years, I knew his Dad personally and professionally and we had a couple of mutual geek friends. Neither of us seemed interested in any long term relationships given all of our travel so we'd spend hours on  instant message and Skype telling terrible science puns and jokes or sharing photos of mutual hobbies.  And dogs - always stories of Barkley, as he came from a family that had many beloved dogs.  I had a huge crush on him after a while but never said anything because I was 25 years older and he had just started dating this beautiful ballerina. But we met in person because that long time  friend said "I'm passing through your area today.  Would you and Barkley like to meet me for coffee at an outdoor cafe? and I said "yes" and the ballerina did NOT get a third date. Two years after that VERY LONG cup of coffee we were married.

So - for my four legged friends - tell us a story about how you became part of your forever family or how YOUR two legged family came to be together.

4 comments:

  1. I really needed to read that today... I'm alone. On the boat. With used diesel oil under my fingernails and a list of tasks that just didn't quite go the way it was planned on this 'simple engine maintenance trip'.

    All the grumpiness has turned to smiles now. Seems that you've done this for me quite a few times.

    Fair Winds and Blessings,

    Cap'n Jan

    P.S. I married a younger man too - after having been friends for 5 years, we got together and decided it was much more than just friendship. I was 45, he was 35. Not an instant of regret for my choice. I am sure that he feels the same way.

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  2. Awwwwww Abby that is a beautiful story of how you got gotted. I was gotted 9 years ago TODAY... Mom and dad had just LOST Baron and SWORE they were never gonna have another.... beclaws they couldn't stand the heartbreak.... That was on a MONDAY and I Adopted them on SATURDAY... WE NEEDED ONE ANOTHER......

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  3. BOL! We love that couple's get-together story! I came to my momma from a rescue group too. She wanted to wait until she had a house with a yard to get a dog, and she put in her application with Legacy Boxer Rescue as soon as she moved in! She wasn't actually interested in me from my bio, but she agreed to meet me "for practice" because I was cat-friendly. I walked in and stole her heart with my first kiss!

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  4. that is a super story Abby... and you must be the canine twin of my momma who asked her mother 87 times how she came in that family... but the story of the mama is not as wonderful to read as yours...

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Welcome to The Book of Barkley. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on Abby the Senior rescue Lab,who we adopted in 2014.

Stop in and say hello. 100% of book sales are donated to animal rescue organizations across the U.S. and Canada and Search Dog Foundation. If you have a non-profit animal organization and would like autographed copies of the book for fundraisers or a blog post featuring your organization please contact me at cliodna58@gmail.com