Posts Tagged ‘memories’

For a little dog, the hole left behind after he moves on is in no way proportional to him.

Gunner, or “our little old man”, as he was referred to in the past year or so after he all but lost his hearing, most of his teeth and started really showing his grey, passed away yesterday and his being missing from the house leaves a Saint Bernard sized hole, even though he was a chihuahua weighing in at about 6 lbs.

When I got him at Christmas back in 2003, I wasn’t sure why the wife had bought such a little dog or why a chihuahua. We’d always had large dogs, and this seemed odd, but his heart and energy and loving nature quickly made him a part of our crazy little family. Turned out I had seen a commercial on tv and made a comment about how cute the little dog was on it, and that was enough to light a spark of an idea. A spark that turned into a loving companion that would travel with us happily anywhere and always made himself right at home. He was slow to get to know people and new animals, but once he did, you were in his pack and he welcomed you with a smile, somewhat toothless of late, but a smile nonetheless (I say dogs do smile, you can see it in their eyes mostly).

Always nearby when doing anything, he was curious and maybe a little intrusive, but its easy to forgive such a sweet soul when he is finding it chilly and wants to snuggle on your lap or share your blanket. He was my little bed warmer for over a decade until he started not being able to make it thru the night without needing to pee. A trait I myself am not looking forward to acquiring but time takes its toll on us all.

Our family is smaller, and he will never be forgotten, he is going to be missed so much each and every day, his cute little face and wagging tail was always right there to greet me each morning, and every time I came home he would fight his way thru the other pets to make sure I got to pet him. Gunner, like another of our other beloved dogs, Enya who was his first adopted mom and passed shortly after he joined our family, loved pizza crusts and would wait patiently until I was finished eating and gave him a little piece. As he got older and lost his hearing, he would whimper softly, almost imperceptibly as he waited, just to make sure he wasn’t forgotten or overlooked.

RIP my little man. You made your mark on a lot of lives, and gave us so many years of happiness, I just wish I had a few more. The good do die young. Too young. Too soon. I am sure all your furry friends will be waiting for you in heaven. Now I have to make sure I’m good so I can see you again.

-barkerp

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I mentioned this on FB last night, but a pet deserves more than just a post or mention that typically lasts only a few minutes in this crazy busy world of info overload.

from FB… “Sadly lost our last of the original 3 chickens today, “Pumpkin”. Passed quietly after almost 9 yrs of entertaining and teaching us what having chickens as pets is like. We raised her from 3 days old. She was like a dog, came when called, always nearby when we were outside, liked to dig in the garden with us. All with the added benefit of giving us eggs. So, a little better than a pet dog in some ways. She’ll be missed. Hopefully see her again on rainbow bridge.”

We didn’t really know what we were getting into when deciding to get chickens nearly 9 years ago, sure we’d read a lot on the internet and some books and talked to some people who had them but until you actually have them yourself you really don’t know how much personality and life these little characters have.
Pumpkin, named for the orange head and black body, helped teach us what worked and how tough these little feather friends are. She was one of the original 3, Pumpkin, Ginger and Zena, and lived the longest.  She also helped train each new chicken we brought into the flock.  Taught them not to wander onto the road, (they have full roam of our property with no fence around it, just farmer’s field, and a highway out front) where it was safe to sit and roost, to always come running when we called, to stay close when we were digging to get all the good bugs, etc..

They adjust to the weather, even our cold harsh winters up here. Sure they may not like walking on the snow, but they just stay cooped up (pun intended) for the really harsh weather and come out whenever it is sunny enough and they can see grass, even if it is just a path I cleared thru the snow for them.  Rain, sun or snow, heat or cold, they just endure it.

They are not just dumb animals, they are more than just food.  I hope that me sharing a little piece of her life story makes a few people realize that they are not just meat.  They really are no different than a dog or a cat, they are pets and our lives are better for having known them.

RIP little Pumpy, wait for us on rainbow bridge, there is a good number of our beloved animals there to keep you company.

barkerp

Watching the latest Apple WWDC keynote on Monday reminded me how much things change and advance, as well as how quickly things come and go.  Not just in technology, where the lifespan of a device is sped up to near ridiculous levels, but in all parts of life.  To that end, the incredible early 70’s song “Changes” by the thin white duke David Bowie comes to mind, especially one line in particular… “Time may change me, But I can’t trace time“.

Time does change us and we can’t always point to exactly when it happened, or why.  Change isn’t just around us, it’s within us too.  It has to be, not only to grow physically, but mentally as well.  Not only to grow but to adapt.  Not only to adapt but to accept.  Just as change is unavoidable, so is acceptance of those changes if you want to keep moving forward.  For this reason we all have to accept and live with changes.  Good or bad, they are going to happen.  Trying to stop change is akin to trying to hold water in your hands – eventually its going to slip thru despite your best efforts.

I get a little pensive and introspective at this time of year, as the anniversary of my brother’s death looms.  Thoughts tend to shift towards the ‘what if’s‘ and the ‘if onlys‘ that anyone who has lost someone unexpectedly inevitably ponders.  What would thing be like if it hadn’t happened? In the end, you have to push those thoughts aside and accept and adapt to the changes in life.   Time does change us.   Accept.  Adapt.  But never forget what life was like beforehand.

rest in peace bro.  ride on.

barkerp

sparkleSometimes inspiration comes from the strangest of places.

An example of this fact is the quote that inspired this particular post “One of what we all are, Pelly. Less than a drop in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea. But it seems that some of the drops sparkle, Pelly. Some of them do sparkle!” – Camelot (1967)

Sparkle.  It’s a funny sounding word, bringing to mind the glimmer of the lights at Christmas, the first snow at night as  they catch the glow of the streetlights, or as in the quote, the way the water seems to shimmer and shine as the sun sets.  All of these sights epitomize the word, but the sparkle I’m thinking of is less visual, more of a feeling or intangible thing.

People can sparkle or bring light to your world.  Maybe they don’t sparkle for everyone, but I’d hazard to guess that everyone sparkles for someone.  Like a little glimmer of happiness and comfort in the sometimes dark cold world.  Oftentimes that sparkle is missed most when it is gone.  Sure, we may have noticed it while it was there, but how often do you take the time to make note of it and say something.  Again, if I was to guess, I’d say not often, certainly not often enough.

Today is that day that comes for my family with mixed emotions.  June 3rd.  My parent’s wedding anniversary which should be a happy occasion, forever overshadowed by the unexpected death of my older brother.  I’ve mentioned it before, and will again I’m sure, because this day marks the day that a certain sparkle left the world.  We lost a brother, a son, a husband and a father.  Leaving behind kids that looked up to him and saw his sparkle regardless of what was going on in their lives.

As Joni Mitchell so aptly said in Big Yellow taxi, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone“.

I remember standing in the kitchen as kids with my bro doing dishes (this is back before dishwashers) and singing along to that song, making up all kinds of alternate lyrics, most of which made no sense but made us laugh nonetheless, and helped pass the time.  Looking back it wasn’t such a chore, it was actually a fond memory that still stays with me, much like the sparkle that may have left this mortal coil but remains in my memory.

People touch your lives and leave behind little pieces of themselves all the time, little glimmers and sparkles.  Remember to take the time to let them know, and once they are gone, just remember them.

ride on Bro,

barkerp

We mark days in our lives for a variety of reasons, most good – things like birthdays, or anniversaries, or maybe just a really good hair day – but sometimes in remembrance of something that makes us sad, something we remember for not so happy reasons,  they get marked as well.

For me, today is such a day, a birthday of someone who has passed.  We don’t get a say in when someone’s time comes, and it seems it always comes too soon.  Thinking about anyone whose life was cut short can make you sad, resentful, or sometimes even angry.  The “what-ifs” the “if onlys“, they can drive you mad if you let them.

So take that energy and channel it elsewhere, into making your life or the lives of those around you that much richer.  Live for those that no longer do and change those negative marks on your calendar into a celebration in remembrance.  Don’t let yourself slip into that funk or depression, fight it, and remember any life, no matter how short, is worth remembering and sharing with those around you.  For in your memories and stories they live on.

RIP bro,

barkerp