cream toy poodle
Photo by Tuan Nguyen on

We all have pet peeves some are more profound than others. Like one of my pet peeves is going to a restaurant and you go to eat your food and the fork prongs are slightly bent. Thank goodness it is an easy fix and I am married to Superman who can bend the fork back into the shape it is meant to be. I know perhaps you are sitting there thinking it is such a ridiculous pet peeve that you go through life not even noticing that you all are eating with a fork that has uneven prongs. No matter how preoccupied I am with real things in life, I seem to notice this insignificant pet peeve.

Another pet peeve of mine, which happens daily, is I am busy doing something, Anything, like cleaning the kitchen, reading an article, watching a short video, exercising, praying and someone comes and wants attention. They want to talk. They want something from you. I know I am so blessed to have people in my life that want to talk but sometimes regrettably it just annoys me. Like I am busy doing my own thing, thinking my own thoughts, and suddenly someone comes along and ultimately says with their actions, “I want you to stop whatever none important thing you are doing and pay complete attention to me.” It’s fine, I do or try to often but sometimes it is just nice if someone recognizes that whatever is going on in my moment is valuable too. So they wait a few moments for me to finish my thing and you can look up and more fully engage with them. Simple. Easy. Respectful. Like ironically they are not the center of your attention regardless of what great news they believe they have to share with you. I would prefer to not to be interrupted. Anyhow, maybe you regard that as selfish but at the same time I know that more chores can get done when focus is exercised.

The thing is I am likely not just doing the dishes. I am also making a mental inventory of the refrigerator, pantry, recipes and coming up with a mental grocery list. While also humming to the music playing in the background. I am focused on those tasks. Many women do this multitasking all the time without even realizing that they are busy. If you question what someone did not get done that day, chances are, they likely spent their day being interrupted by others needs. So much so that they didn’t have a chance to be preoccupied with the needs of themselves instead. They are busy being their for others, constantly.

Anyhow, I was reflecting on this as I realized that over the past few months I tend to be preoccupied with grief. (Not to make light of real human sufferings of profound grief of losing a person with a soul.) Our family dog, Levi, died a couple months ago. He had free range around the house and into the backyard. We left him at home while visiting others and he somehow got out of the fenced yard and was apparently later hit by a vehicle. We came home to an empty house. We immediately knocked on all our neighbors doors in the rain. A few neighbors seen our dog but he wouldn’t come to them. Eventually, a neighbor reported a dead dog about a mile from our home. When we arrived at the scene he was quite mangled and his collar was no longer on him. My husband scooped him up and put him in the back of the truck. Later his ID chip confirmed that it was our dog. We had a vet cremate him and dispose of his ashes. We are thankful that his body was found, otherwise we all would have likely lived our lives thinking he was just going to walk back into our home again.

It has been a hard few months without him. Even though he was an animal he was a part of our family. He was a part of our day everyday. He was there to give unconditionally at every moment when we needed him. He was preoccupied with us being his person, his family. The kids especially miss his cuddles and fun shenanigans. He was a distraction but ultimately looking back always a good one. He really comforted our family a lot throughout the years. At the raise of a voice, at the drop of a tear, at the sound of our doorbell, at the second popcorn was dropped, he was there. Now with him gone, I notice that we rely on each other more. Which is bitter sweet. Sometimes it is nice to not be so preoccupied with ourselves and to be there for others. A lesson I am trying more often to humbly implement. Cause the only thing in life that we are called to be preoccupied with, is in loving others.

So if an animal without a soul can love our family better than me, in some ways, what does that say about the condition of my giving soul? One of the saddest things my daughter said about losing our dog to tragedy, is when she pointed out, that she thinks it is so difficult to grieve Levi’s loss of life because she knows he doesn’t have an eternal soul. We are never going to see him again. I have an eternal soul that is going to end up somewhere. Here is hoping it is in meeting you all in heaven.

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