The onset of 2017 coupled with life marching by has finally gotten me back to blogging. Not that I am counting or anything, but more than two entire months have passed since I plopped down at my computer to share my random thoughts, words and views with you.
I always believed up until now I was the kind of writer who was emotionally inspired. One who wrote to understand, grapple with, contemplate life and the world around me. Yet, it seems when it comes to very strong emotions, I am rendered wordless. This misdiagnosis should not come as a surprise to me as it is not a new thing. Not many years ago I was so certain I was lactose intolerant I went without dairy for years. As it turns out, the reason I was feeling sick after each bowl of cereal was not due to milk, but an apparent sensitivity to wheat. Who knew? Maybe it’s time I leave the diagnosing to the professionals?
My heightened emotions of the last few months stem from the loss of our family dog, Cornell, to Cancer. Even writing this makes me fight back tears. He was so intricately woven into our family fabric that the empty hole was overwhelming to stitch up. Our family was broken, sad and apparently not very good at hiding our emotions. Even the people at my husband’s office were aware. You may recall my husband is a coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, which makes us a football family. A family whose lives revolve around a football schedule and the win-loss column. A family who struggles to place everything on hold until the season comes to an end, including the death of a family pup. So our plan was to get through the football season and then figure out life.
Apparently, others had a different plan, and by others I mean my husband’s entire stable of offensive linemen. After a position meeting a few weeks ago they placed a crate on his desk and said, “Hope this helps put your family back together, Coach. Merry Christmas!” Inside that cage was a 3.5-month-old Shi-poo puppy. Yes, you read that right, a dog! Not only did they all chip in and buy us a dog, but a dog that modestly resembled our beloved Cornell. They researched for weeks, located a breeder, picked him out and cared for him until our children were home from college. And with that kind-hearted and sentimental gift we became a family of five again.
I know what you are thinking, as we had those exact thoughts. “How could you give us a dog?” “Who does that?” “Is this some kind of a White Elephant gift exchange?” However that was quickly followed with the overwhelming awareness of how much these linemen must love Jeff and our family to give us this puppy. We knew saying, “Thanks, but no thanks!” would never cross our lips.
Our family was not only unprepared, but stunned. I was not ready to love again. I was still looking in my rear-view mirror. I was embracing the sadness, succumbing to tears and reliving all the memories. The idea of caring for a new dog made me feel like a traitor. The struggle for our family was not going to be potty training but embracing this adorable puppy and therefore becoming vulnerable again. But once we agreed upon the name OL-iver, a nod to the big OL guys who gave him to us, our home began to fill back up with happiness. Now our home has gates, pee-stained rugs, toys scattered about and a little four-legged friend who is trying his darndest to help us ‘look” forward.
Moral: “Time heals nothing unless you move along with it.” Rachel Wochin
Your forward-focused friend,
A little thing you should know: College football season has ended. NFL season has less than one month left so the transitional season continues. Every team is comprised of the obvious players and coaches. But lest not forget the administration, front office, travel, press, social media, equipment, nutrition, trainers and medical personnel. Each one of those people have a family of some kind. Those families experience food, home, clothes, education and a comfortable life in part due to working for that team. They all carefully watch the win-loss column, as that is the line in the sand for most football families. I send congratulations and or empathy to those who find themselves too close to that line.