I have a story to tell you.
It's about Middy.
This sweet girl, right here.
Now this story might seem pretty straight-forward. It's about a dog. But rarely do the good stories ever have just a surface-level meaning, right?
I want to tell you how Middy came into our lives.
Go back. Several years ago. I have to think about how long it's been.
What? Almost seven years? Is that so?
Seven years without Connie.
Seven years with Middy.
Connie. Vibrant, warm, caring. Witty. Sharp and dry sense of humor. Bold red lips. Everyday. Short red spiky hair. Her outfits were an extension of her personality - colorful, unique, brave.
I loved her dearly.
She was my beloved friend and my co-teacher. She was a certified Special Education teacher and we taught together three hours of every school day. I loved working with her - she was an amazing teacher and the kids adored her. She was enthusiastic and flamboyant and she cared deeply about our students.
I miss her. All the time.
It was during our second year teaching together that I noticed she didn't seem well. Her spirited energy seemed to be flagging. She tired easily. But, she kept on.
Soon autumn came. She wasn't getting better. A doctor's visit confirmed the worst - breast cancer. Too far gone. Get your affairs in order.
I was in shock and deep denial. In typical Connie fashion, she was worried about me and I struggled to figure out what to do. Shortly after her diagnosis she was hospitalized. She never went home.
Food was prepared and sent home with her husband. Every casserole you can think of. Stuffed in the freezer because no one felt like eating.
I visited her almost everyday in the hospital. My students made cards.
One evening I held her hand and asked in desperation, "What can I do? What would really help right now?"
Her response? Find Middy a home.
Okay. I can do that. I was relieved that it gave me something to do.
My husband was waiting in the parking lot. I don't know why, but I had asked him to wait outside. I told him we needed to go and pick up a dog. He never questioned it. To this day, I am so grateful for his compassionate heart.
We arrived at Connie's house. Her husband was waiting for us. He was in the yard. With Middy. It was emotional. It was hard. My heart squeezes now just reliving it. They both loved her so much. They had rescued her years before. But sometimes you have to face reality - an aging husband with a terminally ill wife can't always provide what a big dog needs.
Middy, sweet soul that she is, climbed in the car and we drove away. My husband and I didn't talk much on the way home.
I was convinced we could find her a home.
I made phone calls. Posted pictures online.
In the meantime, Middy was establishing a routine in our household. We had two dogs at the time - Finley and Iris. As sweet as she was, we didn't need 3 big dogs.
But you just can't help it when you fall in love.
She found a home.
Shortly after that, Connie passed away. Right before the New Year. I remember taking Iris for a long run on New Year's Day to try to clear my head. It was so cold that day. And my heart was so heavy.
I remember getting home after that run and wrapping my arms around Middy. And being so thankful.
She's lying behind me right now as I type this, snoozing on the floor, stretched out and at peace after a long evening walk.
I can't imagine my life without her. And sometimes, when I look at her, I see glimpses of Connie. Of her love. Of her goodness. And I am so happy that Fate intervened.
She just thumped her tail on the floor three times. And there are tears in my eyes.
Here's the essence of this story - sometimes people, dogs, iguanas, circumstances, opportunities, broken hearts, etc. come into your life at seemingly random times. Or inconvenient times. But, as with our Middy Mae, I have found that it is often those very times that you need something more than you are even aware of at that moment. It's about trust. It's about knowing the The Universe has you in such loving, caring hands. And even if everything is a mess and it hurts and it's terrible and it just does not seem like it could get better, IT DOES. I promise you this. You will get to the other side of whatever it is you're dealing with.
Oh, this life takes courage. So much of it. Learn to listen to your intuition and trust that you are headed exactly where you need to be.
I once saw a quote that said, "Everyone in your life is either a blessing or a lesson." And I believe this. I believe that Middy girl was both.
Much love to you, dear friends.
Sites I Dig
The Road is Home
The Seed & Plate
Sharon Covert Photography
The Define School
The Noisy Plume
Sarah Gee Photography
Fox & Owl Studio
The Stork and The Beanstalk
Mellow Yellow Photography
A Simple Little Journal
What I've Been Reading
The Girls by Emma Cline
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Never Broken by Jewel
Hold Still by Sally Mann