Not often these days do I reflect on what I am and how I got here, but I did today. I thought about the water that has flowed past the old bridge everyone talks about and I decided to reflect for a moment here living out the last of my life in a warm climate.
First, as I looked into the eyes of the woman I have shared these past forty-seven years with. I realized what a wondrous gift God has allowed me to have being with her. I didn’t realize it so much at one time, but awhile ago I did when in that special moment of gazing in those blue eyes of hers it dawned on me, truly I have been blessed. Little did I understand when I uttered those words so many years ago staring into her eyes did I understand then, or did I ever contemplate the true meaning of what I said when I uttered my vows.
Sometimes we are struck in what we see and hear in odd ways. I do understand now and I am grateful for being enlightened. She is the gift I often wanted when I was young and well before she was in my life. There was a time not so long ago as I looked into her eyes and was trapped for a lingering moment my dog Bonny came to me and wanted to be loved as well. Interrupted, I turned my gaze from one love and looked into the face of my female dog we rescued those years ago when we lived in a different house and in those brown eyes at that moment I saw absolute and utter love and devotion. No pretense, nothing but true and unconditional love. I scratched her behind her ear and she was satisfied. Then the other dog, my little pal Bo wanted his turn and I gave him some loving and affection, and he was satisfied for the moment. We rescued him as a pup. As I looked at the three of them I realized that no man has more to be thankful for than I in these moments. It was one of those brief but tranquil times when we are grateful for who we are and for those that surround us.
Surrounded by absolute love as, it humbles a man. There are no questions as to why we are here in those, innocuous moments. We instinctively understand, accept, and embrace it quietly. Love has changed for me. It was a subtle change that snuck up on me. When it was finally upon me fully, I still didn’t quite understand the changes. I understand now and I have to tell you it is a pleasant change from what it used to be. Love as a youngster is not the same as it is for an older person. The passion of the moment is deeper and more serene.
It's been years that my favorite dog died. It was just before Christmas, and he died and left a void in me that even after twelve years having slipped by so quickly, I miss him terribly and am left with only memories, photographs and a lingering love. If one of these others were to die I would be crushed again as before. So the most important thing to remember in this is grasp the love you currently have and enjoy it for all that it is worth. The moments that come to you so subtly and quietly are worth more than anything else on this earth. Enjoy them and relish them because they are what makes life worth living. They are the substance that makes life what it is.
Several years later Bonny died and so did Bo. My heart was broken to have lost two cherished members of my family. They were old already and I knew it was coming. We go into the adoption process of a little animal knowing it wont last very long, and we should always remember it is a fleeting relationship. It will end. We will grieve because their love for us is total and unblemished. There is no pretense from them. They love us with all they have and all they require in return is some love and a scratch behind the ears once in a while.
We all die. We can reflect on it a little more solemnly as we grow older because our life's season is fast drawing a curtain across the stage of life where we are all actors. If I was asked to give some consul on life and those around us, I would tell anyone to cherish those you love with all that you are, and never forget the sweetness of life and the love of someone who loves you back is all that we should require of them. Always remember, we all have an expiration date. Everything will end and most often much sooner than we would wish for. The most precious thing you can give anyone is your time. It is all we have to give of ourselves usually.