Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

Sunday, May 17, 2015


I've been searching for another family member for over a month now.  Another dog, specifically. Even more specifically, a puppy. It has to be a male and a Yellow Labrador Retriever mix. The "mix" choice comes from experience with our Cally girl (likened to the picture below). We had her only 12 years - not long enough. Yes, I am particular but everyone else would be happy with whatever I brought home. 

After all, this is a very important decision whether you are an animal lover or not. I've been one all of my life. Growing up, my family bred English Springer Spaniels. We always had at least one, mostly two, dogs running around our house. Puppies would come and go - we all shed many tears when that happened. This is a huge commitment. It's a big decision. Any animal becomes a part of your family. Forever.

Yes - we know the time, commitment and sacrifice it will take. I've learned along the way that it is worth it. We have been back-n-forth about a puppy versus a young or an adult one. We've had a home visit from one rescue, applied to several more. Every other day I've been showing Mark and the kids a "picture" of a possible match for us. As time went by, I would receive one email of 'disappointment' after another about a dog not being available. Or I would receive no reply at all. Or the dog was five states away!

I recently visited the Wisconsin Humane Society (with my specific list and all)  and was surprised at how my heart was tugged at by each one in its cage. It did not matter what breed or size or heart just melted. I wanted to take them all. Each one of them with a story to tell. Before leaving, I had to visit the kitty area and was pretty proud of myself for not walking out with another cat. :) I am happy with my Jimmy...18 lbs and all!

I couldn't possibly take all of the dogs at the Human Society so instead I said a prayer for each one as I walked on by. I believe it made us both feel better. I left that day without a dog or a puppy.


We have been working with a specific dog rescue for over a month, including a "home visit," but they, unfortunately, do not have enough volunteers to keep the organization operating efficiently. We've been disappointed several times by them.

I started to spend less time searching for a dog, although, the dog is to be a birthday gift for Mark's 45th coming up this Thursday, May 21st.

This morning I decided to start my hunt once again. I browsed different pet websites and finally found what we were looking for at the Wisconsin Humane Society -  a litter of Yellow Labrador Retriever mix males puppies were "Coming Soon." That's what the website said.

I felt hopeful and emailed them immediately to ask when they were going to be available and if I could put a deposit down on one of them. They promptly replied that the puppies were available today, and there was already a line waiting outside for them. I was away from my computer most of the day and later discovered the puppies were already adopted.


I felt confused and bewildered as I wondered how these other people had the "inside scoop," and I didn't. I realized it was pretty simple actually. I didn't check the website last night, and they did.

Instead, I was taking pictures of our Matthew at his Junior/Senior at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

I was too late for the puppy, but I was where I needed to be. Not searching out dogs, but being with my son. Much more important I'd say.

Time will tell. I believe in the famous saying, "Everything happens for a reason." I know the right dog will come along at the perfect time, but in the meantime, I feel something called disappointment and it stinks. My hope remains strong. I am once again learning the hard lesson of patience.

Maybe it is this one instead?

 Or this one?

Come on! Look at them! 

There are thousands of dogs needing a furever home every day.  I know ours will come at the perfect time. The "waiting" is the hard part. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

In Remembrance of ~

This past weekend we gathered together with family in Montello, WI to memorialize my mom who died eight years ago yesterday. Per her request, she was cremated. Each one of her children took a portion with us, but the rest of them resided in a beautiful blue, engraved urn at my dad's house. Until now. 

I sprinkled her ashes in my rose garden, right next to Emily's baby pink rose bush. It felt like the perfect place to put it.  I've tried tirelessly to make sure those two roses survive the Wisconsin winter every year! I've only had to replant them twice. As time wore on, I began to feel that it would be nice to have some place to 'go' to pay my respects besides my rose garden. Not just for me, but for my family, too. When she was dying and making her wishes known, I did not have an opinion either way.

It is interesting to me how much wiser we get with age.

There is just something about having a place to lay flowers down on your loved one's grave. Or a balloon or stuffed animal or cross. A bench. Or to just sit there and cry.

I know there healing in doing this, and it is part of the grieving process. We visit our daughter, Emily Rose's, grave every year on July 4th to honor and remember her. I like to call it walking through the grief  because I sometimes question if it will ever end.

People often say 'time heals all wounds' or 'time will make it better.' I don't believe either one is true. I think grief changes. It ebbs and flows and changes through the years, but the scar remains. Sometimes it becomes an open wound, and we are thankful when it's not.

So my dad bought my mom a headstone at a cemetery in their hometown where he will be laid to rest next to her after his death.

How do I say Thank You to him for this gift to our family? I hope he understands the significance of this event to us and what it means to each one of us....right on down to their youngest grandchild, Elizabeth Aurelia Edwards (same middle name as my mom).

I brought 8 "blue" balloons (Mom's favorite color) to release up to the sky and beyond to heaven (watch out helicopters!); my sister brought flowers and an angel statute; Johnny brought flowers and 'love you Mom' balloons. It was an amazingly beautiful and memorable time.

We talked about my mom- the laughs, the fun times, the quirky stuff. We ate her famous lasagna for dinner later that day. All in remembrance of her.

We all agreed that when she left this earth there was a 'spark' that had gone out in the world. She was someone worth knowing. I often tell people, "I wish you could've known my mom. You would have loved her!"

I couldn't help but picture my mom looking down on her family and smiling with a twinkle in her eye and joy all over her face. We took a lot of great pictures, played an Elvis tune on a smartphone and told Polish jokes. All in good fun. It is what she would have wanted.

This past weekend was a good reminder to me of what is most important in life. I think about all of the stuff I "stress" about that will not matter one bit at the end of my life. Life is about the moments. It is about spending time with the ones you love. So ~ I thank my mom for bringing us together again and continuing to teach and grow me into whom I am supposed to be. A mother's love never ends; neither does a child's.