Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spirit of protection

In the past week I have had events happen ... my car was broken into while parked at a well-lit parking lot (The Loft Literary Center) with a security guard patrolling. I came out from a writing class on a Thursday night to find my window smashed and my laptop bag stolen. Jagged glass edges of my once intact tinted window were scattered over Ahnung's LLBean dog bed. A couple days later my partner and I go out to dinner .. we are gone for a little over an hour and return home to our gas stove turned on by our dog Mister (we love him dearly despite his anxiety and separation anxiety issues ;-) .... i have had flash backs to July 20, 2000, shortly after moving to Minnesota with my first dog Splat (a black cocker spaniel who taught me more about loving and trusting again) ... I went out to dinner with some friends and left our 3 dogs (Splat, Shen and Shadow) in our big back yard in Eagan (we had a tall privacy fence) and was gone for a an hour and a half. Upon our return, I discovered Splat's lifeless body under our oak tree in the middle of our backyard. She was most likely shot -- as I had held her lifeless body the blood from a small hole in her neck -- her blood stained my lavendar sweatshirt. I could not wash that sweatshirt for two years after Splat's death -- it was all I had of a living creature who opened up my heart that had been sealed shut for many years.

I have been finding myself in a state of alert lately with what could've been images: ahnung sleeping soundly on her dog bed when the window is smashed; ahnung getting hurt or escaping out of fear and cutting herself profusely on the jagged glass edges; coming home to our house burned down and the loss of our 3 dogs and 1 cat .... I considered not leaving our dogs out on July 20, 2000 but I didn't listen to that voice. I continue to be haunted by that decision.

I have been counting on Ahnung to be my north star ... to be my light in the dark; to guide me through what can sometimes be murky water. This past week, the fear of what could've been, what could've happened and a split second decision to not bring her with me that Thursday turned that night's events into one that could've been a million times worse. I can replace material possessions. I can replace a laptop (which work has graciously already sent me a new one!). It does not take away feelings of violations and helplessness.

I find myself reaching out to a new star this week. A star that I know is always with me, no matter what ... watching over me, Ahnung, our home, our animals .... the star of my father. I lost my father when I was four years old. It is a loss even 40+ years later feels painfully fresh. In 2007, I wrote a piece, "Little Drummer Boy -- the Beat Goes on" as I reflect on my first year with Pet Haven and how my father, through my dog Shen, led me to the work i'm doing now.

Yes, I have had some "close calls" this past week. I remind myself as I find myself in a state of alert that Papa is with me. His body left me on December 20th, 1968. His ability to physically protect me was taken from me when he died as the music of Little Drummer boy played over the hospital intercom system. I remind myself, today, that Papa is still with me -- he is always with me -- and his spirit will forever protect and watch over me till it is time for us to be reunited.

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