9/28/15

Letters to the Dead

Isro,

Three years since I’ve seen you last but honestly you’ve never left me for a moment. Love doesn’t leave. It can’t. Agape love, godly love, transcends time and dimension. This is how I know you love me still and how I’m certain my love for you is still valid.

So much has changed Issy, so much. Wish you could see it. I wish I could tell all the stories to you as you lay there silent and listening and then I think how crazy that must seem, someone talking to their dog about their whole life, but isn’t that what dogs are for? Free, four-legged therapy. You were always there to listen.

Working with a dog is much different than owning a beloved pet. You and me we were a team, together almost always it’s difficult to explain a nearly 24/7 bond to people who lost their pet Sparky and are looking forward to reuniting one day at Rainbow Bridge. It’s a comforting story, that’s why people tell it, but it’s equally ridiculous. Only God knows if dogs and their owners will posthumously reunite. I’m fine with being realistic but also thinking there’s a possibility you’re living out Matthew 25:21 for Christ right now. You would be such a good dog for Him to have. I still can’t believe He blessed you with me. Those 7 years and 7 months we spent as a team really shaped me. You and me Isro, we grew together, and you know what? You grew me better. I learned to love from you. I did. Thank you. I do my best to live that out each day. The only way to live life more than just breathing is to love and to love completely; despite the promise of getting hurt. You taught me that. It’s going in a book one day I promise.

Last night I was at a bonfire with friends. I so wish you could see all the newness in my life Isro, all the new people I’ve met would so adore you. A dozen or so of us were sitting around the fire pit while music played in the background and out of all the songs in the history of music that could come streaming through the speakers was that one song in particular that reminds me of you. Can you believe it? Out of all the songs ever written, the one that pops up on the eve of the night you died was that song. I’m thinking now that maybe I should’ve just listened to see if I actually could listen because I’m not in a place where your loss is torture anymore. I didn’t though because I didn’t want to risk a breakdown in front of a crowd. Thankfully the music was off someone’s iPod and the song was quickly changed upon my abrupt request.

There’s lyrics in there that say; “when I’m gone you’ll need love who will be there to take my place?” The answer is no one but God always gives what’s necessary for every season and shortly after you left for what I hope is Heaven I was blessed with another great teammate. Of course it wasn’t great at first. At first it was horrid. I hated Service Dog number two because I missed you. Ironically, three years later, he’s making this day almost too easy. He comforts me. I believe that’s why God designed dogs like the two of you, as reminders of His love.

Isro and Teva would’ve been the best of friends I guarantee it. He’s not like you Issy, Service Dog number two is a bit of an odd recluse. He’s both the king of awkward and adorable. Teva is black on black like Johnny Cash which is convenient because his fur blends with most of my wardrobe and he has a handful of different nicknames, some I use so often he answers to them. He doesn’t have your sophistication, your self-confidence, and he certainly doesn’t have your cuddle skills. Lord help him, Teva is simply dead weight when it comes to cuddling. He does however, comfort me through stress, pain, and every single tear, he’s excellent at his job and he is incredibly sweet in nature, just like you. Opposite personalities, same noble character. I so wish you could’ve met him Is, he needs a dog like you I think. The two of you could’ve been your own team for awhile and I could’ve loved you for a few more years.

I wish you could’ve seen me grow up and I could’ve seen you grow old. The tattoos I have for you could’ve been tributes and not memorials, maybe you could’ve even attended my wedding like I always wanted. I could’ve had my faithful servant at my side, instead the closest thing I’ll have to you when I walk down the aisle will be the ink on my arm that reads those three words. Those plans of mine were not in His I guess, that’s okay though because His grace guided me through. From that year to this year the Lord has been with me. Thank you best friend, for teaching me the love of God long before I ever knew my Savior.

All of me-J

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