In a past life we refer to as college I once picked up my phone and heard someone tell me they were very happy to hear my voice.
“You need to come over now. I dreamt you were shot.”
I went over, got a big hug and said, “see, I didn’t die.”
I got yelled at for being insouciant and have heard various complaints in the decades since for using those three words time and again.
“I didn’t die.”
Thought about it a bit today because I have to visit a store in the Allen mall where the mass shooting took place. Thought about it because I had mulled over going today or tomorrow.
There is no saying that I would have definitively been there when the shooting took place but one never knows what could have happened if our day played out differently.
Maybe The Dog Saved Me
Our dog was attacked by another dog this morning during his morning walk. Another dog whose owners described as friendly jumped my furriest child.
My boy is 13 and escaped without any puncture wounds but still had to be seen by the vet. It cost more than $200 for the vet to check him out, prescribe some pain meds and assuage concerns over his health.
So I stayed home and kept an eye on him. Stayed home and watched him limp around the house and fight me to climb up and down the stairs.
Kind of fitting for him to want to do whatever he wanted to do even if it hurt. I told him to stop acting like me but he just wagged his tail and kept going.
I can’t say if nothing had happened that I would have gone out to Allen but I can confirm I have been planning on going.
Moments like this remind me that some of the irritants I wrote about here are less important.
My furriest son is a little guy, all of 23 pounds. He likes to hang out with me in the home office and is a regular companion in my online meetings and telephone calls.
If he could speak English he’d be able to tell you some of my biggest secrets and share how many times I roll my eyes or make faces at things people say.
I bounce ideas off of him and ask him his opinion but as I said, he doesn’t speak English so I get tail wags, barking and the occasional paw swipe.
Told him today that we got 14 years with Moose, the Big Lug who weighed six times as much and that I expected several more years out of him.
He wagged his tail and I said notice several more years is non specific, but you can call that a minimum of five.
He wagged his tail some more and I asked if a treat would speed his recovery. Looked at him and said “do you know every business we used for the wedding with the exception of the the venue is out of business.”
He wagged his tail and I asked him if he remembered my maternal grandfather and my dad and he wagged his tail at me again.
“You know it is funny how many changes you find if you look back upon 27 years. How many times have I moved. How many different moments have I looked you in the eyes and explained what I hoped to see happen and how many times have I explained how I will take on certain things.”
Got another tail wag and smiled because sometimes he is the best listener in the family.
Thought some more about crazy life is and how that Tolkien quote has always resonated with me. It is applicable to the real world and I have often considered it.
A week short of my 54th birthday I visited the doc and let him check me out. He gave me a few thoughts and ideas and said I should get my blood work back shortly.
I held my breath because the numbers are more important to me now than they ever were and then smiled broadly when I saw them.
They aren’t where I want them to be but there is a significant improvement and that is worth celebrating.
It is a testament to consistent efforts to make changes in diet and exercise. It is the kind of movement that helps me focus on continuing to push myself.
Don’t mistake that to mean that I expect my life expectancy would have been shortened because I don’t think that is likely.
I think I am the kind of guy who is built for the storm and just keeps going. But there is a huge difference in doing it as a relatively healthy or unhealthy person.
I’d rather retain/improve my health as much as possible for as long as I can.
And in the midst of this awful news about another unnecessary shooting I found out that two of the candidates I voted for in local races won.
That was meaningful because it means I helped keep two crazy conspiracy theory loving, culture war driving nut jobs away from positions of influence.
It means that in a tiny little way I am helping to build bridges that will hopefully help us see children live to see meaningful change.
And while I know it’s entirely possible that won’t happen too I can’t just give up. I can’t stop fighting.
Wherever I may live will be a place in which I do something to improve the world around me in whatever small way I can.
Sometimes it is hard to see the impact we make, if any.
But if you don’t try you don’t get.
If you don’t put your hand it may not ever be taken, so why not take a chance.
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