I’ve been waiting to post anything about, well, anything the past couple of days because my heart hasn’t been into landscaping, gardening or anything else because I’ve been completely focused on Darby.
The past 48 hours have been trying to say the least. Emotionally I’ve hit some pretty low lows and shed many, many tears. Per the recommendation of our regular vet we took Darby to Veterinary Neurology at the U of M on Tuesday. The Doctor changed her medications a little and wanted us to take her home and observe her for a few more days to see if she would begin to heal on her own. If she didn’t begin to show signs of improvement or began to getting worse we were advised to bring her back. In a little over 24 hours after her initial visit to the U of M she had lost all use of her back legs as well as control over her bodily functions and her pain had gone up significantly. I spent the majority of the afternoon cleaning her up, changing kennel pads and trying to make her comfortable. By early evening it was evident I couldn’t do any more to help her. She was in so much pain, moaning with every movement and I’d already given her the maximum dose of her pain meds with hours left to go before I could give her more. Not wanting to move her another time to return her to her kennel, I sat on the floor petting and trying to comfort her. I called the U of M. I spoke with Anna, one of the people we’d seen the day before (and who I think is an angel in disguise) and described what was going on. She told me to bring Darby in and they would care for her overnight until they could get her in for an MRI. My chest instantly felt lighter. Thankfully my mom was visiting at the time and could be a more rational and composed driver than I could be so she took my son, Darby and I over to the hospital. As I was carrying Darby up the walkway I mentioned to my son that he would need to open the doors for me. Just as he went to reach for the button the doors opened. Again, my heart was lifted. Knowing full well that there is a button behind the desk to open them and that the doors are glass, just like any other door, it seriously felt like the doors to heaven were being opened for me. Inside the doors Anna stood waiting for us. Maybe it was relief, maybe it was the tears clouding my vision, maybe it was the lighting, but when she stood there in front of me with her arms open wide, a gentle smile on her face and compassion in her eyes, I saw a halo. Not a shiny gold hoop or fluffy feather headband thing on her head, but a soft glow surrounding her whole body. She took Darby ever so gently from my arms and brought her in back so they could make her comfortable as fast as possible. She laid the paperwork on the counter and said she would be back to go over it. A weight had been lifted. Never in my life have I put my trust in anyone so fast and I’m pretty sure I know the reason why.
I’m not a regular church-going girl but try to live my life and raise my son in a faithful way. Many who know me well also know that I’m not one to discuss religion or my beliefs very openly so this may come as a little out of character for me. I’ve met many people in my life, some of whom are family or friends, some are just people I’ve met in passing, who profess to be believers of one God or another, claim to be a Christian, a Mormon, or whatever it may be then turn around and behave in selfish, hurtful or less than Christ-like manner.
Never in my life have I had an experience like I did yesterday. Anna, didn’t need to tell me who she believes in or what she believes, her behavior said it all. Her compassion and caring for lives other than her own was incredible. The weight she lifted off of my shoulders and the love and compassion I felt from her was more powerful than any mass or service I’ve ever attended and more sincere than I’ve been given by some people I’ve known most of my life. Anna was just doing her job, but her presence and God’s presence within her was amazing. I’ve never felt closer to God than I did yesterday.
I hope that some day I can repay her, maybe not in a direct sense, but by paying it forward. Hanging onto that feeling I got from her, remembering how that felt and sharing that gift of unconditional love and compassion with the people I meet. Anna impacted my life. I hope to do the same for others.