|Ellie and Alexis (2001)|
Josie on yesterday's blog asked: What is the story of Ellie's relationship with you, how did she handle the hard years, and how do you see her changing as she gets older?
I pondered the questions and then, on the Soul of a Pilgrim community forum, one of the participants wrote in response to a photo I'd posted of Ellie, "Dogs are the best spiritual directors ever, and [her dog] constantly and patiently shows me how to live, how to stay present to "now," how to pay attention to what matters and let everything else go. "God" truly is "Dog" spelled backwards! "
Here's a perfect one, she said, showing me the ad for a breeder who had retriever puppies for sale.
When Alexis got out of her audition, she was in tears. "I was awful!" she cried.
Liseanne, accustomed to her sister's negative pronouncements of her auditions, ignored her cries and proudly showed her the ad. "I've found our Golden Retriever puppy!" she said.
Both girls looked at me. Their eyes wide and pleading. "Can we go see them now? Please?"
I acquiesced. Seriously? Who could resist two sets of big brown eyes?
And the rest is history. Ellie was the runt of the litter. She only wanted to cuddle. She only wanted to be held.
It was Ellie who would sit beside me in the dark of a closet during those dark hours of that relationship where I wanted to die. She would sit beside me, her warm body leaning into me as I cried and held onto her for my life.
And when I was lost and wanted to kill myself during every waking moment, it was her presence that kept reminding me I couldn't. I was lost to my daughters and believed, or so I told myself, they were better off without me, but without me, I couldn't risk what he would do to Ellie.
I had to stay alive.
Ellie is my spiritual director. My guide. My constant companion. She warms my heart, and my bed. She likes it when C.C. is away because she gets to occupy his side of the bed.
She has run with me, walked with me and crawled with me as I moved beyond the terror of those days into the light of life today.
|Ellie and Me 2012|
She is my angel.