The Ark

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My step-mom died @ 1:30 am this morning. We had our differences over the years but there were times when we were actually very good friends. Even when we weren't the best of friends we never lied to each other, not even little white ones, and I always appreciated  that aspect of our relationship. I was with my 4 sisters last night until 10:00pm, in the facility where my step-mom was in hospice and many stories were told. I want to share the story of her dog.

 My step-mom's name was Jane. Jane had a rescue=dog named skittle's. Skittles is a long=haired Dachshund who is suspicious of every human and a bully to all other species of animal and only friendly to humans who might be giving attention to other less deserving animals, human or otherwise.

 After her third stroke 2 months ago, Jane could not care for Skittles. My sister Carol drove up from New Orleans, picked up Skittles and met my sister Elaine from South Carolina in Alabama to hand off the little, curmudgeonly beast.    Elaine took her home to a house where a big dog and a dormouse are in residence. Elaine and her husband had their doubts that this little bossy-boss snapper was going to fit in with the family. Skittles didn't pay much attention to the current alpha-dog of the house but immediately took a great interest in the dormouse which made Elaine a bit nervous and so she watched carefully and diligently for days making sure to never leave the door open to the dormouse's room unless she was there. Sometime around the 4th day as she was supervising a visit, the dormouse came up against it's cage on the side where Skittles was trying to poke her nose through the bars and Elaine stood ready to grab Skittles if need be. Then a funny thing happened. Skittles long tongue shot out and she proceeded to give the dormouse a bath through the bars which the dormouse appeared to greatly enjoy. The two souls are now best friends and the door to the dormouse's room is always left open. Skittles guards the smaller creature as the tinier ball of fur naps, bathes her when she awakens and Skittle's first order of business in the morning after jumping down from Elaine and Daryl's bed  is to go check on her new best friend.

 I know Jane was aware and listening to the stories last night because when I held my phone up to her ear so that my son could tell her that he loved her and wished he could be there, her face noticeably relaxed and the corner of her mouth on the side that still moved curled up into a sweet smile. I know she was relieved to hear that Skittles was going to be just fine.

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Comment by ThatGirl on January 10, 2015 at 1:44pm

Rest peacefully, Jane. Sounds like Jane had a great little feisty companion in Skittles and Skittles found someone to take care of. Sometimes the value we get out of each day is largely dependent upon the effect we are able to have on others around us....CARING for another soul seems to be a crucial need ...for all creatures. Stories,,, the memories of a lifetime ARE truly the things to celebrate when someone passes. The struggle is painful and long and for that I am sorry, but with people around her who hold up her memory like you do and your sisters will,,,,I'm sure there were alot of those little smiles floating through Janes mind the whole time you were around her.  Sending strength to all of you for getting through these next few days. 

Comment by BlancheNoE on January 12, 2015 at 8:03am

Thanks TG. I too believe we are all memories and will live on that way and I think Skittles is just happy she's finally got a sibling who's smaller than she is. Skittles is 14 and the dormouse is only 1 and lives to be 5 so they are perfectly matched old geezers.

...and thanks for the strength. I'll need it to deal with certain survivors...

Comment by NatureJunkie on January 16, 2015 at 12:38am

Amy, I'm sorry this blog was up for 5 days before I could make time for it. I know Jane was in hospice and that this wasn't unexpected. Still, the finality of it is never what one is really ready for. Odd--as I was on my way home from work tonight, I was listening to a radio show about how groups deal with death and grief, and story-telling seems to be the consistent comfort, in different centuries and different cultures.

I'm glad Skittles has a friend now that Jane is gone. And I'm REALLY glad Elaine took Skittles in. And I'm REALLY, REALLY glad that Jane got to hear about it on her last day. I'm sure it made that mortal coil feel a little more relaxed. Not that I have any reason to fear imminent death, but I do worry occasionally about the welfare of my animals should anything happen to me. Buddy, my latest, was in Skittles's situation a few months ago with his previous "mother" until I adopted him. I think I am his dormouse.

My best to you, Amy. And the other survivors, may they smell the coffee.

Comment by BlancheNoE on January 16, 2015 at 8:39pm

@ NJ- Yes. We are all stories (memories).

Those who dwell only on death fear life.

Those who dwell only on life fear death.

Equal contemplation is balance.

P.S. Certain noses will never smell the coffee . I love you dearly for understanding.

Comment by ThatGirl on January 17, 2015 at 2:01pm

@Amy - I feel what you are saying. Trying to transcend the things which make people blind, is a goal some of us have.  It can quell the noise so we can Smell The Coffee....

Hope your week has gone as smoothly as it can.

Comment by Marie on January 28, 2015 at 7:51am


Comment by BlancheNoE on February 20, 2015 at 7:49am


Love you back.


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