What I Know, by MayzieMom

2011 has been the Year of the Wallow for me.

First, I lost my sweet daddy and then my beloved Ripley — both quite suddenly. Those two events, combined with some other personal struggles, have made this one of the most challenging years I’ve ever had.

And so I gave myself permission to wallow. I flung myself headlong into the pit of despair and did the backstroke in it. I threw myself one hell of a pity party complete with (WAY too much) cake. I asked why all these things had to happen to ME. What had I done to deserve this?

Believe me, it was the wallow of all wallows.

Then I logged on to my computer Friday and that party came to an abrupt end.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I read the news. I felt physically sick. I began to tremble. I couldn’t grasp the horror of what had happened.

I still can’t.

Sometimes – well, most of the time – I don’t understand how the world works. I don’t understand why bad things happen to good people. I truly WANT to believe that good triumphs over evil, that kindness is rewarded, and that the guys in the white hats always win. But the reality is that that’s simply not always the case.

For this to happen to Sandra of all people seems especially cruel. She’s a woman with a heart the size of her home state. She goes out of her way to be kind, to lend a helping hand, to lift up those who are at their lowest.

I have often wondered how many other people passed our precious Shelby on that hot Texas day. How many must have noticed this battered, sick, defeated dog and decided she wasn’t worth their time. But not Sandra. Sandra stopped. And when she did, she was saying, “You are worthy…of my time, my love, my home, my heart.” And although I’m not an especially religious person, every time I think of that story, I am reminded of Jesus saying, “That which you do unto the least of these, you do unto to me.”

There is surely a special place in heaven for Sandra for this one gesture alone. Yet, for Sandra, this was not an isolated act. She lives her life whole-heartedly and she does it without thinking it’s anything special.

And that is part of why this is so hard to comprehend.

I struggled with this over the weekend. If God exists, why would He allow this to happen to someone like her and to all those sweet dogs who were finally in a place where they were safe and loved?

I don’t know.

But this is what I DO know and this is what has gotten me through…

Goodness does exist in the midst of evil. It comes in the form of countless gentle souls who are ready to lift us up when we’re at our lowest, who stop what they’re doing when we’re battered and defeated, who reach out a hand and say, “You are worthy.”

I know this because I have personally experienced it time and again over the last year.

I also know we all wish desperately we could turn back time, change things, take away this pain from her. We wish there wasn’t a reason to give money or send cards or leave encouraging words. We wish that this unspeakable heartbreak had never happened to our friend.

But it did. And it hurts so damn much. So while no one could possibly blame us for taking some time to have a good wallow, I know firsthand that it can be far too easy to focus on the negativity and unfairness of life. Instead, I hope that as we heal, what we learn from this is the importance of living more purposefully, more kindly, more whole-heartedly…more like Sandra.

If we do, the guys in the white hats WILL win.

I know it.

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40 Comments

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40 responses to “What I Know, by MayzieMom

  1. Ohh Mayzie’s Mom yoo said wot is in all ovs our hearts, wee dids wonder why da powers dat be lets suce bad fings happen to such goodly, kind n lovely hu-peeps n pups it jus does not seem rite somehow .
    Wee has also witnessed how dere is goodness in da world again and again an it often da hu-peeps who do not havs an awful lots demselves butts dem givs wots dem can to helps or dem open dere hearts n homes to a doglet in needs. Blogiville is da one place where miracles takes place daily, it is full ovs peeps who are openhearted, generous, suppawtive an lovin !

    Lovs
    Uji, Izzy & Ronnii
    xxx xxx xxx xxx

  2. Tank

    You’ve brought up the question that no one can answer. I never doubt that God exists, but it’s called faith for a reason… one has to choose to believe even though we don’t (and can’t) understand everything. One thing that’s very easy for me to see though is God working through you… to help Sandra. Life is not fair, evil exists and it’s easy to get depressed, but you just raised over $5000 for someone you’ve never met. God definitely exists in our world.

  3. All I can say is, thank you for expressing what so many of us are thinking and feeling. You’ve really been a voice for all of us in this horrible sadness that binds us all to Sandra. I don’t know how we as a group will recover from this, but I do know that with all these countless people most of us will never meet, none of us is alone. My heart stands with Sandra’s as it stands with you and everyone else who feels her sorrow and who loves her dearly.

    We will get through this together.

  4. I don’t know why some people are tested over and over. I remember Sandra’s post when she and her husband helped with the BP oil spill clean up. She was always volunteering – tirelessly. How much more could she do to help the world? And now this.

    It’s true that tragedies like this put our own lives into perspective. And I’m so impressed with the way our little community has come together to help her – and all because of you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! xoxo

    (Did you ever get Sandra’s contact info, and if so, can I get that from you?)

  5. What a moving post. Thank you for saying it so well.

    Mango Momma

  6. Beautiful post and thanks for posting what is in so many of our hearts but can’t find the right words to put it down. Sniffs, The HoundDogs

  7. Nell

    What a beautiful, thoughtful post! Thanks for putting the feelngs of many of us into words.

  8. You said it perfectly. Thank you…and we’re not done helping.

  9. I knew when you wrote me last night you were ready to touch on how YOU were feeling that it would be special –

    And you nailed it!

    Suffice it to say, my words and thoughts are SO woven in with yours –

    Thanks for sharing
    Thanks for CARING
    Thanks for doing all you have done

    Did I mention YOU NAILED IT?

    Oh wait, I did 😉

    Hugz from PA to ALL of you in CO!

    Phyll (and oh yes, Khyra too)

  10. That is all so well said. I think that is a total universal question. Why the good people but it sure did show how many really good people there are in the world. Like Khyra’s Mom said, you really did nail the feelings of just about everyone. Hope you have a great week and a great Holiday. Hugs to Mayzie and Brudder Ranger.

  11. Thanks so much for sharing this. You’ve put into words what so many are feeling right now. Whenever I want to feel better about the human race, I know I can come to Blogville to find the good in people.

    The Road Dogs’ Mom

  12. You expressed exactly how I feel. I’m just thankful that so many people realize what wonderful people Sandra and her family are and are so willing to jump in and help. I know they’ll never forget the horror they’ve gone through but at least they won’t be alone.

  13. Sarge

    Wow, this is such a good post. I know we are all thinking and wondering the same things. Where is the justice and the fairness? Where is the reward for a good life? Well, we are all learning just how strong we can be and how much we can give and how deeply we can love. All of us. I’m certain that as a community we can all have a better 2012. There is a positive in all of this…we are seeing first hand how wonderful we are as individuals and as a group.
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, COP

  14. One of the hardest questions we have to deal with is “WHY?” ….cuz so often we never learn the answer, while here on earth.

    Your post is wonderful…….thank you for sharing it.

    Cheryl

  15. Mayzie’s dog’s Mother~~~ you said what we are all thinking!!! You said it real well too!!! Thank you!!!! God has his reasons.
    Love you and all you do, Fern

  16. A great post…..mom has to agree that things seemed extra bad here too this year. But then something happens and she remembers that she has done some GOOD things too. And there are good people out there that stop and care and give – no matter what. And that is what needs the focus!! Purrs…..

  17. Frankie Furter

    Mayzie GIRRRRRRRL your words are so SPOT ON!!!!
    BLESS YOU fur being able to SAY what we are all thinking and feeling.

  18. What a great post, thanks. It’s definitely been the year of the wallow for me too – I needed the reminder to keep trying to pick myself up and move past it.

  19. I am so blessed to have you in my life! For me sometimes I have to go thru the bad to be of service to others later on. God takes the bad I’ve been thru and uses it to help others. That’s not to say there aren’t times when I wonder what the heck God is thinking. This year has been a lot struggles for several people close to me. I’m hoping that we can leave all those in 2011 and go into 2012 unburdened and open to joy!

    Love you!

    C

  20. WOW. How beautiful. We don’t know Sandra, but have learned about her through your words. Our hearts ache.

    roo. Stuart

  21. I don’t think I could possibly add to what everyone else has said. So many questions followed by so much anger.
    We all at times have nice, big pity parties for ourselves because we are human but it’s when we put it in perspective and realize others are worse off…we are compassionate humans. And this community is full of compassionate bloggers. We will always be here for one another…we will unite as we always have.
    Your words ring so true…for so many of us.

    Allison

  22. You said it so perfectly. I couldn’t get Sandra and her babies out of my mind all weekend. The bloggers have rallied around Sandra and we will all help get her through this!

    Pugs & Kisses,

    Cindy, Yoda, Brutus & Ellie

  23. My sisters and i would like to send you my sincere gratitude for helping support the HPP.

    Tail Wiggles & Puppy Kisses,
    Your new Friends – Coco The Princess, Lady Godiva & Truffle too

  24. You said it beautifully, Mayzie’s mom! Thank you!

    Love ya lots
    Maggie and Mitch

  25. You said exactly what we are all thinking….. Why do these things happen? We will never know but have to accept the rubbish thrown at us. Very difficult at times but the wonderful blogging community we belong to helps us enormously. Long may it continue.

  26. Mayzie give your sweet Mama a big hug from us.
    When we read her post on Friday we thought about all of the exact things she has written and could not find an answer to any of our questions. We didn’t know Sandra well but we knew all about what she did for Shelby. God bless them all and prayers will continue.
    Hugs Madi and Mom

  27. Daisy

    Sometimes it takes something momentous to to stop seeing inward. Sandra will rise again and continue to do good.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  28. We’ve been struggling so much thinking why this does have to happen to someone like Sandra who has always stretched herself so much just to help others. Thanks for putting this into words.

  29. I tell you what I fully believe. Heaven is packed with animals waiting at the rainbow bridge just for Sandra.

    I am not religious myself, but I do believe in God. I believe that Sandra was sent to rescue those pups because they really needed a break from the evilness of the world. She gave them a safe place, a humongous heart, love and perhaps that was God’s purpose. To show those pups that not all humankind is evil. That God IS here with us. He showed up for the pups in the form of Sandra at the right time, right place. He was working through her. That is what I would like to think.

  30. You made the momma cry again… but they’re not sad tears. They’re tears because people like you and Sandra and everyone in blogville exist… and if only the rest of the world could be more like you… it’d be such a better place.
    -Corbin

  31. You have certainly turned your misfortune to good things here amongst the bloggers who read you and for all the creatures who have benefited from your good works. Thank you for spreading the love and helping us all believe that despite unspeakable unfairness and horror, there is good in the world and it will triumph.

  32. Mayziemom, I came into work and saw your post and I was overwhelmed. I was always taught that a good wallow was akin to self-pity but as I’ve grown older (and, hopefully, somewhat wiser!) I’ve realised that a good wallow is actually necessary at times otherwise the grieving process just simply does not go anywhere. But your words about understanding, that we must believe that goodness does exist ring so true and in times of horribleness, grief and unbearable sadness I guess this is what gets us through. We can be grateful for the love and example set by others and hope to be better for it. And we can be incredibly grateful for people like yourself, and Sandra and all the wonderful people we meet through ‘blogville’ for the love and support and prayers.

    Groucho’s Two Legged One

  33. Benny & Lily

    What a great post…thank you for sharing
    Benny & Lily

  34. Wow, what an awesome post – you have the tears flowing with Mom here. We all seem to have that wallow party every now and then, and you know, it’s OK. But then something like this happens, and it sure does put a whole new perspective on things. From the bottom of our hearts we send YOU our thanks for getting the ball rolling for Sandra.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning and Mom

  35. This is definitely one of my favorite posts by you! Every time I’ve seen something terribly tragic happen, it’s followed by seeing the very best in people as they join together to try to help and produce something good from something incomprehensible. I’m not even a little bit surprised that so many people have joined in to help! Despite the stories we hear on the news every day, I think that most people are still inherently good.

  36. Pip

    Thanks so much for this post. You voiced many of the same feelings and questions I have been having lately, especially this weekend. One of my friend’s daughter also died a few weeks ago – 21 years old, out of the blue no warning. My friend is a single mom and her daughter was EVERYTHING to her. This tragedy and then a few weeks later the Houston horror – I can’t make sense of any of it and it makes me question everything. I am trying to focus on the positive and all the compassion and generosity of blogville, but I admit I am struggling. OK, I am starting to wallow here. I better stop. Thanks for the lovely post.

    Kristin & Pip

  37. Amazing post today, Amber. I’ve read it a few times today as it really hits home. Thanks for posting!

    Also, I notice that the chip-in total is now over $6500 – how incredible!

    Thank you for everything you do for our community.

    Kathleen, Sam and Pippen

  38. Oh Amber, thank you so much for this post. You have said what I wish I could put into words but can’t. My heart is broken. Shelby is with me 24/7.

    Love Sarah

  39. Just read this post. I have been crying for days over what has happened to Sandra and her precious pups. But they are now at peace (the pups) and in no pain and we must continue to help Sandra and keep moving forward. I have been overwhelmed at the response to this overwhelming tragedy. Makes me feel better about the goodness that exists in our world when we join hands and help. But I too am wondering why Sandra. Why you. Why? My heart has been forever changed by what has happened to these dear people.

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