Today is day sixty nine I am nearly thirty days away from being done. Last night I popped over to the ladies stitching social that I go to from time to time and was talking to one of the young ladies that attends. I was the youngest and now she is the youngest. She showed me a photo of her dog, a white German Sheppard and instantly it provoked a memory for me. Lately after writing over sixty stories I sometimes am at a loss for a story.. maybe you can tell .. hopefully not. I am rememoring my life so I am going to try to tell this from the angle of something that blessed my life.. even if it wasn't all pleasant, it was impactful for sure. I also want to say that because I am now in contact with Josephine of ChildUK.org I am telling this story to the children there that are so brave and beautiful and have been through some great trials in their young lives.
The dog .. I drew this dog whose name was King because I remember last night how big this dog was seeing my new friends photo of her dog. Even though he is a German Sheppard, he's huge. To a child he may feel something like a giant. When I lived in Africa there was a class full of children that were my age and a few of them became close friends to me. One girl was Jackie .. she was friendly and animated just like me and I can only remember having a lot of fun with her. I went to her house many times. Her dog's name was King and he was a giant to me and white .. I always tried not to be afraid of him when I went to her house. But I'm sure you can imagine that a dog is excited when someone new comes around. I never thought of him as a German Sheppard because he was white so this part is new information. The dog loved Jackie .. This story isnt really about King he is just the poke that helped me remember her. I think we got to be close friends when I was in the 4th grade. I didn't know that she was sick from something. I never knew what was wrong. I could never tell by looking at her that she was having problems. But one day she told me that she was going to have to go to the hospital in Germany to have surgery. We played chinese jump rope that day. We laughed and played like we always did. I was sure that I would be able to play with her again when she came home. A few days later I rode my bike to school and was the first one in class and my teacher was there. She didn't say hello really .. she seemed upset but I didn't know why. I think in fourth grade I was about nine or ten. Then suddenly she blurted out, Jackies full name and announced that she was dead. Just like that .. no careful letting me know .. no letting me in on this news in an easy way.. just matter of factly. I said .. Oh NO I just played with her she's fine. Then the teacher explained that she died on the operating table. I was in shock of course. All I could manage to do was tell every child that came into the room the same thing. I never cried .. I just could not believe that this happened. There was no funeral, there was no crying, there was no chance to process any of this grief .. So i cry now .. I cry for Jackie .. for the loss of my friend, for the strange way that I was given this sad news. I never got to tell Jackies family that I loved their daughter and that I loved the dog King and how much she loved her dog. I never got to say sorry for their loss. It's ok that I cry about this now because I can just have this and it's ok to have my feelings. But I can also be grateful that I had a friend that was like me that liked me and that I liked and that for some reason had to leave here sooner than I would have liked. I missed her a lot. I do still think of her but not in the same way. Today when a child dies schools bring in counselors and help the children. We didn't have that then. Maybe you don't have that for yourself .. its ok to cry. And then it's ok to get on with living. To live fully I think is to pay respect for those that left too soon. those are just my thoughts .. I am sure that I will see Jackie again and that is my own belief. I think this experience so young has made me more tender hearted towards the hurting and maybe caused me some fear in living. I am grateful that I am not too old to learn more about life and myself . I'm grateful that I can tell you about Jackie .. I am going to practice living with less fear and with my joy, i want to have joy every day .. even when life makes me sad.. painting gives me joy. This daily practice of painting has changed my perspective .. i would highly recommend you try some daily practice that you love and see where it takes you.
If you would love to have this beautiful dog portrait in your home just email me at email@example.com. I will be back tomorrow. Have a wonderful day!!!