Category Archives: Friends

Are Best Friendships Reparable?

During the latter part of my high school days, I started watching Fox and the Hound on a fairly regular basis. I am not sure what started this tradition, but it went on into my college years where I would spend a night alone at home watching the tale of Tod and Copper, the bestest of friends until they weren’t. For those who are not familiar, here’s the trailer that would never work for today’s audience:

And a classic scene from the film:

And now to ruin the movie for those who haven’t seen it, here’s a clip of its final scene

To put it simply, the movie hits me hard every time. It’s one of the guaranteed films that leads to tears being shed. No one dies, and I have had some people argue with me it is a happy ending; however, to me, it captures the death of a great friendship, which is a truly tragic thing that happens all too often.

Friendship itself is fascinating and a topic in itself for a future post. Easily, my friends are my closest treasures, and I am fortunate to have some absolutely fantastic ones who have been with me through many, many times. I tend to think of friends on different tiers similar to how WaitbutWhy explained it.

Mountain1
Definitely, I would recommend reading the full blog post: https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/12/10-types-odd-friendships-youre-probably-part.html 

One thing I have noticed over the years is those on the second and third tiers can drift in and out and even do some silly things but still make it back to their spot, but it is much harder for anyone who has ever made it to the first tier to return after something has happened to lead the friendship falling down the mountain. Is it possible for them to return to being one’s best friend in the Tier 1 circle? This question of whether a best friendship is truly reparable has been on my mind a lot lately and even more so after one of my best friends from college sent me a message on Monday after eight years of silence, but more on that later.

So often, when it comes to friendship, we think about the beginnings like the time we first truly met and connected with that someone we can’t really imagine our lives without. Then there are all the middle parts – the conversations, the dinners, the tears, the hugs, and the adventures that are some of the highest of high points in our lives. What we often don’t talk about are the break ups with our friends. With romance, most couples end with words of some sort to signal it’s over. There are the fights, the giving back of keys, divorces, and so on. However, when a best friendship dies, it tends to do so in a gradual way. Sure, there are the times people find out their best friend has done something extremely egregious like sleep with their wife or husband that leads to an abrupt end, but most often, the death is slow as if it is on life support until finally the heart just stops.

This makes me think back to some of the best friends I have had and lost. Nonsermitis has taken out too many of them unfortunately (I am still seeking a cure on a side note). Those stories are all the same though. The conversations once flowed in both directions until it just became one and then eventually none. More memorable deaths are a few others. There was the one in high school who let me know after Spring Break of our senior year she was trying to align herself better for the future and because of my lack of popularity (even though I was both our senior class president and homecoming king), our friendship didn’t work for her anymore. Then there was another high school best friend who just drifted away towards a different direction after we went to college. No matter how hard I tried to hold on with my attempting to see him whenever I was in the Lawrence/KC area, eventually I stopped fighting and also drifted off in my own direction. My time in Australia also took its toll on many of my other college best friends. Even with my best efforts to stay in touch and the amazing works of modern technology, the efforts were not returned, and that too led to my fading from the lives of quite a few people who were part of many of my favorite memories from my Emporia days.

More casualties happened during the first five months in Hutchinson where I was alone most of the time and knew no one here. I can still feel that break in the heart when two different once great friends mentioned over the phone how they had just spent an evening or more either in or right outside Hutch, but their schedules were so tight they couldn’t spare the time to see me. Many of the nights during those beginning months here were spent alone and feeling extremely lonely, and even seeing either of these friends for just one minute would have been a light in a very dark time, but that wasn’t meant to be, and the friendships pretty much were extinguished afterward. In none of my cases of losing best friends, with the exception of the popularity-seeking high school friend and an Australian best friend I once considered a brother until he called it quits while we were sitting in a park near the Dallas/Fort Worth airport the day before my thirtieth birthday, did we ever say our friendship was over. Instead, I held true to my ways that I stick around until I am no longer really wanted, and then when that time happens and my efforts to reach out seem in vain, I quietly exit stage left to head in one direction as he or she goes in another, never really seeming to notice my absence until one day . . .

And those one days have come. Several times, some of those once best friends have reached out. During my five-year class reunion, I swam out to a floating dock in the middle of a water-filled rock quarry to spend time watching the stars. As I took in a sight on the night sky I had been missing since moving from the country to head to college, I heard someone else swimming out to where I was, and then soon she appeared, the one who had once sought popularity. We caught up on our lives, and it was great. Everything in her world was going very well, and I was thrilled for her. Then she started to apologize for what she had done. Honestly, it wasn’t until after that apology the repressed memories came back of that conversation that ended our almost daily lunch outings and I understood for what she was asking forgiveness. We smiled, and I told her not to worry about it, for all was well. We were then to grab coffee sometime when I was in the Kansas City area; that coffee has yet to happen.

Then there was the other best friend from high school whose life eventually led to his drifting off to California. After ending his career in pharmacy in a rather big way, he went on a road trip to find himself. Many of those stops were places of his past, and, well, I was one of them. I was excited because we were once inseparable, and there was hope that friendship could be rekindled. The evening was good, and definitely time had aged us. The conversations flowed like they did back when we were younger and would spend hours hiking together or driving to Kansas City for movie marathons or contemplating life while working at the 54 Drive In. I was left with hope that perhaps our friendship would reignite, but besides that brief glow from what now seems like the last of the embers, life never came back to it.

There have been other attempts too of people trying to repair once was, but so far, nothing has worked, and I don’t know why. The common denominator is unfortunately/fortunately an idealistic fool known as me, and so often we just can’t find our footing again. Fortunately, Pandora made sure hope is always there thanks to its being trapped in some box some place. That hope was with me when I read the message from my college friend he sent to me on Monday apologizing for the past and asking for the chance to have me in his life once again. Our banter in the messages back and forth after that initial message was reminiscent of those good days that seem several lives ago, but there is the fact neither of us are the same people, for time definitely has changed us both; however,  perhaps our phone call tomorrow will take our paths back to running along each other once again. Only time will tell.

So that is one of the several things that has been on my mind this last week. While the answer is still up in the air, I do know similar to Tod in that last scene of Fox and the Hound, I will always be doing my best to watch from afar (mainly through Facebook notifications these days) as I hope for nothing but happiness for their future and that they know I will always be grateful for the time when we were the best of friends.

To conclude, here are the full lyrics to Fox and the Hound’s “The Best of Friends”

When you’re the best of friends
Having so much fun together
You’re not even aware, you’re such a funny pair
You’re the best of friends
Life’s a happy game
You could clown around forever
Neither one of you sees, your natural boundaries
Life’s one happy game
If only the world wouldn’t get in the way
If only people would just let you play
They say you’re both being fools
You’re breaking all the rules
They can’t understand, the magic of your wonderland
Hu-hu-hu
When you’re the best of friends
Sharing all that you discover
When that moment has past, will that friendship last?
Who can say? There’s a way!
Oh I hope… I hope it never ends
‘Cause you’re the best of friends

Advertisements

Lessons Learned from the Solar Eclipse

Eclipse 2017 – In case you missed it, it happened on Monday, but given the hype, I am not sure how anyone could have not realized it was going to occur. Needless to say, it was quite the sight to be seen. Memories from my first solar eclipse are still with me as I can remember standing outside on the grassy field right to the east of Gas Elementary School with a pinhole projector made out a piece of paper and cardboard box while hearing my teacher tell us whatever we do, we can’t look at the sun. Despite the temptation, I listened.

Many decades have passed since then, but an intrigue had remained within me with eclipses of any kind. Now looking back at last Monday and everything leading up to it, there were quite a few good takeaways and lessons learned with my new memory made of catching a glimpse of a disappearing sun.

#1 Timeliness Is Vital to Not Miss Out on So Many Opportunities

One of my New Year’s Resolutions for this year is to improve my timeliness, and, well, the eclipse shined light on the fact I am not doing the best with it.

The eclipse was first brought to my attention last November when a good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to join her and some of her friends for an excursion to Northeast Kansas to watch it in its totality. I checked the calendar, saw it was on a Monday, knew I would be teaching a class that afternoon, and thanked her while also giving her my regrets about my not being able to join that adventure.

I continued to read articles about the eclipse, saw displays of glasses in many, many stores, and talked to tons of people about it. My office is even less than a five-minute walk from the Cosmosphere. Did I pick up a pair of glasses? Nope.

Flash forward to a week before the eclipse, and I was living proof solar eclipse glasses could be found nowhere. I stopped by stores, searched the Internet, called people – the findings were always the same – a very sad and genuine – “I am sorry, but we sold out last week.” A solar filter for my camera couldn’t be found either, nor could a Shade 14 welding lens. Sure, I wasn’t going to be in the path of totality, but over 90% of the sun was going to be blocked here in Hutchinson. If I saw a lead of any kind about glasses being in any stores in Reno County, I was soon there, and I would leave empty handed and kicking myself.

Eventually, a pair of ISO-approved glasses did come into my possession, and more on that will come in a bit. However, between the missing out on the glasses and my not replying to an email that came last spring in time that was going to lead to my missing out on another nifty event, I was not a happy camper with myself, but the solar eclipse was the wake-up call definitely needed.

So often, we can get trapped thinking about the short-term, and that is what had happened to me. Throw some procrastination into the mix, and that all led to my spending so much more time, time that I really needed to be using for some other projects, searching for glasses that would have taken me less than a minute to have purchased just weeks previous. The glasses ultimately, though, became a metaphor of sorts for so many other things, including a good reminder to think and put myself on the right path for not only the immediate but also distant future.

#2 – Do One’s Best Not To Overlook The Truly Magical That’s All Around Us

Like many, when it came time for the solar eclipse, my focus was on the sky. Sure, I also noticed the cooling of the weather too, especially given the fact I was wearing a black suit in a shadeless area right to the south of the Cosmosphere, but what I caught during that time that thankfully fell during my lunch break were the sights eye-level and above. What I missed out on were all of the nifty shadows others posted of the sunlight coming through the leaves of the trees and leaving a magical sight to be seen. I even walked right under some trees on my way back to campus that would have been perfect to see these, and I am sure I walked right on top of them, but being wrapped up in the moment, never did they catch my attention, which led to my regret for that day and also this important lesson to be learned.

IMG_9260.JPG
A great photo of the shadows taken by my great friend, Jennifer Forker


#3 Humanity Is Capable of Some Acts That Are Truly Beautiful

So often, all we hear about are negative things. Sometimes I play the game when looking at Google News to see how many positive stories I can spot – the sad answer is not many. However, the solar eclipse brought forward the fact that humanity can truly be great.

First, back to my search for solar eclipse glasses.

Well, searching on Facebook early Saturday morning led to another lead about glasses being available at a Dillon’s store I hadn’t checked but had heard previously they had sold out on their supplies. I had questioned the validity of this person’s comment, but I figured I would quickly stop by there right before I met up with a group to take to Buhler for Second Saturday Cycles (August is on the third Saturday though), a community bike ride I help coordinate every summer. Sure enough, they had no glasses, and the topic of my searches throughout the week as well as the solar eclipse were one of the first we discussed as we pedaled towards the home of the tasty Mustard Seed restaurant. David Inskeep, a fantastic man for many reasons, including his being an excellent Hutchinson city council member who truly cares about making Hutchinson better for future generations, let me know he may possibly have an extra pair. He was going to count to make sure after the bike ride. And sure enough, he did. I offered to buy them from him because he could have sold them for quite a bit, but he wanted no money at all. Instead, it was truly an unselfish act of his helping out another in need.

While I may have missed out on the shadows under the trees, what I did see at the Cosmosphere’s solar eclipse event was something even more beautiful. The area was full of people from so many different backgrounds. There were adorable babies and youngsters to senior citizens who had arrived via small busses from their assisted living places they called home. Religions, political parties, races, and so forth were all over the place, but we all came together during that time. If people didn’t have solar eclipse glasses, complete strangers would offer their own to make sure everyone had a chance to see the solar eclipse. When Venus appeared shining bright in the day sky, tons of people starting helping others see it. Even on my way back to work, there was this huge football player from out of state who saw me attempting to take a photo of the eclipse with my iPhone and offered his glasses for me to see it. To say it was extremely nifty would be an understatement; it was truly a fantastic reminder that so many people are genuinely good hearted, and that should never be forgotten.

IMG_0829

#4 Everything Works Out Eventually But Definitely Learn from the Past to Create a Better Future

As I rode my bike from Dillon’s to DCI Park, I had accepted defeat in finding a pair of glasses and had come to the fact I would likely be missing out on seeing the solar eclipse. I wasn’t happy with myself, but I was okay with that. However, thanks to Dave, that turned out not to be my fate, and also thanks to Dave, I was able to loan that pair to many others so they too could see Solar Eclipse 2017. Even the morning of the eclipse, the lightning, thunder, and rain that came from the sky over Hutchinson led to my thinking the eclipse was going to be hidden behind clouds; however, those clouds parted later that morning to create a beautiful day to be shared by many. Plus, as I was leaving that area that was transformed from a space to a magical place during the solar eclipse event, everything once again aligned thanks to perfect timing and a conversation that happened while I was waiting to cross 11th street gave me a second chance at that other event I was kicking myself about missing thanks to my bad misstep with timeliness. Now in less than an hour, I will be heading to it to enjoy everything under the stars all while continuing to contemplate, learn, and apply these lessons from this last week’s solar eclipse.

 

Becoming a Cornhusker

For the last couple of years, when people asked me where I went to school, I would chime back with Emporia State University and the University of Melbourne. The Melbourne one would catch their attention which would lead to a perplexed look before asking either “Where is that?” or “Australia?.” The conversation would continue for a bit about my days in the land down under and just as the topic would start to conclude, I would add, “Oh yeah, I am also going to the University of Nebraska. Forgot about that one.”

That was the case time and again. Despite the majority of my disposable income and time being sent north of me, my being a UNL student would honestly slip my mind. I am not really sure why. It may be caused by my program (a PhD in Educational Studies – Educational Leadership and Higher Education) being largely online. Sure, since January 2015, there have been a couple of visits to the campus to meet my advisor as well attend a one-day conference for the program, but a bond really had not formed. However, last week happened, everything changed, and I became a Cornhusker.

Online classes are a fascinating development in higher education. For quite a few years, I taught one, and repeatedly, my mission was to try to build a community during that semester. The students mastered the material, wrote great papers, and had great discussions; however, there was no place for the spontaneous conversations to take place. I even made a discussion forum for random topics; most semesters, it was untouched. The students had a mission, which was earn the credit and the learn the material. Many did, but it led to my often telling people that one will never meet a best friend in an online class.

While my statement about meeting a best friend was proven wrong last fall when the amazing Mary came into my life thanks to a group project in our online class (we met in person though thanks to her being in Kansas for a work project), the bond with UNL still hadn’t happened. Then summer I took on the first half of my residency requirement for the program, which led to my spending last week in Lincoln.

Leading up to that week set the stage of what I had decided would be my own adult summer camp. In the spring, I made my second friend in the program, Adam from Boston, in another class during what first began with questions regarding an assignment and later developed into long chats in Google Hangouts after we both realized we had greatly incorrectly stereotyped each other (I thought Adam was a super religious, super conservative Marine, and he thought I was a Palin/Trump Loving Diehard Kansas Tea Party conservative). While trying to figure out our summer schedule, we decided to take the summer research course from our advisor, Dr. Hatch-Tocaimaza.

The rest of the class, with the exception of Boh from Atlantic City, were familiar faces. There was Erika from Salt Lake City who was in the same spring class Adam and I took, and her posts were always top notch and some of the first ones I would read. Then there was Aprí from Santa Cruz, who was another person I had greatly admired over the years thanks to her fantastic discussion posts I always admire in several courses we previously had together. Finally, there was Miles from Longview, Texas. He and I had been group partners before in another class, and we shared some common connections thanks to the honors world.

Although our paths had crossed sometimes repeatedly, connections hadn’t really formed. That all changed with this class. First, the class had live sessions starting back in May, so that gave us a chance to see each other on a regular basis. Then what started as a simple email to ask for clarification led to Erika and I forming a fantastic friendship as we got to know each other via electronic missives. By when it was time to head to Lincoln, I was excited for a vacation that would have me staying in the residence halls and bringing a bike to explore the area.

From my many conversations with Adam and Erika, I knew it was going to be a good week, but I didn’t realize how much. The class itself was great with Dr. Hatch-Tocaimaza bringing in many guest speakers to give us a variety of ideas about how to approach research. The best part, though, was being on campus. There is just something about being in a physical classroom, and it was something I had been missing. Sure enough, spontaneous conversations happened and ideas built upon each other.

EDAD 995 July Adventures 10

Our class also took the opportunity to get to know each other better too. There were the conversations before class, during breaks, at lunch in the Willa Cather Dining Hall, and then afterwards when Adam, Erika, Aprí, Miles, and I would grab dinner each night and then find ice cream (motivated by to Adam’s love for it).

I look back at the week, and so many memories were made beyond those in the classroom itself: meeting Erika and then Adam at the Omaha airport – welcoming both, of course, to Nebraska with a sign before giving them a ride to Lincoln; sitting outside Memorial Stadium with my great friend Rob and hearing about the energy at Cornhusker football games and the day he was crowned homecoming king; walking around Sunken Gardens.

FullSizeRender 4

Exploring the stunning capitol building and taking the nifty elevator to some amazing views of the city; watching Aprí and Erika see lightning bugs for the first time; tasting the greatness of sweet corn ice cream from East Campus’s Dairy Store.

IMG_8724.JPG

Walking in a massive downpour with Adam to retrieve my car so we could pick up the rest of our crew after class to save them from getting drenched; going bowling with Dr. Hatch-Tocaimaza and his adorable son; the heated bowling competition and Aprí sneaking right past Adam and me to win the gold.

EDAD 995 July Adventures 15

Waking up early to explore the bike trails to first Holmes Lake and then to Pioneers Park; Adam (sort of) saving my life; getting a huge hug from Mary when she joined us for our Thursday night adventures; the night of karaoke and finding out Miles is one amazing singer (Mary, Aprí, and Erika were great too)

EDAD 995 July Adventures II 37

The late night conversations with Adam in our residence hall room; searching campus for a UNL drawstring bag Adam and I were wanting for running and biking adventures (a huge thanks to the College of Business Administration once again!); strolling down the department’s hallway and office to meet others we knew by name and electronic correspondence but little more; getting a challenge coin; taking a long lunch so we could see the largest urinal west of the Mississippi that just happens to be on UNL’s campus

Hearing about Aprí’s “grandparents” at her Airbnb; a late-night search for the perfect UNL water bottle with Erika and Adam and finding shirts and hats instead; a drive by the community gardens at East Campus and then soon after seeing a herd of deer that seem to live in the middle of Lincoln; seeing the look of happiness on Miles’ face as he showed pictures of his son; the great conversations with Erika when either picking her up or dropping her off at her apartment for the week; and many, many more.

People and memories are what make a place, and both of these came together last week in Lincoln. Going forward, I will be looking at my grad program in a completely different light. Sure enough, I was definitely wrong and one can make fantastic friends in an online program, something I didn’t really see happening when I started the PhD work. Needless to say, I am so glad I was wrong. Now and forever into the future, I will be holding these amazing people and my times in Nebraska close to my heart while also embracing the fact I am indeed a Cornhusker.

EDAD 995 July Adventures 03

 

A Boy and His Dog He Loves So Much

Dearest Callie,

Did you know when you licked my face that late December day back in 2008 what exactly you were doing? I am pretty sure you did. You figured John would be easy to convince to take you home, but I would be the one whose heart you would have to win. Well, it worked. You have definitely won it time and again. Your jumping up and giving me a kiss the moment the lady at Caring Hands Humane Society opened your kennel sealed our fates together, and I am a better man because of it.

Oh the things we have tackled and the adventures we have had over the years are many, and there are still many more yet to come, but I thought a simple note to you would be better written now rather than later.

IMG_0002.jpg

So here you go – a list of the reasons I am thankful to have you in my life.

1. Your Zest for Life

From getting excited about breakfast to being thrilled when Mom comes to visit so you can greet her before the two of you play Frisbee outside, you have a passion that spreads. Simply saying either the word “Milk Bone” or “Bunny” leads to your zest to show. No matter how bad my day may have been, walking in the door to hear the pitter patter of your feet coming towards me and then seeing your excited face brings me back to a great place.

IMG_0008 (1)

Then there is your pursuit after those little fluffy banes of your existence that still brings a strange joy to my life (unless you catch one, but that is a different story. Then I am extremely upset with you which breaks your heart I know. Thankfully, that has very rarely ever happened). It doesn’t matter the season or the weather, the moment I open the back door, you run immediately to look under the deck before making a loop around the storage sheds to make sure no bunnies are in your back yard. Then you either sit on top of the deck or the small hill above the storm shelter, watching over everything to make sure it is a safe and sound from any of Peter Cottontail’s relatives. And you do all of this with such a passion.

IMG_0003.jpg

Although I am not around to see it, I can also imagine the excitement you had each time you had found something either on the counter or in the pantry to take to the couch to test taste. How proud you must have been each time your teeth grasped whatever your prize was that day (a bag of flour, a head of cabbage, romaine lettuce, a container of peanut butter, a bag of thankfully non-instant rice, a package of soft tortilla shells, etc.) and you carried it without making a mess to the living room where you then explored its contents on your couch before I came home to the result of your adventure that served as yet another reminder of the importance of always keeping a clean counter and closing the pantry door.

There is a lot I have and can continue to learn from your appreciation of the little things in the world around you. It is so easy for me to lose focus, but your way of living is a constant reminder to have a zest for living and to be excited for another day, for friends and family, for a self-given worthwhile pursuit, and for a hunger for life.

2. Your Motivating Me to Pause, Reflect, and Improve

IMG_0010 (1).jpgSo many of my romantic relationships have been doomed because of my workaholic ways. I am working on it and plan to be better should I find myself in one again. And you are also helping me do so. If it were not for you, I know I would fall into the habit of eating at my desk and working through lunch rather than heading home to let you out. That down time as you check for bunnies in the back yard and I eat my lunch is, without a doubt, a very healthy thing for both of us. However, it goes much farther than that. You cause me to take the break I need, something I should do more often.

This, of course, goes far beyond just my coming home for lunch. Life can move so quickly, and a day can become packed before one knows it; however, when I am with you and giving you the time you deserve, I pause to take in my surroundings. No matter what craziness is happening, you become my sole focus and everything else can fall off to the side for a while, and during that pause, I can regain some sort of strength that allows me to come back to a situation with better ideas and a reminder of not only who depends on me but also what truly is important.

3. Your Always Watching Out for Me

IMG_0028.jpg

From day one that we met, you decided for whatever reason to always watch out for me. When I am out for the evening, I can count on your waiting at the window for me to arrive home. Even when Mom is here, you don’t go back to sleep in the guest room even with the great love you have for her. Rather, you wait for me to make sure I find my way home. Then after greeting me, you will lead me back to my bedroom to finally call it a night.

IMG_0006

No matter where I am in the house, you have to be watching me to make sure I am okay. If I am working at the dining room table, you are from your perch in the living room falling asleep on your pillow looking towards me rather than out the front window. If I am rowing in the guest room, you are on top of the bed watching me make each stroke. Even if you the leave the room to go get a drink of water and make a round around the house, it isn’t long until you are back to check that I am okay.

The majority of the times, I am fine, but then there are all of the times I so greatly needed you, and you are right there. Without you, I am not sure what I would have done the night when my heart was torn into millions of pieces and I suffered one of the hardest breakups of my life. The words of excitement of a new relationship filled my room despite their origin coming from across the hall from my bedroom door. Only minutes before, we had been an item for over three and a half years during which we had built a family with you and Emi. However, another beau had swept in from the online world and replaced me during the week I was in New York, and there was nothing I could do upon my return. From one room came a voice filled with happiness and glee, and from mine, only sobs and gasps could be heard as the picture of a future we had once painted together dissolved into nothingness with each word heard from across the hall. You had a choice of which room to enter, and you chose the latter. I still remember how you nuzzled your way in between my arms that had been holding tight my ex-of-only minutes’ pillow. And there you remained with your little beating heart close to mine, just looking at me with your emotion-filled eyes and occasionally giving my face a lick all while doing your best to tell me it was going to be okay, the pain would eventually subside, and our now broken family would get through this together.

From the worst moments to the best, you have been right there, wanting to share each one with me and watching to make sure I always found my step forward.

4. Your Being My Best Friend
From the best moments to the worst, you are always right there. In fact, even as I write this, you are right there beside me.

IMG_0033.jpg

While I have many great friends in my life, you are easily my best. So often, I wish you could talk, for the conversations we could have would be unreal. I have a feeling you wish you could too. Now you just put up with my talking to you and your answering back with the occasional bark but usually only with your expressive eyes. It is those same eyes that always seem to see the best in me, the me I hope one day I can actually become.

IMG_0022.jpg

There was a life you once had before we met. I will never know what happened during it and how you ended upon wandering the streets of Newton and surviving wind chills in the negative numbers to the point you were only skin and bones when you were picked up and taken to the place where we would meet.

We have also been through so much together. Unfortunately, some of those times have been when you were at your worst. The memory of picking up your nearly lifeless body from the snow, carrying you inside as tears fell upon your fur, and having John drive us to the vet as quickly as possible still haunts me. I kept telling you that you had to hold on because you had to help us raise our kids. When we said goodbye to you that day, the vet prepared us for that to be our final time seeing you, but whatever it was that had hit you that day, you successfully beat it, and you have continued to be a fighter. The same goes for our 2014 New Year’s Eve when I held your trembling body as close I could to mine as you fought your hardest against the sterile nodular panniculitis that had you in so much pain and was trying its best to take you away from me. More tears were shed as I asked you not to leave me, and you didn’t. We won that battle, and the massive scars from the once open wounds covering your body are a reminder the two of us can power through so much.

One day, even with our best fighting efforts, some outer force will get the upper hand; however, until then, we will continue to be us, a boy and his dog he loves so much.

IMG_0007.jpg

IMG_0014.jpg

With much love and eternal gratefulness for your being in my life,

Your Ryan

PS

And now for a few more Callie photos (with some Emi cameos too)

IMG_0011 (1).jpgIMG_0027.jpgIMG_0021 (1).jpgIMG_0015.jpgIMG_0025.jpg

IMG_0001.jpgIMG_0026.jpgIMG_0023.jpg