I just can’t wait to share this warm, fuzzy part of my journey with all of you. A couple of weeks before my diagnosis with ALS, last October, I received a gift. Hope and Megan (two of my daughters) had searched the internet and our home area to find a new Maltipoo. Hope had a precious black and white one, which we all had fallen head over heals in love with. . .but insisted on taking her to New Orleans with her for her little 6 pound companion, which we very reluctantly agreed. With their Dad’s permission, (while he silently thought, just what are we doing?????), they found this baby and piled on my bed and surprised me with this cuddle ball.
All I could think, was this has got to be the cutest stuffed animal in the whole, wide world. Then, her tiny head cocked to the side and I almost fell over. I will forever and always remember the feeling of holding that tiny fur ball against my anxious, terrified heart.
As kids went to school and husband went to work and friends held in waiting: tiny Mollie lay against my chest to warm the chill of the coming frost of fear. She lay there in innocence and contentment and I felt frozen. She kept my heart thawed enough to move to care for her. Feed her, water her and put her outside. Her need gave me purpose beyond my own fear to get me through the days the two of us were alone, waiting for that dreaded appointment. Presence is everything. (Read that again :)). She never had a word for me, just beautiful big eyes and a tiny, warm beating heart. It was a gift that was more than enough to move the minute hand with just enough to comfort me into the next tick, tock of time. I was so proud of her, she rode every carpool, being held out the window to get attention (Ugh! Maybe that is where she got the idea of the window as an exit!?!). She went in my arms into Office Depot and Barnes and Nobles! (Kathleen was convinced we would be thrown out of the store with an animal of all things! I had half the city of Baton Rouge wanting, Maltipoos!)
I came home, post clinical diagnosis, to my precious family and my furry baby once again filled with warmth that needed no words but love and purpose. When I wanted to quit and stay in bed, Mollie was a purpose to get up and move into the day. The joy and enlightened countenances she called forth! Praise God! The laughter at her puppy antics lightened weight we were not meant to carry anyway. Amen God! It was her tiny 3 pound self that moved weights none of us could comprehend. Thank you God. Only the goodness of God could create such a shift in physics. A miracle of movement when even the air was too heavy to breathe in. . .Just one of the different dynamics she brought into our family was her foot fetish. She followed us around and as soon as we stood or sat still, she curled on top of our feet. I’d never seen a dog do that before. It was sweet beyond words and it just convicted us she was ours. (Yes, I believe with all my heart, (tears) it was the Hands of our Christ, washing our wounded feet.)
This too cute for words, beauty, became scraggly and wiry and stiff to the touch. The vet kept saying it was her in-between coat.(Oh, we hoped so). Later a softer layer of what felt like a lambs coat of silky cotton, came forth. But she did not act like a gentle lamb. . .Not quite. . .
Months later, her antics became mischievous beyond belief. She darted out any open door and the chase began. . .every neighbor, our mailman, any friend (that dared open the door a crack to say hello), even our dear friend/grounds keeper, who is a football coach got a workout several times just trying to catch her. She leaped on top of tables like a mountain goat. She grunted like a contented tiny pig when she was happy. She opened her kennel with locks on it, every time. She crawled under the sofa to hide her findings: socks, slippers, toilet paper that ran a mile from the furtherest bathroom (yes, she opened the cabinets), etc. She thought nothing of sitting in the middle of my large dining room table to get the highest look out point from front of house. You call her name, she listens and decides, just what she wants to do. She loves outside and barks at leaves. Especially the ones, dancing in the wind. No matter how stern we attempt to sound, “Bad, PUPPY!”, her tail continues to wag and she curls around you like a kidney bean. I could hear Bucky’s groans from her latest mischief, “Megan, Kathleen, someone come deal with this puppy!!!” I was not much help, all I could do was laugh! (I guess you know who did all the puppy training in the past?!)
Then it happened, the worst thing imaginable. On a trip to the beach, Mollie jumped. Jumped from an open window from a car moving 50 mph onto a quadruple highway with huge trucks and speeding traffic. Looking in the rearview mirror caused desperate panic as she darted under 18 wheelers. When the car could be safely stopped and the search began for her. . .expecting the worst. . . run over, crawled into a ditch or under a house at best. . ..After 20 minutes of looking and screaming in sobbing terror, the white streak appeared and came running into our arms: Trembling, but completely unharmed except a scratch. We watched in constant fear of internal injuries, but she ate, drank and slept with no sign of harm. So she became my miracle Mollie. The jump alone could have been fatal. At the beach, we all held her, looked at her. . .a marvel of life against all odds, she gave us all the hope of a miracle.
With the renovations in our home, Kathleen has informed me that a Mollie uses the cardboard workers walkways as a race track and several times each day she can hear her nails tearing through the cardboard, placed to protect the flooring. They did not take Mollie’s trackings into account. It’s looking worn already from all of her 9 pound self, back and forth to some finish line none of us can see, except Mollie.
And so this teddy bear of a calm puppy, curled at our feet fuzz ball of brownish/black love, yes turned creamy white, full of mischief and a pole vaulter onto every sofa back and table top she can find. . .And then some! What’s the surprise here? Gifts from God often turn out differently than they first appear! 😉 I heard God chuckle and say, “Yes, and as I look at my furry creation, Miracle Mollie, all is good.” And I say, “Yes, God, all is good.”
By the way, if you don’t know what to say, take Mollie’s advise, let your heart beat warm and curl up with your presence. It will long be remembered. . .One of my favorite quotes is. . .
“People will not long remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” ~Unknown