Thursday, November 12, 2015

seems like old times...

i have now, 
officially been a room mother
ever since katherine 
was in kindergarten. 
blessed with being able to be 
a stay-at-home-mom, 
i was often times 
the room mother. 

i can remember 
loading holiday lights, 
decorations, paper plates, 
matching napkins,  games, movies, 
candy, cookies, cupcakes, etc.
into a our big red wagon, 
filling our igloo on wheels 
full of ice and drinks, 
packing all that 
into our van 
and stopping for pizzas 
before heading 
to katherine's classroom 
to throw the best holiday party 
i could. 
it sounds like a lot of work, 
i loved every minute of it!


when katherine graduated 
from elementary school, 
i thought 
the days of being a room mom
were over for me. 
a few weeks ago, 
when katherine mentioned 
she didn't think 
she would have 
any parent volunteers 
for her 5th grade class'
fall party, 
i jumped at the opportunity 
to help her!
she was grateful, 
and i was excited.


these days, 
instead of having 
halloween and Christmas parties, 
schools opt 
for the more politically correct 
fall and winter soirees. 
so, instead of jack-o-lantern, 
witch, and black cat 
themed party supplies, 
i chose 
leaf, and scarecrow 
the rest of the 
party planning and execution 
was like getting back 
on the proverbial bike... 
it was very familiar.


at the designated time, 
i arrived 
at katherine's room. 
her students gave me 
a very warm welcome. 
being on a bit of a time constraint,  
katherine and i immediately 
began passing out plates, 
napkins, pizza, cupcakes, 
cookies, drinks, and candy. 

22 of her 23 students, 
thanked me 
every time i came around 
to pass out something new...


the only child 
who didn't verbally 
thank me was autistic, 
but even he smiled 
and told me how much 
he liked what i brought 
to his class and to him.
EVERY ONE of those kids 
were gracious 

EVERY ONE of them!

katherine's kids were 
a breath of fresh air:)


after eating, 
many of the kids 
came over to me 
and talked to me. 
they wanted to know 
about me, 
and they wanted me to know
about them.
they made me feel 
honored and privileged.

without even being asked, 
katherine will say she is blessed, 
her first year of teaching 
has been a dream.

without even being asked, 
i will say her class has blessed me, 
and i look forward 
to getting to be their room mother 
again at Christmas.

it seems like old times.

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

heaven smiles softly...

last year 
when we celebrated 
maggie's 9th birthday 
i never dreamed 
it would be the last one.
she loved every birthday,  
she loved every day,
she loved everything, 
she loved everyone. 

maggie loved, 
maggie was loved!


love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Sunday, October 25, 2015

the human spirit...

when i shared my last post 
(about adding mae to our family)
to facebook, 
a dear friend responded, 

"We can't help ourselves,
Lol, it's the amazing human spirit : ) 
If we harden our heart to love, 
who will take care of little "maemae" 
~Marlene Brown


do you know 
what the proverbial 
"human spirit"

it is the breath of life 
God breathed 
into man 
at the time of creation, 
which gave us all 
God-like qualities 
such as: 
the ability to emote,

after the loss 
of my life-long neighbor, 
her house going on the market,  
katherine's breakup 
with zack, 
the loss of our dear maggie, 
remodel blunder 
after remodel blunder, 
i found myself- 
at God's feet 
asking Him 
to fill me back up, 
to revitalize me...
for His Holy Spirit 
to help me 
make the right decisions, 
to help me 
know the right words,  
to help me 
mend my broken heart. 


He wasted no time 
in answering my prayers. 
He reminded me 
john had retired 
and is with me, 
He gave me 
words of grace 
to share 
with katherine and zack, 
He led me directly 
to mae.

this is how i know 
the apostle john was speaking 
words of truth 
when he said, 
"this is how we know
that we live in Him
He in us:
He has given us 
of His Spirit."
(1 john 4:13)

where there is 
the blessed gift 
the Holy Spirit, 
there is no place
for a hardened heart.
we need this soft, 
warm, loving, 
Spirit-filled heart 
to keep us passionate, 
to keep us calm, 
to keep us rolling on...

i know this is truth! 

if you don't believe me, 
ask, seek, knock, 
just see what happens next;) 

love and God's blessings, 
dani xxx

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

our sweet baby mae...

"imitation is the sincerest form 
of flattery."
-charles caleb colton


when maggie was growing up, 
i often said 
i would never be without 
a cavalier in my life.
as she grew older 
and i started to realize 
how hard it was going to be 
to lose her and not have her 
in my life, 
i often said 
i didn't think i could ever have 
it would just be 


on friday, the day  
after maggie went to heaven, 
john and i talked 
through our grief.

john: i just don't know 
how people go out 
and get another dog 
after losing one. 
me: i know. 
i think if we got one now 
i would feel guilty...
like i was replacing maggie. 
john: i don't think that. 
i just don't think 
i could go through 
this again.

we agreed.


late saturday night 
as i lay in bed, 
the thought occurred to me...

would not want us 
to be unhappy 
like this
she spent her whole, 
precious life 
making us happy!

i reached over 
and grabbed my phone 
from my nightstand. 
i laid my phone 
on my chest, 
and took in a deep breath.
i held it 
released it.

me: God, give me a sign 
if i'm supposed to do this.

picking up my phone, 
i pressed the home key,  
 touched the safari icon, 
"cavalier puppies for sale 
in kentucky."
i touched on the site 
that popped up first.
the interactive site asked 
if i were a buyer or a seller,  
the breed 
in which i was interested, 
and, finally,
 for my location.


at a glance, 
i noticed there were only 
a couple of pages of 
cavies in our area. 
i also noticed
most of the puppies 
were blenheim 
(tan and white). 
i knew i wanted 
either a mostly black tri-color 
(black, tan, and white)
another black and tan
(with a little white) 
like maggie. 

as i scrolled down the page, 
i saw her,
my eyes filled with tears.

me: should i do this, God?

i knew there would be 
no turning back!

i noticed her birthdate...
maggie was an "11" 
baby too.

i touched her picture 
on my screen to enlarge it 
read more about her.

she had the same marks 
as my darling maggie, 
she was a "cuddler".


in my heart, 
she was already mine.
God  just reinforced 
what i already knew.

after getting 
meester berrong 
on board, 
i called the breeder,
we will pick up

our sweet baby mae~
formally known as 
"Princess Margaret Mae
of the Lane".

-in just eleven days.

love and God's blessings, 
dani xxx

Sunday, October 18, 2015

so maggie...

as i lay in bed last night, 
i silently cried. 
i missed my baby,
my love... 
you know, 
the one i've often written about 
over the years- 

from the second 
i took her  
from the breeder's arms 
until the second 
she took her last breath, 
she was love.

she was 
the epitome 
of joy. 


what i am about 
to share is very emotional 
and raw. 
i'm sharing because 
what happened on the day 
went to heaven 
was so precious- 
so perfectly perfect- 


on thursday morning, 
john, mag, and i got 
out of bed. 
john took her outside 
while i prepared 
her breakfast. 
when she came inside, 
she ate her breakfast, 
and john gave 
her a cow ear chewy 
just like every morning. 

she brought it back to bed 
and chewed on it 
for a few minutes 
then stopped. 
that wasn't normal, 
but maggie was ill,
which was a totally 
new normal 
for us all.


since, she hadn't been 
feeling well, 
i had put off giving her 
a much needed bath.
the night prior 
i had asked john 
if he thought it would be okay 
to bathe her.
he said sure 
that it would probably 
make her feel better. 

she LOVED being clean!

in hopes of perking her up, 
i called for her 
to come into my bathroom. 
she did, 
and i gave her a bath.
after towel drying her, 
i opened the door. 
she tore out the door 
and to the back of the house 
to find her daddo, 
who had left 
to run errands. 
while maggie was 
in the other room
looking for john, 
i grabbed mossi, 
and towel dried 
her as well. 
she, too, raced to the den 
to join maggie. 

while they were away, 
i jumped in the shower 
to wash the dog off me. 
i was in the shower 
just long enough 
to shower. 
i slicked my hair back
in a ponytail, 
threw on a tee 
and some jeans. 

i opened the bathroom door 
to find the two, wet monkeys 
right up in the middle 
of my bed...

my clean bed.

after cracking up 
at the sight, 
i took a picture 
and texted their daddo,
"i might should have 
bathed them-
washed the bed clothes;)"
i stuck my phone 
in my front pocket, and 
i told the monkeys 
to get out of my bed.  
i nabbed a couple of dry towels, 
and led them into the den. 


after situating the towels, 
i grabbed a couple of throws 
and lay down on the couch 
to snuggle with my girls, 
which i always did.

mossi immediately 
got under the covers, 
maggie got next to me.

me: do you feel better, maggo?

she looked up at me, 
and i kissed her cold, wet nose. 
when i did she got excited 
and jumped up on top of me. 
she started giving me kisses.
i blindly reached 
for my phone  
and videoed her.!

after i got a little footage, 
i replaced my phone 
on the coffee table. 
as i moved to do so, 
maggie got really excited 
and started really kissing me.


then it happened.
it happened 
in an instant... 
she went limp, 
and her pupils blew. 
my baby, my angel 
was still breathing, 
but she was gone. 

i sat up; 
again, i grabbed my phone,
then called john. 

me (through tears): maggie collapsed! 
john: i'll be right there; 
i'm almost home.

me (to maggie): it'll be okay, baby.
mama's here, 
and daddo will be here 
in just a minute. 

i rocked her gently,
held her tightly, 
i prayed boldly, 
"please, God, 
please, don't let her suffer!"

john came in and sat with us.

john (to maggie): it's okay, girl. 
we are here. 
you're a good girl...
you've been 
the best girl.

we cried 
john and i 
and continued 
to talk to her and love her 
until long after 
she took her last breath. 
when the time came, 
john went out 
to his truck.
he returned 
with a small, 
maggie-sized casket. 
he'd had a friend make it 
for her. 

it was so simple- 
so beautiful...
it was 
so maggie.


me: do you want 
to hold her for a while? 

john nodded he did.
i took her to him.

me: i will go get her things.

he nodded okay.

 tears came again.


john had already 
brought me their favorite toy, 
i went into my closet 
and pulled out our favorite toy, 
five little monkeys.
i picked up 
her pink chenille pillow 
to put under her.

i went to my hope chest 
and opened it. 

there it was...


~the blanket 
i wrapped 
a new-born katherine in
to bring her home
from the hospital,

~the blanket 
i took to the hospital 
to keep mosses warm 
on the nights before he died, 

~the blanket 
i took with me 
to bring maggie home 
from the breeder 
on that cold, december day 
nearly ten years ago.

i placed her 
along with her things 
in her casket. 
i covered her up 
with the blanket.
i took off the tee 
i was wearing, 
folded it, 
and placed it 
under her beautiful face.

later that afternoon 
after katherine arrived 
from work, 
we said our final 
her daddo buried her 
in the flower garden 
next to the rock wall.

it was 
so perfectly perfect- 

so maggie.

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx