Saturday, November 28, 2009

.My Bella.

Last night, Thanksgiving night, Bella was missing. We let her out to eat her dinner, and she never came back to the door. When my mom and I realized this, I went outside calling her name and whistling, hoping to see her bounding towards me like she normally does. Mom walked down street and back, doing the exact same thing as I, and we both had the same result - no Bella. I went back inside the house while mom drove the car down the road, hoping to find her there and not have to drive into the next neighborhood.

Over the noise of the video I was watching inside I heard a loud thud and the bloodcurdling screams of an animal that I knew had to be Bella. Horrified, I ran outside in my pajamas and stocking feet, screaming her name. I saw her across Delany road and when she saw me, she hobbled over, whimpering with pain. There was a car slowly coming in my direction and it reached me at the same time that Bella did. The people in the car had been right behind the vehicle that hit Bella, and turned around when they saw that the guilty vehicle didn't stop. The couple was so kind, and helped keep things calm. I could barely talk because of the shock; I was terrified and began to cry. My mom returned from her search, and the couple immediately helped us put Bella in the back of the suburban. We were able to contact an emergency animal hospital in Grayslake and drove carefully there.

Once we arrived, they put a muzzle on Bella and got her out of the car. She didn't want to go inside with them and would only come when I called her. She was being stubborn and didn't want to leave my side so I had to trick her a little to make her think I was walking with them to the back room.

That was the last time I saw her in a normal state.

The X-rays showed that her pelvis was broken in two places and her femur was broken as well. There were no internal injuries that were visible, but with the impact of getting hit at 55-65 mph, there was a definite possibility that damage could develop. My mom and I went on an emotional roller coaster that lasted 3 and 1/2 hours. The cost of surgery kept fluctuating as they gave us different estimates (varying by hospitals, the doctors who gave the estimates etc.) and we were faced by only two options. Option one: pay thousands of dollars to have surgery on her femur. However, this option wouldn't make things perfect. She would always walk with a limp, there would be strict exercise restrictions and there was always the possibility of complications after surgery. Option number two: euthanasia.

We went back and forth between decisions several times, but for financial reasons the surgery was just not possible. Also, the quality of the new life she would have been given would not have been fair to her. Making the decision to put her down was heart-wrenching. When asked we would like to be present for the euthanization my mom declined but I felt that I couldn't let her be alone.

It was one of the hardest things I have ever done and I am crying as I continue to type. I can't even find words to explain everything that goes through my head when I think about it. She was 10 months old and I was the one that made that choice to end her life. Before the euthanasia, deep into her eyes that were glazed over from the pain killers, she looked frightened just to be in that strange place with people she didn't know. Her breathing was short and fast, just like she had been running for a while. Once the injection was halfway in, I saw her chest become still and her eyes become lifeless. The vet told me I could talk with her throughout the short process, but I think I barely choked out the words to tell her she was a good girl and that I loved her very much.

My mom apologizes to me. She says Bella was my baby, I loved her the most and apologizes for leaving Bella outside too long. She claims it is her fault. The truth is that at 5:30PM on Thanksgiving night, most people are eating dinner with their families and Delany road is quiet and still. When there are no cars rushing by, Bella couldn't have know any better. I know my Dad couldn't imagine Bella living a lifestyle that he compared to his own. When the body is harmed in one way, that in turn, can make other things "go bad". When we told Jacob that Bella had died, he simply responded with, "Oh! She's in heaven with Tasha!" (Tasha was our Rottweiler that had to be put down after being our childhood pet of 12 years.) The way he thinks is so pure and innocent. If only the rest of us could think in the same way.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

.God speaks when He wants to.

It happened in an instant; my stomach dropped, my head was spinning and nausea set in. Last night, I was feeling very sorry for myself. After just one week of being footloose and fancy free, I was back to the heart-wrenching turmoil I had experienced in the weeks before that. Eventually, a hot shower seemed to be the only consolation. The noise of the rushing water and the moaning of the exhaust fan was able to muffle any other sounds that might raise suspicion to a listening ear. Feeling vulnerable and alone, I cried out to God asking Him why this was so unfair. Why was He letting this happen? How did he expect me to deal with this kind of situation I had been placed in? Two weeks of terror and one week of peace did not sound like the cycle I wanted to be in!

Once I was done with my pathetic ranting and raving, the only thing that kept popping into my head was 1 Thessalonians 5:18. "...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." It's a lot easier to "talk-the-talk" than to "walk-the-walk", that's for sure. I did not want to thank God for anything that had happened and was currently happening, but I reluctantly began to say whatever I could think of that I could be thankful for in my whole big mess. Towards the end of my shower, I was repeating these things through sobs that I just couldn't control.

I know the two verses before the "give thanks" one, say that I need to pray continually, but also that I need to be joyful. I think of myself as a pretty happy person - it's something that just comes naturally. I like to be positive and think of cheery things to say and do. I like to laugh and to make others laugh, but sometimes I fall into these slumps of sadness and self pity; there is definitely not a lot of joy in there. This shower experience (don't laugh, it has to happen somewhere, right?) was definitely a struggle, but it's a step in the right direction.

I'm working out my messes and am going to try to be a better at this multitasking thing: being joyful always, praying continually and giving thanks in all circumstances.

This is God's will for me and for you.

He calls the shots, the least I can do is try to and do my part.

Monday, November 2, 2009

.college confusion.

I am in the process of filling out college applications.

I think they ("they" meaning the infamous authority on all subjects) have come up with this little game called, "how many times can one address fit on a sheet of paper?". It might be amusing to some, but to me, it is not.

I am almost positive that I know what school I want to attend. Lee University has had a pretty solid place in the runnings for a while now. However, Colorado Christian University is also very appealing, (3 day weekends!) and San Diego Christian College is, too (great location!). Just yesterday, mom brought up the possibility of choosing a school in Arizona so then I would be closer to my family out there.

All of these sound like great schools, right? Right. They are. But which one is the one for me...