Tag Archive | special family

I Did It All

Vikki on a tour busThe ray of sun beat down through the car window as I moved across the pavement in my hurried state. I wasn’t going anywhere, but the feel of the car beneath me felt better as the peddle pushed further to the floor. I smiled, and knew I should behave and drive as a fifty-something year old and not a twenty-something year old. But what the hell, I felt like twenty, so why not act like it? Today the tunes rocked the small leathered compartment of my new wheels, life was good.

Around me, I looked at fellow drivers as they went by, old and young, going about their business as if no one noticed. But I noticed. I looked to see their smiles, their frowns, their flapping mouths as they droned on to an uninterested listener, and children even, singing in the backseat of a car at the top of their lungs. Watching people and knowing people is what life is all about, and there is no better place to witness life than speeding down the highway. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration. But boy, the stories I could write about the people I see in cars!

The truth is, it wasn’t the people in the cars that made me smile today, it was the song playing on the radio. The beat grabbed me the moment it came over the speakers, and before I could stop myself, my thumbs turned into drumsticks. Then the lyrics entered, and I realized One Republic was singing about my life. How could this be when I have never met any of the band members, especially Ryan Tedder the writer of the song? But yet, with every word, they sang a song I would have penned for myself if I had songwriting abilities, “I Lived.”

Oh, I know I’m not anyone special, and probably have minor life experience compared to most, but living is not about how many unusual experiences one has, but how one lives! For me, life is finding the positive things around you and learning to experience everything life has to offer.

Part of being successful at living life to the fullest is having confidence in yourself to try something new. I don’t believe that being a person high on life is something you are born with. I’m pretty sure I was a timid little girly-girl when I was young and growing up with four brothers.

But as I grew, and my confidence began to grow, I found that experiencing life was exciting.  I could meet new people without feeling uncomfortable. I sought out strangers on trips and tried to get to know and learn from them. I would travel, and not just to famous destinations, but to out of the way little places like Wall, South Dakota or Artesia, New Mexico to see what was there… just for the heck of it. If there was an adventure park, museum or monument, I stopped and checked them out too. I even stopped once at a strange rock formation in the middle of the desert. Trust me, it was worth the stop. Isn’t that living?

As I got much older, I found more courage than I have ever had before. I began to 10400128_10153299641386671_4670492881694448979_n.jpghike and do sports that I always wanted to try. I even snorkeled in Hawaii’s waters without drowning myself! I’ve climbed lighthouses, traveled Europe, hosted dignitaries at my home, and sat quietly on my porch as birds filled my head with music. Isn’t that living?

I’ve held a new born baby in my arms, comforted a grieving friend, rejoiced at weddings and sang in the shower (even when I knew someone could hear me.) I’ve laughed so hard that my laughter turned to tears, cried till I had no more tears to shed, and marveled at the beauty of a sunset on a cool fall evening. Isn’t that living?

I think “doing it all” is a subjective statement to many, but to me… it’s living every moment, in the moment, with purpose and feeling. It’s taking a chance in learning something out about yourself that you never knew before and embracing the idea that until one’s death, you have the chance to change and grow and live life in ways that you never imagined. For this, I’ve lived.

I’ve lived each day, loved by my family, encouraged by my peers and am now eager to see what is waiting out there for me to explore. For when I pass from this world, those who surround my casket will not mourn me but celebrate and say, “she lived.”

I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived

I, I did it all
I, I did it all

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Memories of a Loved Dog

2012 333

Memories of a Loved Dog

By Vikki Smith  

            The shadows danced across the floor where she lay basking in the warm sun. Across the vast hall the clatter of dishes and the murmur of soft voices gently lulled her to sleep in her favorite spot near the door. How many times had she lain resting here waiting for her family to arrive from an outing, was it a hundred or two hundred times? Perhaps it had been more, but her memory was now waning in her old age.

            Her whiskers twitched as she began to dream of her puppyhood…to the day she met her new special family. It had started out as every other day, but then there they were, looking down at her. They seemed so strange with their excited voices and eager hands. She had been frightened, but there was something comforting in their voices that made her nose twitch in a good way. She had a new mommy and daddy and children to love. Of course over the years, their voices would sooth her worries, excite her in play, and lovingly tell her how special she was. Her mommy would kiss her soft ears and whisper, “Mommy loves her little baby,” while daddy would massage her with his giant hands telling her, “What a good girl she was.” If only she could tell them how much she loved them. But all she could do was wag her tail and give a quick lick of loving approval. She loved them dearly, and in her sleep she could see herself snuggling up to one of them, feeling their love engulf her as she lay resting her head in one of their laps.

            As she lay warming her aged body in the sun, she could hear the sound of far off waves and boats going by. It had been like this for years as she travelled the world with her special family. She could remember the smell of each place they had lived as if it were yesterday. The smell of Sea salt near the oceans, car exhaust in the cities, and flowers that mom had planted around the houses. But it was the smells of her family that she most loved. Mom always smelled sweet like the flowers she planted. The smell wasn’t strong enough to tickle her nose, like the honeysuckle growing on the fence, but it was fragrant enough to know that her darling mommy was near. Daddy was different depending on the day. On days where he wore his uniform he smelled like the can of white foam he used on his face. But she liked him best on the days he worked in the yard or played with the kids. It was a manly smell. He would be wet and taste like salt. The children were always different. In her sleep she could still see the children at every age of their lives. As they grew into little people, they took on the smells of food they had eaten or yards where they had played. She could recall the feelings of jealousy when they would arrive home from an outing and smell like another dog or a stinky cat. She would sulk away and pout until they found her and loved her back into their lives. She loved the smells of their teenage years as they readied themselves for dates, or smelled of sweaty sporting events or concerts. She would often lay on forgotten outfits strewn on the floor, or carry a sock to her bed to hold her over till someone paid attention to her. She was silly, but she loved them so much that she couldn’t imagine being with any other family in the world.

            A sound resonated across the floor, stirring her for a moment as she sniffed the air for danger. Mom hollered out that she was okay.  She contemplated getting up, but this would require energy and she really was quite content dreaming of her family, so she resettled herself and drifted quickly off to sleep. Coming through the haze of her memory she watched as her little children grew up. Her heart beat loud as she thought of them. She had always treated them as if she had given them birth, watching over them when mommy and daddy were busy or away. But they were toddlers when she had come to live with them, and they had grown up together. She was their best friend and they were hers. She would be the rough and tough boy toy or the sweet confidant for an ever-changing girl of emotions. She could sense when they were sick, happy, or sad. It didn’t matter which it was…she loved them just the same. Her heart beat slower as she saw them as adults, for just like when they entered the family, one behind the other, they left the house the same way, only to visit on occasion. She couldn’t wait for their return on holidays and summers. She was most happy during these times because her whole family was together again. It didn’t matter if there was a squabble or laughter, it was like old times…times she had held in her heart and locked in her memory.

            Now it is just mommy and daddy, and there are people who come and go in the house. She follows mommy from room to room like a shadow afraid to lose its host. She doesn’t hear or see like she once did, and she fears that her heart will only carry her in this life for so long. She knows that mommy and daddy are worried about her. They gently stroke her coat and nuzzled her when she is near. But while she is here she will do her job to love and protect her special family. And even though she will no longer run to the door on their arrival, she will get there any way she can, because that’s what a loved dog is supposed to do…that’s what she is supposed to do. And when that day comes when she must leave them, they will know that she lived a life full of joy and love. She will have been loved like no other could be loved…because they loved her with all of their hearts. And when this dream is over, she will look forward to napping again, for she will dream of memories of a loved dog…