Sunday, July 28, 2013

Providence (Not Rhode Island)

Dear John,
I'm back! It's been a chilly day, low 60s and rainy. Your family has taken it easy - we've all been pretty tired. I'm in sweats and socks, and the dog has slept on my feet and the cat on my shoulder, and there's a Burn Notice marathon on. It's been a good day.

I've been pondering the providence of God, particularly as demonstrated by Jethro's joining of the family. Think about it. I had that round of mono in the winter of 2010-2011. We had started thinking about getting another dog. Then on Friday, April 7th, I woke up feeling much better. You were off, so we went shelter-looking, found Jethro, and brought him home. If we hadn't gone that day, what would have happened?

After April 8th we wouldn't have gotten him, because I wanted to be free to go help out in Ann Arbor, which I ended up doing. After that we would have waited until after our vacation, which was supposed to be the first two weeks of June. The vacation didn't happen because I was in the wreck. Even after I was out of the hospital we wouldn't have gotten a dog because I had that nasty clavicle fracture. Before it healed, you'd been diagnosed with cancer again and were in and out of the hospital. We never would have gotten a dog.

I can't imagine you coping with July and August without Jethro. When you felt so bad - before I strong-armed doctors into putting you on Bumex, and which you peed off 30 pounds in 2 weeks and went back to work - having Jethro crawl up in your lap, lick you, and go to sleep was the only thing that made you happy.

He's been wonderful for me, too, since your death. Having somebody to come home to and talk to and cuddle up with and sleep with has been so important. And because he got depressed and had to have a cat, I have Hunter, too.

We had no idea, when we woke up on April 7th and decided to go visit animal shelters, how crucial it was to do that on that day. But that was the providence of a loving and all-knowing God. Life hasn't been easy on Jethro, poor creature. He lost his Daddy, then his little playmate moved out when Jen and Elyssa got their own place. He's still a bit insecure, but so am I. And I suppose being here is better than still being at the shelter. And he loves us and enjoys his life. We're all rescue animals here -  Jethro from the shelter, Hunter from a dumpster, and me from being alone.

"And the moral of that is," said the duchess: Trust in the providence of God. He will fit everything together in a way that we can't imagine and is best for everybody. Looking at these things helps me remember that. And I need reminders, since nothing seems certain or secure anymore. It's really okay. You never doubted, never were afraid or anxious about anything. That example helps - thank you for being you. And thank you for spending your day off going to animal shelters that day!

Love you so, so much,

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