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Archive for July, 2008

Time. It changes things, and change reflects time’s nature.

This weekend brought many thoughts to the forefront of my mind… for some reason when family comes to visit it just happens.

I left the snug room in the apartment I share with Brandon and Steph last Thursday to drive home to Wartburg for the 4th of July holiday. Mom told me previously that she remodeled my butterfly covered bright blue bedroom, so it was no surprise to me when I came home and saw that it was now a neutral brown, black and teal colored room with a futon instead of my bed inside. It was expected.

I’ve had many changes in my life. I’ve had my ups, downs and breakdowns alongside moments of triumph.

And for some reason, great weeks are always followed by something looming… by utterly crappy emotions, experiences and moments that build character.

Right now, my character is treading a sea filled with tears. I am an emotional being.

Last week was amazing; I’ll just be honest. I worked out everyday, ate amazingly healthy even for me, and I even went shopping at Gap (c’mon, the sales are irresistible). Two nights ended in conversations with Lance lasting more than 30 minutes, the weather was perfect and it was a short week: July 4th fell on a Friday.

Plus, I saw numerous relatives that stayed at the house all weekend from Ohio.

It was nearly perfect. I was home, seeing family, on a very extended weekend.

But all good things come to an end.

An indescribable feeling of emptiness surrounds me when a full house suddenly decreases to three people in a matter of moments. Watching them drive away was like being punched in the gut and I realized… the perfect weekend was over, and I, too, would soon return to my work-filled routine.

In an attempt to bring back the feelings that once were only a matter of hours ago, I walked outside onto the lone porch and into the empty yard. I picked up the corn bags and started practicing my corn hole techniques, then moved on to ladder golf once my arms were sore. My parents came out to relax, and Dad and I played a few rounds of ladder golf. But something besides the laughter and babies, someone without imposable thumbs, was missing.

Peanut.

I remember when I first laid eyes on that dog. It was a chilly November night, and Lance and I had just left church and pulled in the driveway when something small and white in the headlights caught my attention.

At first, I thought it was a rabbit, but then after looking closer I realized it was a very skittish mix of Jack Russell Terrier and something else. He was only a pup and skinny as a rail. You could count the ribs on him.

My heart melted right away, and after countless attempts to pet him, Lance and I finally coaxed him to get close to us with some leftover fries. Dad at first wanted to pay him no attention, hoping he would go back home, if he had one at all. Mom had a way, though, and Dad too warmed up to him and eventually built a doghouse complete with carpet and heat for colder nights.

We named him Peanut for two reasons:

  1. He peed a lot
  2. He was hyper, like a nut. No other name suited him better…

Mom saw him first. He was under the back porch by a bush. Normally he would be roaming around the back yard sniffing his territory with Fido, our aging Chihuahua. Something about Peanut wasn’t right… Dad had to pull him out from his spot and immediately we knew a vet must intervene.

We drove over to Karns and waited to see the vet. He was puny; didn’t move hardly at all… peaceful, almost.

Tests were run and everything checked out O.K. We paid the bill and went on our way, thinking he would recover after some prescribed medication.

Apparently, we were wrong.

A pet’s death never comes easily, no matter how long he or she is with you. We grow attached, play with them and either congratulate or regurgitate at the sight of a prized trophy on the back doorstep. We yell when they run out into the road and comfort them when they’re afraid of thunderstorms. We love them unconditionally, and they love us back. They learn from us, and we learn from them.

It’s been over one year since I gave my valedictory at graduation. I wish I’d kept it; it kicked butt, basically. It covered all the bases and summed up our years in the Morgan County School System pretty well: touch on getting screwed over multiple times, quickly change subject to how that helped us adapt to change, ending with learning to embrace our changes ahead in life, and I even sprinkled some song lyrics here and there.

Looking back now, I realize that speech was mostly meant for me. I knew I wasn’t ready to change my way of life; I knew I wasn’t really ready for everything I once knew to be stripped away in a matter of months (I once tried, unsuccessfully, to drown myself when I was 10 after my oldest brother graduated high school and two months later my grandma passed away. I was afraid of the future, the unknown). Once I thought I’d adapted to what had changed then, something else came along and signaled to me that I was growing up — my bedroom changed, I’m working more than relaxing during the summer, it’s hard to cope with a pet of only eight months dying.

It doesn’t help that I’m also gaining a year this Wednesday (July 16).

Change sucks. As Ben Folds once wrote in his song Still Fighting It,

“everybody knows it sucks to grow up, but everybody does…and let me tell you what, the years go on and we’re still fighting it…”

No matter how old we get, no matter how “seasoned” we are, will be, or ever were, it seems that change is the biggest challenge for each human being, for each soul. Time and change go hand-in-hand; they’re in cahoots with each other. They resemble Siamese twins joined at the hip and are inseparable. It’s inevitable.

“…And life’s like an hourglass glued to the table.”

Such haunting words, yet they fit now.

We can’t re-wind life. What’s happened has happened, and there’s no changing it. All we can do is roll with the punches, adapt, learn and move on. That’s time, that’s change and that’s life.

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