Something’s Missing…

My daughter was about 75% finished with this Thomas Kinkade puzzle when she realized she was missing a piece!

This past week, my daughter realized she was missing a piece of a puzzle. In spite of this, she stubbornly completed it. Her original intent was to frame the completed project, but after the missing piece was discovered she dejectedly took it apart and put it up. At least she didn’t let it get her too down… she went out and purchased a bigger, more colorful puzzle the next day!

Ever Feel Like Something is Missing?

We’ve had a tough month here in the Portis household. There have been some pretty major events that have taken its toll on us emotionally and physically. Terry has finally stopped having bad dreams at night, and my doctor is now  “on my case” as it ultimately disrupted my once regulated blood pressure. I was forced to make a medication change, and I see her again in two weeks. Basically this has NOT BEEN FUN.

When our children are little and something hurts them… chances are a “barbie doll band aid” or “spider man patch” was enough to make the “owwie” feel better. If their feelings were hurt, a simple pep talk and instructions to “shake hands and say you are sorry” sufficed. Having young adult children is no easy task. They are independent thinkers and for the most part make daily decisions with only occasional requests for advice from mom and dad. Kyersten will only be living at home full-time for another 8 months as she transfers to a 4-year college next August. Needless to say, I am “treasuring up” these days. Both of our kids work part-time and go to school full-time. They serve in our church and are busy. They are also old enough for life to hit them hard with tragedy and heart ache. As young adults, their “boo-boos” are more serious. It’s very difficult as parents seeing your child face their first “life changing challenge”. It won’t be their last, but it isn’t fun to witness the first and be helpless to intervene.

Perhaps because we’ve been experiencing some very real emotional duress, I have been “waiting for the other shoe to drop“. Have you ever felt that way? It may be that you’ve been through something difficult and even though things are looking up, you sense something bad is still going to happen. Perhaps it’s the result of living for a prolonged period of time under stress. I think we can get in the habit of feeling stress and pressure. Even when life begins to smooth out, we are in the habit of waking up tense. I can’t shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen again.

I wake up that way, and go to bed the same. This has affected even my tinnitus, balance and hearing! Stress and pressure only make acquired disabilities seem worse. Oh sure! This trial has brought me to my knees in a hurry. I believe in prayer and do not have to be coached to go to God when I need advice, comfort, healing, forgiveness or thankfulness. When tragedy strikes, I do have to remind myself… “GO PRAY”, because I’m often just trying to stay in one piece. S.O.S. prayers are harder for me… I guess because I’m already under stress and have little emotion or brain cells for doing something different.

Face toward Heaven... Chloe can set a good example

We just had a beautiful snow here in Maryland. We received 3-4 inches and it was the lovely, huge, fluffy flakes. Chloe and our family dog, Tyco, love the snow. Tyco loves it because he’s an Elkhound… a winter breed. Chloe loves it because it makes everything smell better. Being a hound-mix, she has a better sniffer… than even Tyco. Her muzzle, nose and floppy jowls were all made to collect and intensify scent. She can even smell a scent on the air and may taste and savor it by licking at the air with deep breaths and puffs! When snow is on the ground, smells are intensified, and she LOVES IT. She would spend hours in the yard if I could endure the cold that long.

Today in the yard, the dogs raced around the yard to play. While Tyco went to make his rounds along the perimeter of our fence, Chloe trotted around the yard, nose to the ground, sniffing and tracking all the wildlife scents left from critters in our yard from the early morning hours. She would trace many all the way to the fence and stop when she realized “it had gone over”. She would quickly pick up another scent, and race after it even if it sent her in circles, up and over tree stumps, or scrambling through the wintry bushes. Chloe was getting herself worked up over one scent trail, and I suspect it may have been something “bigger than normal” by the way she was snuffling, whining, and tracking. Eventually, she stopped her frenzied tracking and stopped short with limbs trembling and deep sighs. With the last bit of snow melting away between her footpads, Chloe turned her nose towards Heaven and stood in perfect stillness for almost 5 minutes. The only thing I could see moving was her nostrils and her ribcage. She even closed her eyes and enjoyed the scent of the air… of winter…

It struck me how poignantly clear her example was to me as her human partner. After a disappointing “hunt”, she was still able to enjoy what she was good at… smelling the scents of the winter bouquet caught up in the chilly breeze around us. I realized that although our family has experienced something that will always “show” as a heart scar in our lives, I cannot forget that life is usually VERY GOOD. I had to take a minute and point my own nose towards Heaven to express “thanks” for life and the blessings I have.

Get on Livin’ it!

Don’t allow yourself to look at life’s stresses and tragedy as the “norm”. To easily we embrace what we feel is our “lot” or what we deserve. Bad things happen… and they happen to every person. Matthew 5:45: “For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Bad things happen to good people. (Bad things happen to bad people too, but they are usually more of a life consequence than a random occurrence!) Don’t anticipate that bad things are going to happen. Life is good.

ready to come in?

Denise Portis

© 2009 Hearing Loss Journal

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7 thoughts on “Something’s Missing…

  1. Denise,

    I think this one was one of your best blogs ever!
    I, too, have had some issues going on and trying to resolve
    them in a way that would be positive……it happened today
    and then I read your blog! Thanks for always sending realistic and positive messages!

    Jane Harford

  2. Denise,

    Absolutely resonate with your writing. Life is good, most of the time. Difficult to remember that during the hard times. It is true, that after a tense & difficult time, it can take frequent reminders to remember to release the tension and breathe.
    Completely in LOVE with the photo of Chloe intent in enjoying whatever she is smelling.
    Thank you for writing. Thank you for being genuine.
    Thank you for writing with your heart and your spirit.

    -Kim

  3. Oh that pic of Chloe is CAPTIVATING!! Aren’t ya glad they let us in on their “secrets”?
    And yep, I know about waiting for the shoe to drop. Round here, we’ve been through several pairs of clunkers, high heels, and clogs the past 2 years…grin.
    I just keep hearing that song “It didn’t come to stay, it came to pass.”

  4. Hi Denise ! Love the heartfelt post Thank you ~~ I’m guessing Chloe is Rhodesian / Boxer and maybe a bit of Basenji. She’s an awesome dog !!!! Keep the Faith , Hugs Rusty

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