Panda's First Smile

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Saturday, August 31, 2013


"But ask the animals and they will teach you..."
Job 12:7


Squirrel...the newest "Little Buddha"
on finding Joy ineffable in the
simplest gestures of kindness...

Squirrel knows things aren't going well...
all the Little Buddhas do. They want
to cheer me up, so we have
"cuddle time" together on my bed.

After a particularly difficult day,
Squirrel did one thing, one thing
that might seem tiny to many,
yet was monumental to me...He
came to my open palm at one
point and placed his paw right
into the middle of it, as if
holding my hand to say,
"Everything is going to be

all right, mom. We love you."
He placed his tiny paw on mine...

And, in that moment,
everything was better
than O.K. it was

Then he stretched himself out on my
pillow atop one of the many fleece pads
which you (know who you are) Gifted the
Guinea Pig Sanctuary, and he stayed
with me, soothing and comforting me.

Because these are not hiking boots,
snowshoes, cross-country skis,
speedskates; they are my Nordic
hiking Poles, they are not any of
the things I am accustomed to...
two days ago a wheelchair came
and not to rent, but to remain.
And they know I am...not quite
O.K. with it. So they comfort me
in tiny ways which, my friends,
are not tiny at all.

Here in our home, the meek have
inherited my life, given it meaning,
and bring me joy...they are too
precious to remain sad around,
too funny for me to become morbid
they do not allow thoughts of
anything but Wonder: that such
tiny creatures know so much,
feel the pain I feel, never complain,
ask for so little, yet always give their all!


So many of you have supported the
Guinea Pig Sanctuary throughout the years
and you have also sent me many gifts...
these humble acts may seem small to
you but please know that they are not
now, nor shall they ever be small to me!

I look around from bed and all I see are
Gifts. And all I feel is Loved.

How can that ever be a small thing?

Thank you, my dear friends...


(P.S. At long last we finally have a medical team
doing their very best to diagnose then, hopefully,
treat whatever is causing my body to shut down.
We have struggled 10 months for this, so have
hope. At least we have their reassurance they
will leave no stone unturned. That is all we
have asked for. And We have Hope.)

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  1. Love you bunches and pray for you every day. Be aa terror on wheels! Do not go gently into the night...

  2. Ha-Ha! THANK YOU, MARIFAN, imagine Scarlet O'Hara in "Gone With The Wind" shouting: "Ah Shall NEVAH BEHAVE! NEVAH!" LOL! I LURVES YOU SO MUCH!!!

  3. I think of my fur babies all the time and have often wondered if they knew how much they meant to me. Unconditional love is something you don't always feel with the human animal and I miss that beyond belief. They enrich our lives, no matter what shape our lives are in.

    NEVER GIVE UP HOPE! That chair doesn't define you, just look at it as a mobile device... it allows you to be more mobile!

    Thoughts and prayers... but you know that, without me saying it.

  4. Dear Ms. A...thank you for every word. I do believe they know how much they mean to us. They are far more sensitive than we can begin to imagine, they know before we do...and yes, unconditional love: the thing about the Sanctuary is that no matter how neglected, abused, starved, or harmed any of the piggies were before arriving, they each arrived with full hearts ready to love and be loved! Wish we could be like them...I owe you a debt of gratitude for the blogs you posted about Mike, Ms. A, or I would not have the courage to write, even hint at what is now...NOT DEFINING ME (THANK YOU FOR THAT!) It allows me to be a little TOO mobile, though, because Seattle is HILLS, STEEP ONES, and without my friend to hold the today was our first bus ride. I will consider it my mobile device. And then come home and let the piggies comfort me...still struggling to accept the Unknown, as you know ALL TOO WELL. Thanks for paving the way, Ms. A, I find myself thinking now: "This is what it must have been like for them..." and feel just a bit less lonely in it.