Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Shocking Developments

Dear Diary,

My mom is such a bitch. It would appear that yours truly is grounded.

Last week some guy showed up at the house. He seemed friendly enough, had a big, goofy grin on his face and talked nice, but after he left I realized he had made a mess of things in the yard. And I don't mean poop or a big hole in the dirt. No, this guy went and stuck a bunch of flags all over my property. Bunches of them! Everywhere I look I see them. And I hear them when I get too close.

So does mom come to the rescue? Noooo. In fact, she seems to test me around these things. She holds my leash all normal-like, but as soon as we get close she yanks me back saying "No!" and we frantically return to the center of the yard like crazy animals. Then she praises me in that sickeningly sweet voice she uses when she wants me to do something. I walked all over the yard looking for a place that didn't have one of these white flags (white for surrender, I guess!), but couldn't find one.

Eventually I gave up and just kept my distance, though I have to say I'm incredibly bummed that my favorite things appear to be just out of reach. The yard to the left of mine has this really great restaurant -- an all-you-can-eat buffet with banana and orange peels, egg shells, and a variety of exotic foods. I'll try anything! Sometimes when mom tries to get me to come home I'll follow her to the door and then turn around and run right back to the buffet. It's a really fun game we play together. Another thing I really love about the buffet is that after I eat there my butt makes funny tooting noises. I guess my parents don't like the sound because frequently they leave the room and let me have the bed or sofa all to myself!

In addition to the food, I really like the little girl that lives at the house next door. Her name is Sophia and she's five, I think. She was afraid of me when I first moved in so I try to run over there every time I see her so that comes to love me. I'm very lovable! Even her mom is pretty nice to me and I know she doesn't care for "my kind." Whatever that means.

But the biggest problem with my being grounded is that I can't sneak over and visit my BFF Maxine who lives in the house on the right. Her parents and mine already curtailed the time we spend together - something about her being a bad influence on me - but I've found easy ways under the wire fence in her backyard so I'll just run over there whenever I see her outside.

I have to tell you, I'm feeling like a trapped animal. Even though the yard is more than half an acre, it's not possibly big enough to provide the space I need for my youthful exuberance. I can see it in mom's eyes. She's already feeling guilty. Good. She should. She leaves me in a crate during the day when she's at work, and now she wants to curb my enthusiasm when we're outside together. Worst Mom Ever!!


Dear Diary, 

I didn't think it was possible, but the situation with these flags has gone from bad to worse. Not only do they make sounds when I get too close, but as of yesterday they buzz me! Mom compares it to static electricity. Dad said it's like sticking your finger in a socket. I think Dad's version is closer to the truth. Anyway, to protest I went through the flags to my friend's house and I made them come get me. I'll show them who's boss.

You're probably thinking I should just run away, and I've thought about it, but I believe I have an even better idea. I'm digging a hole to China. Don't laugh! I'm serious. There's this bare spot in the front yard where they cut down a tree and haven't planted grass seed and I've started to dig there. I'm stealthy and I don't think they've noticed the progress I've made in such a short amount of time. Best of all, Maxine's family is from China so I'm sure she'll be happy to accompany me.

Diary, thank you for keeping my secrets. I'm going to get back to work on my tunnel now and give some more thought to this flag situation. I'll keep you posted.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Everyone You Meet

A few months ago, my friend Mindy wrote this heartfelt reflection after the tragic loss of 13-year-old Caynam Naib. I asked her permission to post it on my blog, but never got around to it. As I find myself distracted, downhearted and a bit blue these days, I thought it might be a good time to share Mindy's piece. Perhaps you'll be kind if I happen to be that "person in the middle of the aisle."

Everyone You Meet
by Melinda Ann Madore Davis

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about." Wendy Mass, The Candymakers

Who will you “meet” today? I don’t mean in the sit down and exchange names sense. I mean who will you come across as you go about your day? Certainly, you will interact with those who are an everyday part of your life— family, coworkers, perhaps one of those “frequently occurring characters” like the particularly friendly Starbucks clerk, who has made it a point to remember your name. However, every day, each of us shares space with innumerable others, even if only ever so slightly: those ahead of us in line at the sandwich shop, those who are driving the same route as we head to work, those who are in the grocery store at the same time that we are.

This makes me think about Cayman’s mom. Most of us know of her, but we do not know her. Here is a mother who is suffering, who is grieving, and who continues to care for her family. Who does she meet when she is in the grocery store? You may not meet Cayman’s mom, but you've met that person in the middle of the aisle who seems to be in another world, not noticing that you are trying to get by. Now what if, instead of becoming irritated we remembered the above quote? How would we choose to act/react/respond? What if it were Cayman’s mom? Maybe this “someone” is seemingly in another world because they lost their job this week or because they have learned of a devastating diagnosis in their family. What if, no matter what, we chose to approach these “ordinary” situations with a different mindset? What kind of difference could this make to the tone of our world? I see this as a divine opportunity, a chance to extend a gracious attitude toward someone who is technically a “stranger,” but who shares my world, if only for a minute.

Most of us will not found a philanthropic organization. Not all of us will contribute great wealth to a worthwhile cause. We might not be able to travel to a distant place to share our time, resources and skills with others who are in need. But while all of these are important, isn't it encouraging to realize that we don’t have to do big things with money or specialized skills to make an important contribution to our world?
All of us end up in the grocery store. All of us can choose to be kind, patient, gracious. And, in this way, all of us can make a difference. The next time you are in the grocery store, think about Cayman’s mom. Think about her as “everyone you meet”—“for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

Who is Cayman’s Mom? Cayman’s mom is Rebecca Malcolm-Naib. Her dear son, Cayman Naib, 13, of Newtown Square, PA tragically died near his home on March 4, 2015.