Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reflections in Stone

Sunday is our one year anniversary for walking the final mile in Boston and not coincidentally, it’s also father’s day.

I got an email a few weeks back that asked simply ‘Whatever happened to that stone business you were writing about?’

My guess is they were referring to the series of blogs I published starting with 61 Stones not my Facebook discussion thread about medical marijuana for dogs.

If you haven’t been with us since last July, shortly after Boston Murphy was diagnosed with nasal adenocarcinoma and given 12 to 15 months to live. I went to a river basin in the Cheeseman valley west of Colorado Springs to collect a series of stones. Each week I resolved to remove one of those stones from a glass jar.

Maybe it was my way of celebrating his life while it remained or maybe I was deconstructing my own in a mathematically dissociative way. It’s hard to say exactly why we do something in the first place but at the time it made sense to me. Perhaps it was the only thing that made sense to me.

I didn’t always post a blog every week as there were many when the cruel irony of his cancer embittered my heart and kept me silent. I think the last one I posted was ‘9 Stones’ after which Murphy’s health spiraled downward, a deep descent that took me with it.

Since then I have made many medically difficult decisions on his behalf that only time will tell whether they were sound or not but I can’t stop fighting for him as long as his spirit tells me he is not ready to leave this place.

Zero stones came and went and Murphy is still here. We just returned from Eureka Springs where we spent many good hours on the swollen banks of Beaver Lake together (photo nearby).

How long Murphy has left is up to God and Murphy.

For me there are no more stones to remove. It’s time to start replacing them.


Solitude.Peace said...

I understood the reason behind the stones.  I personally found it to be poetic so to speak.  I actually kept track even when your life appeared to be spiraling fiercely in a direction of many uncertain paths.  The stones, the days or nights that pass always hold and will continue to hold a meaning to you that only you will ever truly know or understand.  Replacing the stones will be seen as a celebration as far as I am concerned.  I raise my glass to you my friend, I will celebrate each stone that is replaced.  

GardenGal said...

Perhaps it is time to add a stone for each week that Murphy continues to strive and God so blesses him with more time on this earth.

I who have walked the cancer walk with 7 dogs now, know the pain and hard decisions that must be made. I often reflect on if I had done this or if I had known this would I have done things differently. It is a hard road to walk when there is a precious creature relying on us to do what is right and knowing that we would never let them down.

We continue to keep all of you in our prayers and ask that God give you the strength to address each situation that arises and the insight to do what is right.

Cathy M. Sullivan-Neves- Rhode Island said...

Everyday is a miracle and every day creates a memory... to which we all should celebrate as we never know how close to heaven we could be.....I chose to carry Murph Man in my heart ... as I do with all that I have lost in my life....
Cathy- Rhode Island

Anonymous said...

He's your dog...your family member. Only you can make the decisions. No one can criticize. No one has the right to. God bless you and Murphy. I lost my beloved Maremma Sheepdog to cancer in Sept 2007. I still miss her. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Jane said...

Your story touches me deeply. I will keep Murphy in my prayers. I saw a piece about your walk on Animal Planet this morning and wish I had known about it a year ago. What a wonderful journey to take in Malcolm's memory and for such a great cause! I lost my beloved golden Harry when he was nine. He developed a lymphoma that attacked his lungs viscously. On Tuesday, the vet took x-rays and said it looked like he developed an allergy. She prescribed an antihistamine for him. On Thursday, I brought him back and a different vet took x-rays again and said she thought it was lymphoma. His heart stopped on Friday evening. That was in 2008 and I still miss him every day. But I am thankful for the time I shared with him. He taught me so much and opened up a whole new world for me. If only dogs could live as long as humans.

FiveSibesMom said...

Here is to a happy one year anniversary. Your "stone" post is beautiful. We here believe in your concept of time to start replacing the stones. Murphy, we are pawing all good healing thoughts for you! Husky hugs!

JT said...

You are loving Murphy so well, like God, who does not want to let go those entrusted to his care. And you've walked with Murphy and Hudson in a way we all wish we could . . .

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair or foul or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.
~ HORACE in *Odes,* Book III, xxix. Translation by John Dryden