Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Fast Forward

You don't need anything else
When you have everything you need.
And everything I need
I find in you.

Alas, you pack your bags
And travel far from me
Taking all the love I have to give
With you when you go.

Forgotten, years later,
I am doomed to become
A fat, drunk, depressed old woman
Who maxes out her credit cards

And cares for naught
But her memories of you.



Friday, July 20, 2018

All of Us Are Lost Until we are Found: What I Learned from Losing my Dog for a Few Hours

Tonight I was walking Immy and Joey in the tiny artist colony of Tubac, Arizona. As we headed up the gravel road to the Montessori School I stopped to take a photo of the cranberry colored monsoon sky. In that very moment a cottontail rabbit sprang from the nearby bushes and Immy took off like a rocket after it, the leash flew from my hand, catching me totally off guard.  


Joey and I raced after her, but she was going 45 MPH and we were going maybe 8 MPH. She was absolutely nowhere to be seen as we came to the crest of the sloped gravel drive. A giant field, the frontage road on one side of it with Highway 19 just beyond. My mind was taking me to crazy places. I called her name over and over. Almost crying. "Hey Immy, Good Girl Come On! Let's go home!"  I whistled, the same whistle I would whistle to bring Jack home. No luck. She was nowhere to be found. 

Joey and I then ran as fast as we could all the way home to get the car.  Of course dusk was upon us. It was getting so dark already. I left the patio door open in the event she came home of her own accord. I grabbed my flashlight, stopped to post a Lost Dog post on my Facebook Page and the Tubac Barrio and Surrounding Area pages. I tried to post on the local Lost and Found Pet pages but was I a member? No of course not. I was never going to lose a dog. My hands were shaking so badly and between that and Spellchecker I was about insane already.  We took off in the car on the DARK roads of Tubac. Immy is dark! The roads are dark! My mind, still taking me to terrible places. 


We drove back up to the area where we last saw her. I drove all over the schoolyard, the nearby acreage. I climbed into the deep rocky ditches and the water-filled arroyo with my flashlight. Calling her calling her. Meanwhile the huge trucks are bearing down on the nearby highway. 
"Dear God, not the highway."  She is smart but I do believe she would walk right out in front of a car despite my years of trying to teach her otherwise.  


Then the train.  Whoo Whoo!   OMG. The railroad tracks! The train! Just 1/4 mile away on the other side of the village from the highway. I start hyperventilating. Crying. Driving slowly on all the streets of town, crying her name out. I had no whistle left. To the Frontage Road for 1/2 mile. I refused to consider the highway option.  It had claimed enough canine lives since I moved here so I tried to believe that statistically she was safe.  : / 



I was getting more and more upset. Hyperventilating.  Three times I came back to the house to see if she was there, but no Immy.  Each time I got more upset than the last time. A third drive through all the streets of town. I realized how upset I was getting; sick with it really. 

"Stop." I say. "Where's your faith? God's got this." 
God. The angels. Jack. Anyone else? I asked for help from all of them. 

I started to imagine her walking along the side street with her leash dangling behind her, waiting for me to find her walking along, ever so nonchalantly.
A song popped into my head and I started singing. 


🎶"There she was just a walkin down the street singin do wah diddy diddy dum diddy doo..." 🎶
I turned a corner, got nervous again. Those tears, that fear is so persistent! 
But so's the tune. 
"She looked good, looked fine..... "🎶
"God's got this. He knows what he's doing."
The tears, the fears still trying to get through. My imagination, trying to get the best of me.   
".... and I nearly lost my mind."🎶

We're all lost until we're found
Then I remember my pendulum. I had not dowsed in many years.
It was in the console of my car.  I pulled it out.
No, it said, she's not at the highway. No, she's nowhere near the railroad. Not there. No, not there. She was in the village limits. She was within the 9 square blocks of our quiet little village.
She was safe. She wasn't dead or injured.
🎶"..do wa diddy diddy dum diddy do..."🎶
Around and around the town I went. Visiting all the nooks and crannies.
Coming back along towards our house, I'm crying again!
OMG what if someone finds her and uses her for dog fight bait!  OMG!
Stop.
"Dear God protect her. If she doesn't ever come home, take care of her. Please."
Crying.
"I promise I'll never use my phone again on our walks if you only bring her back."
Entering the Bargaining Stage of Grief now.
Waah!
Stop.
"Get into your faith Kate. It's life. Whatever happens will happen."
I thought of Jack's excerpt from Book 3, Return from Rainbow Bridge...


Whatever happens there's a reason. I have to trust God with His Plan. 
I have to trust myself that she loves me enough that she would want to come home. 
I have to trust her that she is smart enough to find her way home. After all, we walk these village streets every day. She must know her way around quite well by now. She is a hound dog after all.  

Driving up the gravel road to the school for the fourth time, 
did I see two shining eyes up the road in the headlights?  
🎶"Before I knew it she was walkin' next to me...singing do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do."  🎶
No. It was my imagination.  Maybe a premonition. 
Wait. Look! Is that her standing over there?    
No. It's a downed tree that just happens to look like her.

Hey, a rabbit! It looked like the same rabbit she went after. 
Came out from the same place in the bushes. 🐾
I followed the rabbit.
🎶" Whoa-oh, I knew we was falling in love..."🎶

A left turn down into the nearby neighborhood. Into a vacant side lot. 
Drove my car over the bumps and rocks to search the lot with my headlights. 
Did I see two shining eyes ahead?
  🎶"She looked good. She looked fine. And I nearly lost my mind."🎶

From the Archives
🎶 There she was just as natural as can be. Standing perfectly still. Looking at me.
The rabbit was sitting there watching us the whole time.
Immy seemed confused, scared, not moving. Looked like she didn't recognize me.
This sighthound had to get a close smell of me to know it was me.
She often lets fear get the best of her. (Sounds like someone I know.) 
As I got closer I was able to see her dilemma. She had gotten the handle of her 16' retractable leash caught on a nearby mesquite bush. (so strange, we usually use the retractable on the wilderness trails and the regular leash in town, but for some reason we used the retractable one tonight. Divine Intervention?) Not only that but she had obviously tried to get herself loose and had it wrapped around quite creatively on an upside down tree stump beside her. Knowing how she gets when she is scared, I was not surprised to see the rest of the leash wrapped round all of her legs, like a cat's cradle, so she couldn't move an inch. 
The rabbit just watched. Immy was silent. She never complains about anything. She just endures. 
🎶"Whoa-oh, I knew I was falling in love..."🎶

It took about ten minutes to get her untangled from herself. 
Gosh she must've heard me crying and calling for her all over town, from her tangled web on this dark vacant lot. I wonder what she was thinking. Feeling. 
As soon as she was loose I hugged her and hugged her and hugged her. She is not usually tolerant of much affection but she was hugging me back. 
She was thrilled to get into the car. I wish I had a picture of her and Joey when they reunited at the car window.
But no more pictures when I have a dog on a leash. 

We headed home. 
🎶"...and so I told her all the things I'd been dreamin' of..."🎶

I had to be calm. I had to have faith. I had to stop crying and Be Still.
The stress. The adrenalin! Imagining the worst.
The moment I stopped worrying and put my faith in God and all the rest of us, everything turned around. 



I came home to hundreds of prayers from my frantic posting on Facebook two hours earlier (gosh it was only two hours? It felt like ten!) A very kind and helpful call came in from the local Santa Cruz Sheriff's Department who had received a call from a friend in Connecticut about my lost dog, wondering if they could help. (I was a little nervous, I thought they might have been calling me because I had been driving off-road all over the town screaming "IMMY!" and carrying on). I also received a call from an Animal Communicator friend I had met in Sedona who has expertise in Finding Lost Pets, calling to offer to help me free of charge to locate Immy. And one of my home care patients who is now a Facebook Friend offered to drive down with her husband to help me try to find her. Wow. I am overwhelmed with the care and concern and offers to help us tonight.  

What an adventure. She's exhausted. Joey's exhausted. I'm exhausted. 
But we're happy.  🎶So Happy Together 🎶




When you lose something precious and then get it back, you make sure to fulfill your promises. No more taking photos along our walks. It's going to take some discipline for me, based on my history. 
🎶"Now we're together every single day...
We're so happy and it's how we're gonna stay..."🎶


You do what you have to do and you honor your Promises. 
🎶"..Do wa diddy diddy dum diddy do..." 🎶

Night Night Miss Immy.  


Lyrics Do Wah Diddy by Manfred Mann
Songwriters: Ellie Greenwich / Jeff Barry
My apologies ahead of time if this song sticks in your head for the rest of the night too! 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Driven by Fate



It's not how I planned it. 
You seem to assume a certain accountability 
For my future, 
Yet I gave control of me to you
When I gave my heart to you.
You, who interrupted the course of my destiny, 
Taking me to places I didn't want to go. 

At first I am angered. 
Dare you involve yourself in a way 
That alters my life, my Fate! 

Then I think again. My heart softens just a bit. 
Could it be that you are part of a Plan; 
Part of the Divine Design of my life?


I've been a word-monger all my life and yet
I think now that FATE is part of the word FATAL
Because in my fate I died as I was. 
Died and reborn as someone else.

All because of you. 

c. 2018  Kate McGahan

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Key to a Love that Lasts Forever

Letting Go doesn't mean you don't love them anymore. Letting Go doesn't mean you won't miss them anymore. You'll always remember. You can never cut the ties that bind two souls together who truly love each other. What you DO need to cut is the Leash of Grief and Guilt that binds them to you and prevents them from doing what is best for them.

As They say, set something free and if it was yours to begin with, it will come back. It's natural law, in Heaven and on Earth and in all the spaces in between life and death and life. Your loved ones cannot come back from a place they have not yet arrived. 

If you are looking for Signs and not finding them, take a look at what you are doing. If your best friend is still on the leash of your grief, your best friend is not yet free to be everything he or she can be. 

Letting Go is the most important thing you can do for both of you. It is the ultimate act of faith... and you will be rewarded for it. 

Breathe. Then Let Go. It's time.
You say you love. Do you love them enough to let them go? 
Do you trust them enough to have the faith that they will never leave?  




"'Do not cling to me,' said Jesus, 'for I have not yet ascended to the Father.'"
John 20:17
(Jesus to Mary Magdalene) 

Monday, July 2, 2018

ABSENT DAD


Today would have been my father's 84th birthday. 
Life wasn't perfect for us, yet it was somehow perfect in that we taught each other what we needed to learn from each other. 
It was not his fault. It's not my fault. 
It's no one's fault. It just is what it is. 
We all have something we believe is true that isn't true 
deep inside of us
and some of us spend our entire lives trying to undo the misconceptions and beliefs that hold us back from living a full life of love and adventure.  
It's never too late. 
Life is the school, love is the lesson.


It seemed so long between visits
Just every month or so,
And even then time shared was brief
It was hard to see him go.

Of course to mother there was relief
In seeing him depart.
But to his daughter, it was the first
Padlock upon her heart.



This early lesson taught her
That men we love can leave.
So be so ever careful
Not to fall, not to believe

In lasting love, for love can stray
And separate the two
Who so loved one another
As love made it's first debut.


"Abandonment" they call it
Where you just seem to expect
That if you allow yourself to care
The old rule takes effect:

Those who love will also leave
No matter what you do:
If your Daddy has left you to fend for yourself,
It will happen again to you.

So you go your own way and you meet lots of men
And keep a safe distance between.
You're unintentionally "hard to get,"
Driven by a force unseen.


This of course drives men crazy
And you help them realize
That they'll not understand some women;
First she loves and then she flies.

There are lessons for you to learn that men
Are not all like your Dad.
Strive to open up your world
To a well-intended lad.

If he leaves you, understand,
That's simply a risk you face.
Like everything else, take what you learn
And apply it in the next case.


Until you land on one who's right
For you and you for him.
Sometimes there are lessons to be learned
Throughout the interim.

So just believe, have faith assured
In the Powers That Be each day.
Use your insight, share your love,
And you won't be a divorcee.


From the book "One Heart's Journey" by Kate McGahan
c.2000

Thursday, June 21, 2018

FRANKLy Speaking


The strength of human will
Is stronger than anything
That can happen to it.

This phenomenon of nature holds true:
As the strongest winds blow
So the seedling is strengthened.

When I think of the wisdom and the resiliency
Of Victor Frankl at Auschwitz,
I am better able to tolerate

The foul smelling woman
Who sits beside me
On the way to Penn Station.

Reprinted from One Heart's Journey © 2000

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Immy Shows Insight on her 5th Birthday


Today was Immy's Birthday. I actually forgot until I received an email from the vet saying: HAPPY BIRTHDAY IMMY!  Oh my, it was already late in the day and it hadn't even entered my mind.  I fell all over her with good wishes and affection, feeling so badly that I had forgotten her special day!

Such as it is when guilt hits, we tend to want to do whatever it takes to make it up to them. So when we went out for our evening walk a little while later, I told Immy that we could go Wherever She Wanted To Go! It must have made her very happy, for she can be very expressive in letting me know when it does not please her to go in a particular direction. She will stand still, rooted to her place, refusing to make eye contact until one of us wins. The one with the leash in her hand usually wins.

This particular walk, I assumed she would want to travel to the nearby Anza Trail. It is always one of our favorite walking destinations. There was still plenty of light in the sky and we had lots of time to make the trek.

We started at the nearby woodpile and recycle center, which is where she prefers to start most mornings. Then, following her lead, we headed out the back gate to the woodsy easement that leads to the tree-lined street behind our house. To the right, up the hill, to the church where we make our first decision. Which Way?  We cross the street, take the sidewalk that winds beyond the church to the Presidio and onward to the path that leads to the Anza Trail.  She was leading the way. Confidently. She knew exactly where she wanted to take us.

Then, midway down the path en route to the trail, she stopped in her tracks. She refused to move. "C'mon Immy, let's go!"  No response. Staring straight ahead, focusing only on her strong will.


"Okay," I said. "It's your birthday so....whatever you want to do."
Joey and I retraced our steps and we all walked back up the path we had just taken. A little while later we arrived at the edge of town. Ah, I thought, she must want to walk through town and check to see if there are any chicken wings or sandwiches in the various trash cans about the place.


But no, she chose the road that leads back home.
"You wanna go home already?" I asked her. No answer. She just stared straight down the street, paws planted. "OK. It's your birthday. We'll go home if you want to go home."  Down we went, back down the street to our house. But then when we reached our house, she surprised me. She wanted to keep walking down the street. "OK," I said, "It's your birthday."

About halfway down the next block we saw a man walking a dog. It was a man we recognized because we had seen him a dozen or so times walking his dog, Pepper, around town. As we got closer, I didn't think Pepper looked the same. Something was definitely different.
"Hi... Is ...that your dog?"  It definitely wasn't the same dog.
I asked the man, "Did you get a new dog?"
Something was wrong.
"No," he replied as he pulled out a handkerchief, "I'm dog-sitting for a couple of weeks."
"Where's your dog?" I asked, showing concern in my voice.
He wiped his eyes.  "Pepper died."  The man was crying now.  "It's been a month and a half."

So right there we did a little bit of grief work while the three dogs milled around each other. It was obvious the man did not have anyone who understood his heart and soul relationship with his dog of 11 years. He was new in town too. He didn't have a lot of friends. His best friend had been Pepper.
"Maybe you should read a book that I wrote..."
"I would like that," he replied.

Find Jack's Book/s Here at Amazon.com
So we walked to my house and I gave him a copy of "Reflections". 
"I'm a very slow reader," he warned me. He struggles with vision problems.
"It's okay. Jack is very patient. He will only go as fast as you can go. And if it's too difficult, a large print copy is on its way right now. I should have it by Monday," I said, realizing that all of this was By Design that we were here in this place; that I had ordered a Large Print Version, the first one off the press with the new cover, just a few days before. 

So the next time I think that Immy shows little concern for anything, aloof and uncaring, I will remember this. I realize that had it not been her birthday, I would have coerced her down to the Anza Trail and we would have had no synchronistic story to tell at all. 


We ended up going back out to finish our walk later and once again Immy led the way. As we walked through La Encantada, an upscale shopping plaza, she stopped outside of Elvira's Restaurant. She knows fine dining when she sees it. She fixed her gaze upon it and stood there, her feet rooted into place.
"No Immy. Sorry.  I know it's your birthday and all but I have to draw the line. Let's go home and have some dinner." She turned back to join us and we walked happily back home. She probably already knew that I had some liver thawing out on the counter for her special dinner.

Thank you Immy. Thank you Jack for sending Immy into our lives. Thank you to God and the angels and this man's father who crossed over five years ago on this Father's Day. All of them perhaps were working together to make things happen so that we would all be at the right place at the right time.


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