Warriors Show Up...
I have always said this about friends. I've always said "real friends show up". ...they actually physically and mentally show up. It's something to call yourself a "friend" but I see that word as a verb. I see being a friend as an action, the same is true for being a warrior.
This week one of my best friends lost her dog of ten years. This is always a heartbreaking loss but it happened days before the one year anniversary of losing her beloved fiancé. Oddly, the same thing happened to the girls and me last year before Warrior's birthday and Father's Day. Daisy, our wonderful fourteen year old Australian shepherd was old and tired and slipped into an asequia on our property early the morning of the 20th and barked for help until I found her soaked, shaking, and in shock. All alone I hauled her wet body from the ditch and carried her up the embankment to our portal. The girls woke with a start and grabbed towels to dry her and bed sheets to wrap her in until the vet opened hours later. We sat with Daisy girl those hours and stroked her fur and nose. I told her thank you for staying the year and a half after Warrior died to watch out for us. I promised her she would never be scared again and very soon she would go see him and her brother Wiley who had died the year before we lost Warrior. The thing you have to know about Daisy is she was Warrior's dog. She was his other girl and he loved her. When he died and we came back from Arizona alone and despondent Daisy cried and howled the entire night. I am not exaggerating when I say she wept in the most heartbreaking way until sunrise and searched for him the entire next day. It was like she could feel his spirit but not see him and it caused her to panic. This went on for a couple days until my aunt told me I needed to tell her what had happened. It sounds crazy to a person if animals are not an intricate part of your family life, I get and respect that, but our dogs have been important spirits in the life Warrior and I shared so talking to Daisy did not feel odd. I pet the soft fur on her head between her golden eyes and said, "Daisy girl, he's not coming home. Ever. He went away like Wiley did and he's not coming back. You are an old girl, and when you want to go be with the boys you tell me...until then, the girls and I really need you to feel safe. Ok?"...and then with a sigh Daisy looked at me and laid her head in my lap and let my tears drop on her fur. From that day on Daisy had restored purpose and patrolled our property and made sure the girls and I felt safe. As we got back on our feet she started to slow down and when last summer came she hardly moved from the courtyard. I dreaded what I saw coming because I did not want to face death again but when my brave Daisy girl was stuck in that ditch her needs far exceeded mine. When we said goodbye to Daisy as our vet eased her into sleep we kissed her warm muzzle knowing it was the best gift we could send Warrior on Father's Day the next day, one of his girls and kisses from the other three.
Having experienced this I knew what Anna faced with the loss of her Tucker. I understood that connection to an animal and the person you loved is an end of an era. The last tangible thread that sewed you together in some ways. For this reason when Anna lost Tucker I knew I must "show up" not just in text or by phone but physically because that is the only way people we know and love can see in our eyes the depth of our love and the sorrow we feel in their loss.
In all things that matter Warriors, you must SHOW UP! It is easy to become mealy mouthed and insecure and hide behind the fear of saying or doing the "wrong thing" but that is weak! The only wrong thing to say is something thoughtless or unkind and worse than that is saying nothing at all. Showing up with your physical body says more than words can suppose anyway. Saying I do not have words is enough too. Hugging someone and just saying I don't know what to do except be here is sometimes the greatest salve of all.
I showed up at Anna's parent's house with pink and white roses in a cheap vase, tissues, salt water taffy, gummi bears, and patrón. Her father opened the door and I begged pardon for my lack of manners showing up uninvited on their doorstep. He smiled and said, "you must be Dana"....which filled my eyes with tears and heart with love and pride...somehow he knew this frazzled blonde woman was Anna's widow friend and just the sort of warrior who would never fail to show up.
I have a friend like I was to Anna who showed up right after Warrior died. WWE was wonderful and assigned security to my home so press would not puncture the tight bubble I kept for the girls and myself. I hardly remember the days that made up that first week but clear as a bell I remember when my best friend rolled up the drive unexpectedly. I looked out the window to an open mouthed Marine being told by Denise that she WOULD be passing by with the groceries she bought and he COULD accompany her to the door but THERE WOULD BE NO STOPPING HER. I get choked up writing that because it had been over two years since I had seen Denise when she told off this security guard carrying a side arm that was no match to the groceries she had on hand. Denise and I had had a ridiculous falling out over something silly and yet...when it mattered...my best friend showed up. That is what we warriors do! We SHOW UP...just as all of you have all these many years.
I believe we have assignments in life. I believe we are responsible for doing great things. I believe our biggest commitment is to those we promise our hearts..I believe it is for them we must show up...Always!!!
💟In memory of Les and Tucker. Anna's boys who loved her well.💟