In last week’s blog post I wrote about Floey’s reaction to seeing her reflection, and I changed the words of a familiar old song to “How Mean is that Doggie in the Mirror?” Then, personalizing it, I rewrote the simple lyrics again with the words “How Kind is that Person in the Mirror?” This week Floey and I have some more thoughts about reflections that we see of ourselves…
This time of year is significant for our family, and I was talking with Floey about that on Saturday. “Hey, Floey, do you know what today is?”
“I sure do, Mom! It’s the second day of my one-year birthday celebration. You do know I have a 2-day birthday, don’t you?”
“Well, I guess you might say that,” I replied. “Your adoption record says you were born on January 23, 2014, but your first vet record has a hand-written birthdate that is either January 24 or January 29 – I can’t tell for sure. So I guess we could celebrate your birthday throughout January 23 and 24, if you’d like.”
“Yup. That’s what I want to do – every year – a 2-day celebration!” she said with her tail wagging.
“OK, that’s what we’ll do,” I told her. Then I added, “You chose a really special time of year to be born, Floey, at least for our family.”
“Really? What else is special – besides my birthday?”
“We celebrate the nine days from January 24 to February 1 every year. On February 1, 1973 I met Mim in a small group Bible study, and she invited me to share her apartment with her until I could find a place of my own. I never moved out. On February 1 of this year we will have lived together 42 years.”
“Wow! That’s 294 dog years!” Floey exclaimed. “But what happened on January 24 that gives you reason to celebrate all those days between January 24 and February 1?”
“On January 24, 1989 – 26 years ago – Mim and I had a Blessing Ceremony. It was our time to publicly declare our love for each other and to promise to love and care for each other for the rest of our lives. Our Lutheran pastor performed the ceremony. Our attorney was there with our wills and power of attorney documents to be signed and witnessed for us to convey to each other as many ‘spousal rights’ as we could.”
“Does that mean that you’re really married? That we’re really a family forever?”
“Of course it does, Floey. But for legal purposes we had a legal wedding in Minnesota a year and a half ago. That’s another date we celebrate – September 15.”
“I’m sure glad I joined this family! We celebrate a lot!”
“We sure do, and the nine-day stretch of January 24 through February 1 is the special time we’re celebrating right now.”
“Hey, we can make it a ten-day celebration, by having it begin with my birthday!”
“I guess we can, Floey. But now, maybe you can help me pick out some pictures to use. I want to create an anniversary card for Mim. I’ve got lots of old photos to choose from.”
Floey stared at an old photo. “Is that really you, Mom? It can’t be. Those two young women look really happy, but they don’t look very wise. And they are long-haired people. Were you and Mim ever long-haired?”
“Yes, Floey. We were both long-haired people when we were in our twenties. Can’t you see any resemblance to us at all in this picture?”
“I don’t know, Mom.”
“Well, how about this picture. It was taken about 15 years later for the church directory. We knew we had found the right church when the pastor said that of course we could have our picture taken together as a family for the church directory. That’s the pastor who married us with a blessing ceremony a couple years later. Here’s a picture from the ceremony.”
“I guess I can see you in that picture. Old pictures give funny reflections of who you are, don’t they. They aren’t quite like mirrors. Or maybe we can say they are mirrors that reflect our history.”
“You’re right, Floey. That’s a good way to say it.”
I flipped through some more pictures in the photo album. Floey jumped up and said, “Is that you and Mim holding that blond puppy?”
“Yes. That’s Megabyte. About a year after our blessing ceremony we adopted our first dog. We were ready for our family to grow. A year later we adopted our second dog, Maia. She’s in this next picture along with Megabyte and Mim’s mom who lived with us for five years.”
“I’m glad you have these family pictures so I can see my older sisters and see all the love that has been shared in my family.”
“I’m glad you can see the love in these family pictures. That’s what I really hope these reflections of our family life over the years show. The next picture is only a couple years old – so you should easily recognize us. It’s a family portrait with Abbey, our last dog before you came to us. Do you think we still look as happy as we did on our first picture? And have we started to look wise yet?”
“Oh, Mom, I can see love and happiness in all of these pictures. I think there might be some wisdom starting to show too – in the gray hair and the extra weight (probably gained by sitting around pondering life’s mysteries). But you don’t have any family pictures with me in them yet. When can we get our picture taken together?”
“That will happen soon. Remember I took that selfie a couple weeks ago. Pretty soon we’ll start taking more pictures. We want our photo history to reflect as much of the love and joy in our lives as possible.
“I guess I need to write another verse for our doggie song.”
How loving is that family in the photo?
The one with the moms and the dogs.
How loving is that family in the photo?
I hope they’re still keeping photo logs.
“That’s kind of a strange lyric, Mom. Can’t you do better than that?”
“Well, Floey, what words can you think of that rhyme with ‘dogs’?”
“I see what you mean. I’ll stick with ‘woof, woof’ – that always rhymes.”