“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
Happy Monday Everyone! It’s a fresh new day of hope and a new week of possibilities and I don’t know about you, but I feel really lucky to just be alive. Yes, I say alive! We tend to forget and take for granted that we are all blessed with the gift of life in each breath we take. We have the chance to make a difference in each new day we live. Don’t get me wrong, I am not always the total optimist but I try to see the good in everything I am dealt. Despite the tough challenges we all must face there are always lessons, new hope and love that emerge from each gift (challenges) we are granted. I wouldn’t have said that our lessons and challenges were gifts about a year ago but since I have overcome some very challenging lessons, I have learned that without those, I would not have emerged a more refined, grateful, loving person that holds faith and gratitude.
I write this with mixed emotion, sadness, tears and grief but above all gratitude for having the opportunity to share this heartfelt story with you. I have to warn you before reading any further, if you don’t want to shed a slight tear or feel a tiny sadness in your heart stop reading now.
Let me begin with, there are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept. Also, I am a firm believer that we are always in the perfect place at the perfect time. I began my Sunday (yesterday) watching Joel Osteen. I am not a religious person and I know not everyone is and I am also not someone to express my personal beliefs or especially suggest to anyone else what theirs should be. However, I do like the healing message that Joel speaks as I feel it is something we can all incorporate into our lives regardless of our personal beliefs in God or religion. I mention watching Joel’s program here as it played a significant part in my day for what was yet to come. His message yesterday discussed something we all need to work a little harder at and that is that: God is counting on each of us to reach out to those who are discouraged, struggling, going through a rough patch, someone in need etc with love and compassion. In other words, taking the time to help someone else is an act of God within each of us. It also is a greater way of helping ourselves. Having watched this touched me and I realized that in looking at the past and when I helped others, even in a small way, it made my life a lot more fulfilling. I didn’t really think that message would radiate and come to fruition for me so quickly (in the same day). Helping others can be a wonderful feeling even if the help we offer doesn’t always produce the best end result we hoped for.
It was a beautiful Sunday and I went for a long drive to enjoy the fresh air. Several hours after Joel’s program, as I was heading back home, something told me unexpectedly to stop at a local pet store that I was passing to purchase a few things that I needed. Not realizing the store was about to close, I stopped and browsed around quickly. I became focused on reading about a product I was considering buying when I heard a woman, that at first, sounded like a teenager laughing obnoxiously in the front of the store. As the sound of her voice continued to get louder and seemingly more serious, something convincingly reminded me about Joel’s message earlier and that prompted me to go see what was going on. As I approached the front (where the veterinary services were located), I saw the lady, (whose voice I heard). I mistakenly thought she was laughing. Instead, she was kneeling with her face on the ground hovering over her tiny little dog’s lifeless body in her arms. She was keeled over sobbing and screaming and begging for help. There were approximately 8-10 people standing by and not one person was offering her help. The veterinary services were already closed and the store was about to close. There were no vets in the building or any medical staff. The pet store staff were not even trying to help this poor lady. As I walked over, I quickly assessed what was going on and I approached the woman. I placed my hand on her shoulder and I calmly said, “it will be okay” and I asked her what happened. She responded that her dog was hit by a car. She was crying, sobbing and shaking and kept begging for help. I asked the pet store staff if they could help and they all nodded as if it were a major inconvenience on them to have this poor woman in the store when they all wanted to go home. No one was taking action or stepping up to do anything. All this poor woman kept yelling was please help me. I called my vet office first, as they offer emergency vet services, but it was an after hours recording. As the recording came on, I noticed an emergency number listed by the front desk in small print. I called that number and sure enough, it was a 24 hour emergency vet hospital but they were located too far away. As I spoke to the emergency vet hospital, I was also able to get the screaming lady to calm down and answer my questions for the lady on the phone trying to help. We were able to locate an emergency vet closer and I called the number she provided to confirm they were open and to get the directions. After I spoke to them, I was able to get the screaming lady to rush there quickly. She was so emotional and not able to think logically (understandably). I managed to get her to calm down, hold the dog and keep giving him breath while her husband drove her. It literally broke my heart seeing that poor dog so lifeless and to see this poor woman crying in agony over her beloved pet. Anyone that has loved and lost a pet understands the real pain and emotional void it leaves in your heart. I had tears in my eyes as I told her to have faith as she drove away.
The real sorrow for me was that in a room full of people who were more than capable did not step up to help this woman or even offer any kind of compassion to her. She was not in a mental state that was logical by any means but any person that could empathize would understand and set that aside and still help. I know in times of panic and distress its hard for people to think what the right thing would be to do. However, it really saddened me that with 8-10 people standing by not one would reach out to her. Everyone just stood there waiting for someone else to take charge. I called the emergency vet about an hour after this happened to see if the dog was okay and if the lady made it there safe. They told me that she made it there but the dog was unable to be resuscitated. Hearing this broke my heart. I know both the dog and the lady suffered greatly.
I can only look back and be thankful that in this situation, I tried to help by finding a solution where it seemed there wasn’t one. I was also able to get her to calm down slightly (where she listened) and offer her some encouragement. I don’t consider myself anything other than, I was where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be, even though her dog ultimately passed away. In Joel’s message, he said that all we can do is plant the seed (by helping someone) and it is up to God to do the rest. I really feel there was a purpose for my being there. I may not know what it was ultimately, what the purpose of my role was, but in some small way I had a tiny hope for her tiny dog.
Here are some tips for anyone in an emergency situation and deciding if they should help:
- If you are present and can help, then why not?
- If you don’t see anyone else helping, step up, do the right thing!
- Remember if it were you needing help and no one stepped up to help you, how would you feel?
- Everyone has their turn in life at needing help and you can be a big influence in someone’s life no matter how big or small the help is.
- Never assume someone else is helping. Ask!
- It’s easier to sit on the sidelines than to get in the game! Don’t take the road of least resistance.
When people know you care, you can be the catalyst that turns their life around for the good and give them renewed hope. I hope this message helps reach anyone that has faced or will face a situation in which you aren’t sure if you should help. I have a sadness in my heart for the lady that lost her pet but I also have a love in my heart that I was meant to hear the message from Joel and to step in when I was supposed to on that same day. Always remember your actions matter (helping or not helping) and that no matter how big or small the help, it makes a huge difference in someone else’s life but more importantly, yours!