War dog hero

War dog hero

Does anyone know about Sgt. Stubby? War dog hero. I think it’s a perfect photo to go hand in hand with a post about my aunt who passed away a year ago today.

The thing I liked the most about my aunt was that she didn’t talk about things… she just did them. She had no real insecurities about what she was capable of, she just set out with goals and made stuff happen. As if there was no other option. And she had the innocence of a loyal dog, meaning she was relentlessly forgiving and kind. She died a year ago today at the age of 54. She battled cancer three times and the third time, a brain tumor, was the final straw. It took her life in two months. I have never seen anyone walk towards death with that much grace. No fan fare. Not an ounce of self pity, she just took it. This poem makes me think of her.

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

I remember sitting in a car with her in the driveway of her house in 1987. It was freezing outside. I was 17, which would have made her around 28. She was a lawyer, who had put herself through school, she did it all 100% on her own. It was impressive to say the least. All she said to me was, “Is it getting bad?” I said, “Yes.” And that was it. There really was no other discussion. She had me move into her house almost immediately. She knew I was strong and could take a lot so there was no pity from her to me. It was just an acknowledgment of fact. It was time for me to leave an unstable home. And she acted like an older dog taking a younger dog in. It wasn’t emotional, it was just done.

I love people like her. They are often not spoken of or remarked on because they don’t ask you to think of them. In fact if you were to acknowledge them in a public or grand way, it might make them a little uncomfortable. If my aunt read this, she would only care if it helped me to write about her. She herself would not require such a tribute.

Humble, kind, stoic people are the focus of this blog so if you know of people like my aunt I hope I made you think of them right now.