Today we celebrate Memphis. I can remember very vividly the moments leading up to Memphis coming into our lives. We had a horrible family vacation that led to a serious conversation about being in public.
That “being in public” was avoiding crowds, finding a table near an exit to sit at in a restaurant, going to sporting or school events but watching out for a seat close to the back or near people we knew or were comfortable around. Going to the grocery store later in the evening or super early to avoid people.
Sam needed more help than I could give him, more guidance on what to do in situations than what he was doing, he needed to feel comfortable in his own skin.
So, after a lot of conversations, a lot of prayer and a lot of crossing fingers for the day he would say, “I’m going to do it,” he applied to This Able Veteran. For those of you who have followed our blog and know us, you know that TAV is an organization right here in southern Illinois that provides service dogs to Veterans at no cost.
Sam applied and we waited for what seemed like y-e-a-r-s before he heard anything. We thought about which dog would eventually come to our home. Would it be a black lab or a yellow lab? What about one of the girls? What events could we go to see the service dogs in training for that 2016 class?
Sam was notified he was accepted into the TAV 2016 class. We were more than thrilled. There were some tears on my part, which I would learn would be pretty common when it came to Sam and Memphis. We prepared for Sam to go into a three-week trauma resilience program to begin to heal.
And then we found out Sam was going to be paired with Memphis.
Since 2016, a lot has happened in our lives. Memphis has been there for every single good moment and bad moment, every single victory and defeat, laughter, tears, a new home, a new baby…and he loves us all, despite the good and bad.
Memphis saved us all I believe. He has helped every single one of us in our house grow, love, and hope. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me.
Happy birthday, sweet Memphis. I hope you get a really, really good treat from dad.
Bruce Rohrer says
Reading that you had entered a trauma resilience program prior to being matched with Memphis, I thought, gee, I never realized that trauma had left you so bad off. You always seem pretty calm and in control whenever I see you. But then I guess a roomful of fellow vets is not very threatening, especially when everyone in peer support has admitted that they need support–we’re all in the same boat, sort of.
When Mary and I were in training for our stint as Christian English teachers in mainland China, the cultural training component covered where the seat of honor is found at the big, round, banquet tables we could expect to be eating at in China. It is always the chair directly facing the doorway. We were to avoid claiming this seat of our own accord. That would be rude. But an honor if the host seats us there. (Jesus gives the same advice to his followers about sitting near the head of the table.) But I can see why being able to monitor who’s coming through the door would be important in a hostile environment.
Anyway, congratulations on the start of another another year with Memphis!