Most kids would love for summer to slow down and then be able to stay out of school a little longer.  For the Berry family, we have experienced the slow-moving months of June and July this summer.  Which is unusual for us, because we are usually left with wanting more of summer.

Our beloved older pets, Honey, 17-year-old dog, Cameron, 16-year-old dog, and Tiger, 14-year-old cat, started succumbing to their old age at the beginning of June.  We spent two months of long nights laying beside them as their bodies failed and their time to die drawing near each day.  We went to numerous vet visits, hoping for a simple answer or maybe an antibiotic would keep them with us.  But no, their time to leave us was near.  And we knew it.

The vets were surprised by their ages, but we wanted more time with them.  Honey, Cameron, and Tiger were our family.  When we went on family trips, they would pile into the camper with us.  The stories we have to tell and laugh over, because they were sharing our experiences with us.

During this time, from June to the end of July, time seemed to crawl.  And isn’t that the way it always is when a loved one is sick.  The suffering seems endless and time almost stands still.  Once they are gone, time to grieve is fleeting.  The world has a “just get over it” perspective on death, suffering, and pain.

But maybe if we paused long enough to wail from the belly, sob until our tears run dry, and shout our indignation at losing a loved one so loud it echoes within the earthly barriers; maybe then we would carry the laughter, the love, and the good memories longer in our hearts.

Now as July comes to an end, we only have Daisy (7-year-old dog) left, and our other baby’s ashes, along with wonderful memories and an immense love for each of them.  As for us, we still tear up when we talk of our pets and will for awhile.  And even though they are gone from our earthly lives, they always live within our hearts!



Take Shelter

The east coast of America is bracing for Hurricane Matthew and while most are evacuating the area, there are those who will stay.  If you have children and stay, to me, you are a criminal. You are purposely putting your children in harms way!

Now, I know some people will have to go to local shelters and that is fine. But those who are staying to ride out the storm thinking they are big, bad, and brave are stupid!  You can not fight rising, rushing water.  Water so strong that a Mack truck can be swept away by it, like a feather blowing in a breeze.  Trees breaking in half and falling on power lines, and your home create perilous circumstances.

All of these situations are very scary to children. And you, as their protector, must make good decisions concerning their welfare.  You, must be the calming force in a frightening situation.

King David when he had enemies chasing him, not even a hurricane, stated in Psalm 55:8…

“I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”

Before that verse, David express he would do this if he were a dove.  He would fly to safety. David was not a fool in troubled times.

Please heed my words, as someone who has been through these weather hazards, go to a shelter or evacuate.  Prepare your children for what is to come and reassure them that they will be ok.  Take supplies, favorite blankets, stuffed animals, or dolls; anything that will represent comfort to them.

And please don’t forget your pets.  They are family too and deserve to go wherever you go.  You can find pet friendly shelters and hotels.

Being big, bad, and brave means nothing when you or your family is being lowered into a grave!

So, be a real hero and take care of your children and pets.

God Bless You!

God Bless America!