Acts of Valor in Colorado

I am quite certain that many of my patriotic friends have seen the movie and now the DVD, Act of Valor. This is a true-to-life movie about U.S. Navy Seals, starring REAL Seals involved in REAL Seal activities. It’s very well done, and Mother Goose has mentioned it before, of course. And because Mother Goose is such a patriotic person herself, she listens to the movie soundtrack and in fact, keeps it in the Goosemobile at all times.

Today as I was driving out to the western suburbs to have an iced coffee with a dear friend, I had the volume turned up. Way up high and singing along with the first song on the CD. It’s called “For You” — and it’s a heartfelt song written and performed by Keith Urban. Here’s a YouTube video of the song if you are at all interested…

I believe that Mr. Urban wrote it especially for the movie, but today it means even more as we consider the heroes in Aurora, Colorado last Friday.

Three of the men who perished in the movie theater were military guys: a sailor, an airman and a Navy veteran.

Petty Officer John Larimer

Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress

Navy veteran and father Jonathan Blunk

Each of these brave soldiers and sailors died protecting and saving somebody they cared about. Each of them took a bullet that would have killed someone else. Look at the opening lyrics to Mr. Urban’s song:

Well, all I saw was smoke and fire…
I didn’t feel a thing.
But suddenly I was rising higher…
And I felt like I just made… the biggest mistake.
When I thought about my unborn child…
When I thought about my wife…
And the answer rang out CLEAR from somewhere up above

No greater gift has man, then to lay down his life for Love.

And I wondered, would I give my life?
Could I make that sacrifice?
If it came down to it, could I take the bullet… I would
Yes I would, For You

And so the tears rolled down the feathery cheeks of Mother Goose one more time as she considered the lives of these brave men and the ultimate sacrifice they made last Friday in Colorado.

Though I am a goose, I ask myself sometimes, “What makes a hero?” What is inside a person to cause him to throw himself (or herself) into harm’s way without any rational thought to his own safety, but only considering the welfare and protection of another human being? I don’t know…

Are we born with that automatic response? Is it something they train the guys to do when they are in boot camp? But there are heroes outside of the military, of course. What lies within the heart of a person that they would put another before themselves, especially in a crisis where there is no time for thought? How do they take on death in place of another human?

In accounts of all three of these men, they had mentioned to people in their lives that they would in fact die for another person if need be. All three of them had already thought this through and had made up their minds about it! To me, that is so amazing! These men are not fools. They are not glory-seekers. They are not death-wishers.

They simply love.

They just know that dying for someone is the ultimate love.

They lived out their lives with the rich acceptance that dying for love is everything.

It goes against every instinct within us. All of our instincts point to survival, not sacrifice. Instinct says “every man for himself” and “look out for number one”.

It’s just all about love, dear friends. Please be kind to one another today. Please pray for the families and friends of John, Jesse and Jonathan.

Dusty the Hero Pup

The dear sister of Mother Goose has a hero pup. His name is Dusty, and he is a Bichon Frise. When she was here to visit me recently, I asked her, “What were the original Bichons bred to do? Are they hunters? Herders? Tracking dogs?”

His cute little face after grooming session.

Surprisingly, she did not know for sure, so we googled that question.

The answer quickly came back that they have always been kept as companions! Nothing else. There have been no other jobs for this breed of dog except to hang out with humans and make them happy.

Dusty has always done his job.

But last year, Dusty went above and beyond the call of duty.

My sister is a recent hip transplant victim patient. However, sometimes in the process of healing, a patient will experience a dislocation of the hip. Bunn was in her bathroom which is on the lower level of her home shaving her legs. Her husband, Allen, was upstairs asleep.

Without any warning, her hip popped out of its socket! Bunn was immediately flooded with the most excruciating pain imaginable and stranded from Allen. She could not move! Frozen in terrible pain, she could only cry and scream in agony, hoping that somehow he would hear her calls for help, but also knowing that he is a very sound sleeper.

But Dusty heard her hysterical yelling and crying.

This little white package of fluff instantly knew that something was wrong with his mom. He couldn’t do much, but he did what he could. He jumped up on Allen who was still soundly asleep, pawing at him and nudging his face with his cold black nose. He whined and barked and made as much commotion as he could until at last Allen opened his eyes.

“What’s wrong, Dusters?” he asked sleepily.

Then he heard my sister screaming in the basement. He ran down the stairs and saw what had happened. He quickly called 9-1-1 summoning the paramedics who loaded her onto the vertical gurney and carried her up the stairs to the waiting ambulance. They rushed her to the emergency room where the doctors were able to carefully reposition her hip.

Dusty was the Hero of the Day.

Yesterday the hero pup was struck by a car in the street right outside their home. The motorist, probably speeding, saw him standing on the side of the curb and assumed that he’d stay there. He didn’t.

Because Dusty is so friendly, he probably assumed that this car was bringing guests to their house and ran out into the street to welcome the guests. Because that’s what a Bichon does — they are the social committee of the dog world.

The screech of brakes and the scream of the woman brought Allen running to the street where he saw the little white hero pup laying on the ground, blood all around him.

But he was miraculously still alive! They wrapped him in Allen’s sweatshirt and rushed him to the closest veterinary clinic. After xrays, they determined that he had no internal injuries or broken bones. Many of his toes were dislocated, but the worst situation was the road rash on his rear right leg. His skin, muscle and tendon were completely gone down to the bone.

He had emergency surgery yesterday around noon. They cleaned his little leg, and gave him laser treatments to stimulate cell growth as well as corn syrup poultice. High tech and low tech treatments for the little hero. He’s also on really good pain meds, and will have to remain hospitalized until Wednesday.

Dusty and Bunn after his surgery yesterday.

But the little Hero is going to be OK.

He might not run as fast as he used to, and he might walk with a limp. But Bunn and Allen also walk pretty stiffly, and they are just so thankful that their little Dusty is alive. He’s a great companion, and a real Hero.

Hip hip hooray for Dusty the Hero Pup!! And get well soon, little fellow. Mother Goose loves you…

Mother Goose Considers “Personal Best”

Many of my readers will remember that Mother Goose made an announcement in December that she would be running in her very first 5K race on April 1st, 2012. And believe it or not…she’s still planning to do that. I began my training by walking a couple miles, then walking quickly a couple miles, and then running a block and walking the rest of the way. I believe that “gradual” is the key to success for this goose. And I’m proudly honking that yesterday, I accomplished what can only be called a miracle — I traveled the distance approximately equal to a 5K race (3.3 miles) in 46 minutes! Mostly I ran, occasionally I walked. Truly this was a “Personal Best” for Mother Goose.

Go Goose Go

The Race That’s Good For Life is in nineteen days. I wonder if I’ll beat my “Personal Best” before then or on the day of the race…

I know that I’ll do the best I can — that’s all I know. But as I was pondering what it means to do your “personal best”, I immediately remembered that this is just a little race in a local village. Truly it’s all about running and getting physically fit, improving my own health and my cardiovascular capacity. Ultimately, this is about me getting up off my chair and doing something totally different that no one would expect of me. Basically, I’m doing this to prove that I can do it. I could easily rename this 5K “The Race That’s Good For a Goose.”

Other people in my world are also doing their personal best. They probably won’t get a round of public applause, but I’ll remember them as I’m crossing the finish line on April Fool’s Day. Here they are:

My sister, Bunn, who has endured two hip replacements already in her young life.
My husband, Mark, who supports our family by being his own boss in an unpredictable economy.
My daughter, Jessica, who is graduating with honors from Columbia College Chicago in May.
My sons, Adam and Erik, who are serving in the U.S. Navy.
Bloggish friends: Eric, Jeff, Michael, Dianna, Debra, Elizabeth, Mrs. Ehrhardt and others who write enormously about doing your best, helping others, and finding truth and beauty around you.
Blue Star Banner heroes, especially Jack Valentine and Conner Lowry who made the ultimate sacrifice — their stars shine brightest of all and put my own “personal best” into perspective.

When we stop to consider the days of our lives, we realize how much there is to accomplish in our lives. Most of us get about 75 years (a general average by a goose guessing) to make a difference in this world. But that’s still enough time to work with all your heart, change your attitudes, discover loveliness, care for others, raise loving and responsible children and be a blessing. The best time to do our personal best is the time between walkers (toddler walkers and nursing home walkers).

Mother Goose encourages you, yes you, honk honk, to live your “Personal Best Life” today. And tomorrow.

Running Goose by Lukta Qiatsuk, Inuit artist

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June 2022