I am writing this post with the heaviest of hearts. Yesterday my friends, we had to let our dear doggie go. We spent a week trying to find out what was wrong with him and why he suddenly was unable to walk. Tuesday night we found out he had an inoperable brain tumor. By Thursday we realized that our last resort meds to try and give him a few more comfortable happy weeks with us were not working. We had to let him go as much as our hearts were begging us to hold on to him.
I’ve always known that I’ve been a moved by words and thoughts more than most. I’m sensitive and deeply emotional. When I began writing this blog it also became clear that I was a writer at heart. Writing offers an outlet for me in the most profound way. It penetrates my heart while allowing me to offer myself and others comfort, joy and hopefully some entertainment!
It is because of this deeply rooted need to write, I share with you a few of the wonderful moments we were able to share with our sweet sweet Jakey during his 13 years as our family’s best friend.
He has been with my husband and I since before we had kids.
He lived with us in our first home together. Eating his way through our kitchen floor as a puppy and digging his way out of our little yard. True story: we got a call from a guy at a Jiffy Lube 1/2 mile away that our dog had wandered into their shop. This little adventure of his had him crossing a major intersection and busy train tracks safely. We knew then, he’d last forever. Unfortunately, for a dog, forever is never long enough.
He was there the day we said “I do” on a beautiful July evening in the Sierra Nevada.
He joined us on long road trips swimming in any and every body of water we could find.
He was there when we brought our first born home from the hospital.
He was there for every Christmas for the last 13 years watching our family grow.
He would lay by me with each pregnancy as I slowed down in those final weeks.
He loved all three of our kids till the end. In the last moments of his life, the kids came home, he nuzzled up to them and wagged his tail like he hadn’t all day in one last gallant effort to show how much he loved them.
He was there for job changes, house moves, and as they say, in sickness and in health.
He met every. single. person that walked by our home with a smile. He guarded our home and watched over our babies.
His favorite place was anywhere with us. On one road trip when the kids were little, he only had a space about 12″ x 20″ in our car for the drive. Being an 80lb dog, this was not nearly what he needed, but he always obliged. Always.
If I had to pick one favorite place in all the world, it would be Lake Tahoe. The miles he has swam in that lake over his lifetime are immeasurable. Lake Tahoe is a truly special place for our family, but I will never see that lake the same again.
Thank you Jakey for an amazing 13 years. You gave us so much joy. We loved to see you run, jump, swim, chase, and fetch. We loved to scratch your belly and snuggle you like a stuffed bear.
You made us a family.
You will be sadly missed. Even though my heart does not feel it was better to have loved and lost today, I know we are a better family to have had your companionship for so long.
Sweet dreams my boy. We love you.
We were taught to live in righteousness and morality. Even at a young age, I learned the importance of holding fast to one's belief. Even when I am already married and have a family of my own, I am still very closely attached with my family. My brother and I are even teamed up in a small business of importing used cars.
One of my aspirations in life is to help alleviate the abject poverty that my countrymen are experiencing in Ethiopia. Although I can say that my family is living in a good condition, it is my conviction that a successful and meaningful existence can be measured by one's concern for others and the compassion he had shown towards his fellowmen. Each of us has a specific duty on earth. No matter how great or small it may seem to be, it is what we must be committed to pursue. Life is short and one has to take advantage of that fleeting moment to make a difference.
I was an active member of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), a coalition of four existing political parties of Ethiopia which combined to compete for seats in the Ethiopian General Elections. I was a member of the propaganda and awareness division. One of my responsibilities is the distribution of flyers. I actively participated on the national elections for my party by organizing various meetings and trainings. One of our objectives is to inculcate in the minds of our youths the culture of democracy for them would be aware of their rights and duties as Ethiopian citizens.
Because of my active involvement in CUD, I received much harassment. With the absence of any search warrant, my office was raided by government forces. They took several documents from my possessions and I was accused with different kinds of falsified information. My brother and I, together with some of my colleagues in the party, were arrested and were detained for several days.
For the three days that I was detained, I was interrogated and was told that my business would cease from operation because it is linked with anti-government bodies. I was told that the only way to straighten the situation is if I denounce my membership in CUD and if I testify against CUD. I was warned that if I refuse to cooperate with them, my business would remain closed. They even threatened that I would suffer the consequences of my unlawful deeds.
After much thought, I decided to agree to their terms in order to save myself for the moment. With that, I was released. I then realized that it would be impossible for me to live peacefully in Ethiopia. I decide at once to leave the country at the earliest possible chance to spare my life. Since I already have a valid US Visa at that time and my wife works for an Ethiopian airline, she was able to book me a flight with an open family ticket. Very shortly, through connection and assistance, I finally managed to exit from Ethiopia. I left on Sunday night of July 10, 2005 and arrived in the United States on July 11, 2005.
I was very sad to be departed from my wife and family but I was forced to by circumstances. My father has also been living in the United States for six years under political asylum because of human rights violation of the current government. I stayed with him while I was processing my own request for asylum.
I easily adjusted to living in the United States because of my exposure to different cultures through my business. What I found difficult was being separated from my wife who was 22 weeks pregnant at that time. I was very much worried about her condition amidst the crisis ...Show more