The Charlie Bravo Story

Are you afeard to die?

Charlie and I took a whirlwind trip out west last week in preparation of a busy season soon to be upon us. We shouldn’t have went at all, as much has changed recently and sometimes it’s best to not return too often to the scene of so many awesome memories.

Charlie is a very sensitive dog, very quick to pick up on my moods, and was not her usual spry self on the trip. It was a marked enough change that I grew concerned that our time together might be drawing to an end. Also, Charlie is a diva, and my decision to bring Marco Polo along did not sit well with her; she views these trips as “our” time, and does not willingly accept interlopers. I’m sure that this contributed as well to her terminal case of stand-offitis.

So between this and a steady diet of all things Covid for what seems like years, I was easy prey to be snared by the radio talk show host somewhere in the panhandle of Texas when he asked:

Are you afraid to die?

Because this is more than just a theoretical question with me, for I was there not that long ago. I remember in stark detail sailing over the handlebars, then the impact of my gut when I landed on that freshly sawn stump. I also remember watching my son’s tail light go bouncing off through the woods in search of assistance, and realizing that it was very probable that this would be the last time I saw him, or anyone else, for that matter. I knew that he was as capable as anyone I know of finding help; he had his job and I had mine: staying alive.

But I don’t remember a fear of dying. What I do remember is a fear of dying before I had done whatever it was that I was put on this earth to do; I didn’t think that I was finished working just yet, and that did terrify me. This is what kept me hanging on until the helicopter arrived, then oblivion until they were loading me onto the operating table like a side of beef. Then awaking a lifetime later festooned with a plumber’s nightmare of hoses and tubing; although I was happy to be alive, I was NOT happy to be also sporting a shiny new colostomy bag.

But obviously, I still had a job to do.

[v] Two months later, Zach and I found Charlie in that lonely road. Not to be melodramatic, but I have to think that the fact that I was laying in the woods alone myself a short time before affected my decision to stop and check the crate. Romans 8:28 “All things work together for the good…”

So fear not; worry is interest paid on a note that’s not yet due. We’re being constantly force-fed so much information and disinformation that it’s all too easy to succumb to the incessant morbidity and fail to see the positive impact each of us can make. Before you share that negative Facebook post that has already been shared ad infinitum, think first what you can do to pour oil on troubled waters rather than dumping a can of gas on a already roaring fire. Your words DO matter, and your actions make a difference. Because, although it isn’t easy sometimes, I truly believe that we were put here to serve and not to be served, that only in service to others can true happiness be found.

Unless you’re the Charlie.I took the shameless hussy out to do some work on a friend’s property today, just she and I. No major adventures, just a goofy black dog flouncing around in the rain like a diva again, making an absolute spectacle of herself while dad did all the work. Then she bailed up into my car, totally oblivious to the carnage her Christmas feet (get it? Sandy claws? I kill myself) were doing to the interior, and slept the sleep of the righteous all the way back to the Casa.

And for awhile, all was right with the world, at least in this particular corner of it.

Happy Charlie Bravo Day!

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