One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White, “Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked, ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ “You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.” — Wilbur and Charlotte.
The non-judgemental, ego-less, limitless-loved-filled friendships that dogs give us are among the tremendous gifts they offer to those of us who are lucky enough to let them in our lives and help us find parts of ourselves we hope never to lose.
The world, my mom (and family), the city of Columbus, and homeless people and their pets lost a tremendous being on February 28th, Connie Swackhammer. Attending her services last weekend, the words used to describe her life over and over were exceptional, selfless, legacy, and more. Yet, watching a video where Connie spoke of the organization she founded, Faithful Forgotten Best Friends, she was humble and genuinely believed she was just one person doing something.
Connie didn’t set out to change the world. She, and her husband Larry, drove around Columbus, giving food to homeless people with pets to honor her son Christian’s love of animals and helping people less fortunate after his far-too-soon passing. She was one person doing something, so her grief didn’t swallow her.
So, today, I would like to offer this to you. May we all do something. Maybe it’s not extraordinary. Perhaps it’s simply giving a homeless person the cash in our wallet. It could be cutting ourselves slack or resting so we have the energy to provide love, patience, and compassion to everyone we encounter. Or, it’s offering a kind word to the people we believe are doing tremendous things.