Like we always do, with Bailey at my feet and Safari on my lap, we watched CBS Sunday morning this morning. A ritual I have maintained since the show first aired more than 25 years ago. One of the stories today by reporter Barry Peterson http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/01/23/sunday/main7274728.shtml?tag=cbsnewsTwoColUpperPromoArea was very poignant about his wife who has Alzheimers disease. He remains very much in her life, even though he now lives with his new mate, a widow who kindly said, “I always knew it was a relationship of three.” I loved that comment.
How that relates to this blog is because it made me think of second chances. It was something I was able to give, of myself, to my beautiful dog Bailey – one of the few truly loving people I have ever known. I will never know what the first 5 years of her life were all about – as a writer and former reporter that drives me crazy. I know her 6th year was spent at Angels for Animals in Canfield, Ohio and then I came along soon after her 7th birthday.
Second chances have been a continuing theme in my life, when I think about it. First, as a person who endured a short, kind of pointless marriage right out of college and then fortunately met the real love of my life later on when I was 30. When we met we talked about second chances and have always agreed that love is better the second time around…I am not dismissing those, like my sister April, who has been happily married to her husband forever, but for those who made a wrong turn, second chances are vital and somehow hold a greater strength within.
I have always had cats. I still do. My ultimate favorite cat in my life thus far has been Cheetah, a calico so sweet you could just not find a more perfect personality. Anais Nin, the great erotic writer, had a female cat to whom she was so close that after the cat passed away she vowed never to get another cat. That is how I felt about female cats after Cheetah’s life with me after 18 years ended. Bailey is a girl, but not a cat. Oddly, she has a very similar loving way about her. Cheetah was not needy like Bailey – after all, she was a feline, but people simply felt her love. That is how people feel when they meet Bailey. It warmed my heart yesterday at the farmer’s market when a perfect stranger let Bailey lick him right on the mouth, giving her kisses right back. His wife said, “he is a true dog lover.” He summoned his adult kids to come over and meet her and feel “how soft and sweet she is. She acts as though she knows me!”
Another second chance in my life is when I saved my entire family from being killed by carbon monoxide. Had I not stayed out late one night (against my dad’s wishes) while home on Thanksgiving break during college, they would have all died, all at once and my life would have changed forever. Although everyone lived, my life was still different after that day. I appreciate life more than most people I know, except perhaps my dad, who is another person for who second chances made an impact.
After my mother died at age 48 of breast cancer, he was able to meet the love of his life at age 50 and get married at age 52. He got the perfect second chance with Harriet, with who he seems happier than anytime I can recall my parent’s marriage – and for that I am so grateful.
There are so many people who do not support second chances. Examples would be those that choose to go to a breeder instead of rescuing a cat or dog from a shelter. There are the kids of first marriages who are forever pissed off that their parents are remarried after death or divorce, instead of being happy for them. There are people who don’t want to help someone with connections after they lose a job because they are protective of their own. The list goes on.
Bailey and I are so happy for second chances because we are each other’s – my femme fatale, who rides in the car with me everywhere I go and expects goodnight kisses and a treat before bed. Love is better the second time around… perhapsbecause you appreciate it and cherish it so much more.