We recently lost two of our beloved pets. I was overwhelmed by the cards, e-mails, postings and love that my husband and I received from MANY friends who acknowledged these losses.

I suppose that what matters most to all of us is that when we are hurting, in pain, or simply “out of kilter,” that friends will be there for us. Not only to share our sorrow, but simply just to be present and listen.

I try to be that for the people I know.

What perplexed me as of late was when my husband was picking up our dog, after he was hit by the car, two women drove by slowly in a white car. I remember it clearly, because I was the chicken who couldn’t go out to help. I didn’t want to see the blood in his coat, yet I watched intently as my husband had the horrible task. I was taken aback by how they slowed to watch the disturbing site, yet didn’t offer a kind word, or stop to console him whatsoever. What we learned later from the local convenience store attendee was that the ladies went in to exclaim that someone’s dog was killed “down the road,” but since they were tourists, they didn’t stop. Mmmm.

There will always be an excuse to look the other way. It will never be a good excuse.

I simply cannot fathom this behavior. I would be the person who would’ve stopped and even asked if I could help. Given that it was our own dog, I simply couldn’t bare it, but if it was a neighbor, or someone I saw struggling, I would certainly be there for them.

When someone tells you that they’ll “be there until the end for you” and the end comes, and they run away, it’s painful. Desertion during time of need feels like holy hell.

I believe that dire situations where people need one another present themselves often in our lives. That situation to do what matters most for another person. If we allow those situations to simply slip by, we are not being good Samaritans, we are denying ourselves the very fiber of what living is all about. There are times we can “make a friend for life, ” if we simply stop and care. There are other times, we’ll never see the person again, yet inside, we can know we did our best to be compassionate and kind.




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