I have two animals in my house right now that have had traumatic things happen to them. The first is Molly, the pitbull. She is the one who got shot by a hunter and had an arrow stuck in to her spine. The second is Mittens, the cat. She is the one who I found on the side of the road and half of her body was frozen.
I've watched both of these animals heal. I guess I never really thought deeply about their healing. Over the weekend, my brother made a comment about Molly and how well she is aging for a dog who was shot with an arrow. He is very right. She is doing wonderful. I told him there was a time that I thought she would always have some issues though. It was over a year from the arrow incident when she jumped up on her back legs and went down fast with a yelp, a wince, and a quick turn of her body. She still had some pain now and then. She doesn't now. She moves however she wants now and she feels fine.
Mittens is the same way. It was well over a year and her back legs still gave out on her sometimes. I would watch her try and jump to high places. Her front legs would make it, but her back legs wouldn't help at all and she would fall. But somewhere along the way, she got better. She kept at it and now she can jump just like any other cat.
The point is that both of these animals took well over a year before they were completely back to "normal". I'm sure it was frustrating for them at times. But they kept trying. They never stopped trying to do the things that they knew they should be able to do. And even with their traumatic pasts, they both have made it.
I'll tell you it was quite a poignant moment for me in this realization. I am short on patience with things at time. I want things fixed that are broken. I want them fixed now. And then I want to continue on. Not only do I want this, I expect it.
I can be patient when I purposely set out to be that way. But me at my core, wants to get things fixed, done, and move on. I don't like to dwell on things that are broken or things that need time to heal. I've had enough hurt in life and I don't wish to stay in that place. I accept vulnerability as a part of life; I don't run from it. But I don't indulge extra time for it either. I push healing too fast at times, maybe most times.
So here I am, learning from my once-injured pets, to slow down and let things heal. I have a hard time when I can't force something to be better. I either fix it or move on. But maybe sometimes I need to let a little time pass and see what healing can do.
Tonight I am thankful for realizing moments on how life needs time, not my timeline, but patient time to let healing and hope happen. It seems fitting to quote an awesome movie here, “Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.” Hope Floats