Facebook! Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. I mostly started using it to notify my kids in the youth group I advised – for eleven years. Now I mainly use it to market dogs and save their lives. Not patting myself on the back (or am I) but I did receive plaques stating I was the Adviser of The Year and also Volunteer of The Year from the shelter. I’m also The Used Dog Salesman of The Year. I made that title up but it amuses me – and I have become just as good, if not better, than any used car salesman when picking out a dog for customers and closing the deal. It’s really part match maker and having a great elevator pitch. I have mastered both. If you ever see me at the shelter you may hear me say the words, “Hey, wanna see the best dog at the shelter….” I would be remiss if I didn’t point out it was BARC. Come see me!
Back to Facebook. I recently received a notification that said, “It’s Jacob Remels birthday. Click here to wish him a happy birthday.” Normally when I see something like that, I click on it and begrudgingly say, “Happy Birthday.” Not a fan of birthdays – or weddings, Bar Mitvahs, or crowds – but that’s just me. I don’t even list my birthday on Facebook. You know what I do on my birthday? I go to work and go about my every day business.
But not this time. And I did leave Jacob a birthday message. “Happy birthday Jacob. We miss the hell out of you.” You see, Jacob was tragically killed with a handgun several years ago. He was fifteen. And he was one of may favorite youth group kids. You just couldn’t help but put a smile on your face when you set eyes on him. No matter how crappy your day was going, he brought out the good in you that was just waiting to shine. That’s who Jacob was. The kids called him Chocolate Boy. They all give each other nicknames. No, it wasn’t racism, it was because he was always asked to get or hold chocolate candy for the boys in the youth group. So obviously he gave way to temptation and ate a lot of chocolate. I would normally say that would make a person sweeter but I’m not sure Jacob could improve in that department.
I retired as an adviser shortly after that. It really took the wind out of my sails. I didn’t have the heart for it anymore. Now I rescue dogs. Sadly, we cannot save them all. But they offer me salvation and heal my soul. You can read all about it in my third novel, Soul Heeler. I know it’s a shameless plug. And a great title – it’s copyrighted so don’t get any ideas.
Things that sting. Oh, they can linger – and often do. It would be nice to think we truly get over things that sting and move on. But do we really? I usually store painful things that sting in a little room in my mind behind a locked door. I know I always lock it. But somehow the door makes it’s way to the open position. Sometimes just a crack, sometimes it just bursts wide open. It’s almost like I have no control over it at times. Thank you Facebook.
Thankfully, for me, there are not many things that sting in my life that linger. What are they? For me, losing my mother to Leukemia at the age of five – oh yeah, that stung. Losing my favorite dog, Dudley – that stung. Knowing that Jacob won’t be able to fulfill the life he deserved – that really stung.
So, happy birthday Jacob Remels. I just know that you’re floating on a cloud in heaven, holding a bowl of chocolate candy, handing it out to everyone who enters Heaven. And I’m certain you’re eating your fair share of it while smiling down on us. See, that image just slammed shut the little door in my mind where I keep your memory. And look at that, the door is locked again – for now.
Happy birthday Jacob. Thank you Facebook. Things that sting. They linger and fade, linger and fade. But just like favorite dog, Dudley, they never leave me. You can read all about him in my novels. Then he’ll never leave you.