Oma Sue's Blog
Hi – I’m Sue Reyzlik. I recently realized my life-long dream of building a writing hut in the backyard. The writing hut serves as a creative space and home office for Oma Publishing. This blog will be intermingled with family history, varied experiences and insights on being a Grandma (Oma), creating my special backyard space, as well as, my “retirement” career as a self-publisher of children’s stories. And perhaps a little bit on the 32 years I served as Executive Director for Keep Fremont Beautiful and the wonderful people who are sharing this adventure.
Facebook post from this week. I thought I should document the event in my blog!
January 27 at 1:26 PM ·
This morning was a little different… I have a story and a rant and a sad thing that I feel compelled to share. Rai got up as normal and started getting ready for the day. This week has been a series of theme days with “Team” Day and “Pajama” Day – that kind of thing. Well today was “Vacation” or “Tourist” Day – something like that… so let me back up to last night…
Rai and I discussed what that may look like for clothing choices. We settled on leggings, an over-sized blouse and a floppy hat! It would be too cold to wear shorts! Now Rai is getting into the “Vacation” in a warm spot theme and decides to put on a swimsuit (a much too small two piece that needs to be handed down to my other granddaughter Gracyn) and go for a dip in the ocean – which is the bathtub… because we aren’t really on vacation.
Soooo she goes to bed with everything planned out for this morning… gets up like normal and gets ready. After she is done in the bathroom, I go in there and find a straw cowboy hat on the toilet seat, I pick it up and throw it out in the hall, then I notice the floppy hat stuck between the toilet and the wall… I pick that hat up and toss it out in the hall as she is coming up the steps. She picks up the floppy hat and steps over the other hat lying on the floor and goes in her room.
I slept on my right side and my hair is sticking out at right angles on that side of my head – the left side hair is matted to my head so the sticking out hair is even more dramatic and nutty looking by comparison. I attempt to water it down and get it under control, but it keeps doing the right-angle thing. I think to myself… no one is going to see me… screw it.
I go downstairs and put on my coat. Rai is looking for her glasses and getting agitated. She screams that she had them right there… I help her look. They are definitely not there! She stomps up to her room and starts moving things around… She screams that she had them right there… I help her look. They are definitely not there! She stomps downstairs and I follow… I’ll go down to the TV room and look… she screams that she never went down there… I go down anyway… no glasses… she is stomping around and beginning to cry… I had them she screams as she goes upstairs again… I follow and look some more while she stomps downstairs screaming that they aren’t up there, Grandma. I tell her that I will look for them and I will bring them later to school. She cries out in frustration… I had them in my hat… I say what? She screeches – I put them right in my hat and now they are not in there… this is new information… You had them in your hat? YES – The hat was on my bed, and I put the glasses in my hat and I brought it down here and now the glasses are gone.
Armed with this new information I returned upstairs to the pile of clothes she placed in the hallway by the bathroom. Sure enough – the glasses were sitting right there on top of her towel from last night’s trip to the beach and the pajamas she wore to school on Tuesday. I picked them up and walked calmly downstairs – she demands to know where I found them – like WHERE WERE THEY??? You dropped them out of the hat in the hallway onto the dirty clothes in the hallway. To which she replies… YOU THREW MY HAT INTO THE HALLWAY… I had to think a minute there… is this my fault? The straw cowboy hat was on the toilet seat – no glasses in that… I am sitting on the toilet and notice the floppy hat next to the toilet… did it have glasses in it… NO!! IT DID NOT. This is not my fault. I say nothing… Let’s go to school.
She stomps out to the car… we are backing out of the garage… I can hear her doing something in the backseat… She screeches yet again… I DON’T HAVE MY MASK - I stop the car – she opens her door and then gets out – slams her door and runs to the house… seconds later she returns to the car… I have already turned off the car and rolled down the window to hand her the keys… she opens the door, takes the key and slams the door – running back to the house. She returns – opening the door, handing me the keys, slamming the door, opening her door and then slamming her door. All this huffing and puffing and slamming of doors has made me decide that I’m not letting the whole glasses in the hat that I tossed out into the hall slide…
Listen lady – I wasn’t going to say anything but your glasses on the pile of clothes was not my doing. Your hat was on the floor and there were no glasses in that hat when I tossed it into the hallway. You picked up your hat and went into your room where you put your glasses in the hat. You walked out of your room and dropped the glasses on the dirty clothes. Once I learned that you had put your glasses in the hat, I was able to locate the missing glasses. I have had enough screaming, crying and huffing and puffing. She wasn’t done… Well, I’m out of breath and now I understand what happened. We traveled in silence to school.
Now I seriously hate dropping her off at school. I especially hate it when someone parks – parks in the drop off lane at school. You are supposed to be able to pull up in the lane – drop off your kids – and pull out and go on your merry way. Today there was a 10 County car parked in the middle of the drop off lane so that was unfortunate and causes so much more unnecessary obstruction to what is already a problem flow of traffic… it is empty in front of the parked car, so I pull in front of vehicle. Rai says, not in a screech but it was pleasant, Can I get out here? Yes! Have a good day… to which I get a hurumph…
I start to pull out and see a car speeding up behind me and to my left… I pause – the car passes. So many delays and snags and attitudes went into making my travel times later than usual. I wasn’t off by much but here I was traveling east on Linden at around 7:45 – I am not ever that late.
I am nearing Colson when I see a little tan chihuahua tentatively crossing between cars, heading to the Presbyterian Church parking lot. I instantly know that the dog is going to be killed and pull over to try and convince the dog to get in my car but before I can get out of my car, the dog turns and goes back into traffic. I get out of the car and race to the street where I see the little dog writhing in pain.
I missed the point of impact, but I am so saddened and shocked. Another car speeds by and narrowly misses the dog. I put my hands up and walk into traffic. A woman at the wheel of a small car stops feet from me in the street. Our eyes meet – she is waiting for me to do something. I reach down and pick up the crying dog – hoping that I don’t hurt it further and hoping that it doesn’t bite me. I cuddle the dog as I would cuddle a baby – holding it near my chest… I look back at the lady and I move to the parking lot. I stare at the face of the injured animal as it cries – her tiny chest is heaving… I see that she is missing several teeth on her right side – she is an old dog… I am so sorry this happened to you… I just want you to be warm…
A lady approaches me – asking if she hit the dog. Her large black truck parked maybe 50 yards further east. I tell her yes… she asks if it is ok – I say no. She starts to cry. We both feel awful, and we play the scene over and over in our heads. I ask her to call the police – I’m sure the dog will die, and they will know who to call. I wish I would have brought my phone. She can’t get through – she’s having trouble dialing her phone. The dog is quiet now but starts to throw up… I reposition her head, so the vomit falls to the pavement. A gentleman pulls up in the parking lot and asks if he can help. I tell him that I think she’s gone but then the little dog moves her front legs and whimpers…and then nothing… my heart is breaking – I need to find a blanket. I lay the dog on the ground and search my car for something to wrap her in… the man searches his car – nothing. I pick the dog up once again and hug her to my chest… I’m sure she’s gone but I can’t let her be cold on the ground.
The gentleman calls the police, and he is able to get through. A dog has been hit – we are in the parking lot – they will send someone over. The gentleman says he needs to get to work – I thank him for his help – but he lingers. The lady that hit the dog has been crying – I don’t notice when she left. I look down Colson Street and I see another lady walking towards us. I know it is the dog’s mom. She crosses the street and asks me if she got hit? I tell her yes and that I think she is gone.
The gentleman knows the woman and they visit – I continue holding the dog. The lady who hit the dog returns with a couple of blankets. The ladies cry. We learn that the dog was 14 and had on occasion snuck out a hole in the fence… they thought they had corrected that problem, but she was small and determined. She had searched the normal places where she would wander and finally came to Linden – hoping that she would not find this… fearing she would find this but hoping not.
The doggy mama assured both me and the lady who had hit her tiny pet that we were not at fault. She did not blame us – she took full responsibility. Still, we both felt awful. The gentleman walked his friend and her lost pet home – he would be late to work. The lady and I hugged each other for a long time. She said she was so grateful that she didn’t have her grandson in the car when she hit the dog – he would have been horrified. I too am grateful that I didn’t have Rai in the car with me – that would have been worse. In between her tears she lamented the traffic and the chaos of the morning drop off – it’s awful traffic in the morning.
As I drove home, I wondered what would have happened if I had just kept driving. If I had left that little dog to her own devices. I wondered if she would have made it home by herself. I felt guilty that I had known that the dog was going to die and my stopping to save the dog was the deciding factor in determining her death. Oh wow – I freak myself out sometimes.
But I continued to dwell on that circular thinking… If Rai hadn’t lost her glasses, if I hadn’t wasted time looking in the tv room, if she hadn’t left her hat by the toilet, if she hadn’t finally told me she put her glasses in the hat, if she hadn’t forgotten her mask, if she hadn’t come back for the keys and slammed those doors, if the red car with the 10 county plates hadn’t screwed up a backlog of traffic, if people hadn’t been so frustrated by the traffic, if I didn’t have to wait for a car to pass me… if, if, if, if all that hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have been at that exact location at that exact moment…
And then here’s another thing about me… I don’t know how many dogs I have coaxed into my car, into my yard, into the neighbor’s yard, into my garage, into the neighbor’s garage… I am always trying to pick up strays… that is me… I won’t stop trying to help dogs in dangerous or bizarre situations… I know this – God knows this…
I’m not trying to absolve myself of anything but there is another vein of thought that is helping me cope with the unpleasant events of this morning. If I accept that I knew that the dog was going to die, then my stopping would not alter that. The dog was going to die – I was certain of that. My stopping was not to save the dog – my stopping was to comfort the dog in its final moments. My stopping was to ease the pain of the woman who hit the dog. My stopping was a signal to everyone who drove by that anything can happen – this was a pet – a loved member of a family. The woman who hit the pet was upset – people could see the emotion – I’m hoping they felt some empathy for her sorrow. I’m hoping every parent was thinking that they were glad their kids hadn’t seen that. I’m hoping every parent was relieved that it wasn’t a child I was holding in my arms.
I also think that I have a tendency to think too much. I think a lot about what is going on in our nation’s politics, the earth’s environment, saving our democracy, upholding the rights of every human being – and wondering what little old me can do to help in those efforts.
Maybe just maybe what I can do today is what I've done. I helped my granddaughter find her glasses, I kept calm, I comforted a dog as she lay dying in my arms and then wrote all about it and my feelings. Ya – that should do it… maybe meditate a little and fix this right-angle hair thing I got going... no one said anything about my right-angle hair...
Some days are just a little different...
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