Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Friday, May 31, 2013

3-28-13 RMB Bean-Bear
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
It’s 5am and I am up writing one of my stories, not this letter, the other works I am creating. Thank you for the inspiration, for the motivation.
It turns out Bear really was Bean. The end of the n was worn off. His family called. I took him home. “Bean” fits his size better. No wonder he perked up so at being called “Bear”. If I were a Bean, I’d rather be a Bear. He is a happy, snorty, smelly tyke who is now happy to be home.
They offered me money. Kind of them but there was no need. Bean-Bear already gave me plenty more than dollars and cents. I figured out why I was annoyed. I was fretting over what to do with him if that phone number was not good. What if his family had moved on? What would I do with a Bear?  
I hate that it all comes back to us, that we are selfish animals. Every act is weighed consciously or unconsciously as holding a good or bad affect on our lives, comfortable or uncomfortable. I would not have wanted to take him to the shelter, not sure if he would survive there, if they would let him survive. I am glad I did not have to face that decision. I already know what my answer would have been.
I know you have several animals. I have resisted taking in more than two, Misty and Smores, a shelter dog and a shelter cat. And even those I consented to mainly to keep the sister company, to give her hands an important task. I win in the long run. I have a happy dog to walk and a lap warmer we call Smores when I come home each night. I get the benefit. Sister does the work. I am spoiled.
A note to any other readers…even if you can’t adopt or donate money to your local shelter, they need blankets, toys for the animals and helping hands. Call them and find out if there is something you have or can do to help them. Everyone has an old towel or extra blanket lying around. The boys and I go to the thrift store to buy some now and then and drop them off together.
I want the boys to grow up knowing what it feels like to give, to lend a hand, to know they can make a difference in other lives, to feel what they gain from giving. I always ask afterwards “How do you feel? How did the workers you gave the stuff to feel to you? How do you think the animals that get those blankets or toys will feel?”
People are so concerned about giving something away and holding less than was held before. If they could only feel what they gain, let it register…we would have no hunger, no despair… another sweet dream.
The foster system needs help too. Maybe you can’t adopt a child, but you can help those that do or the children that are in the system. In either case, what you offer can take as little as an hour or a day. You do get more than you give. Whenever we help one another, by words written or deeds done…we save ourselves and each other.
Good night,
PS. I like that Carole in In Her Day is such a good sport with the young Ilse!

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