Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “Max is lucky to have me around – what would he do without me?” When, in reality, I should be asking, “What would I do without him?”
Back in December, Dallas got hit by a pretty bad ice storm. At least bad enough to keep me cooped up with Max for two days straight. If I’ve proven I learn a lot from him the few hours I spend with him each day, this was a doozy.
One thing that stood out, though, came from our walks over the icy tundra surrounding my apartment. Most of the ice was easy to walk on, but as ice is want to be, some of it was very slippery. Yet, between Max’s excitement, my daring attitude, and both our reckless behavior, we ventured boldly out.
And we did pretty well. I only bit it bad once, falling flat on my back. Max slipped a few times too, but it didn’t phase him a bit.
Then we got to a particularly steep incline and my two feet did not provide me the steadiness I needed to climb it. As I struggled and slipped back down, Max deftly ascended the hill. Since the leash attached us, he pulled me to my feet, but I kept him from going all the way up. Nevertheless, we forged a new path somewhat around the hill, relying heavily on his sturdy four-footedness.
I depended on that sturdiness more and more throughout our walks. Max was my stability when I started to lose control.
And I think I offered him something too. While less sturdy on two feet, I was more dexterous. I could move around the slipperiest ice to support him when he unknowingly barged on through. Not to mention I have hands that helped us hold onto poles and signs as we passed other difficult places and that opened the door to allow us to go outside at all.
So, we supported each other, and continue to do so, both on and off the ice
I thank you Max, for teaching me that we all need support as we venture on across life’s slippery spots. We need support even in the easy times. And we need to give support to others. It is not a matter of strong and weak, blessed and not blessed, privileged or not. Rather, Max has taught me that there is a need of support that transcends those distinctions.
Because the support is what made the journey meaningful, fun, and worthwhile. I could have walked all that way myself and played in the snow alone. I may have sustained a few more bruises and it may have taken me longer, but I could have done it and then proudly say I made it through, I have proven myself, I am the ice master! (Ok, I might have said that last one anyway!)
But where would that get me? And who would care?
Max taught me that support is about strength, but also about something so much more. I can be strong by myself, but support adds that little extra something that pushes me beyond merely overcoming difficult situations to experiencing love in those situations.
That day on the ice, Max and I made lasting memories to cherish and share. We experienced our vulnerabilities and proved that together we can (not overcome them, but) live happily with them and be joyful and love (not despite them, but) because of them.
And for those not in a sappy mood:
Thank you Max, for not only teaching me about support, but also for supporting me.