I had a conversation with one of my daughters and she suggested I not name this litter after family and friends that have left this earthly existence and now live in a different realm but I cannot shake the “coincidence” of this date and the significance it has in my life. I will simply not allow it to be just a “coincidence” but rather I will like to see it as a manifestation of a power greater than I and a sign, if you will of a love and concern from those who have “passed on” and undoubtedly still have a deep interest in our well being and even occasionally a desire to remind us that out of sight does NOT mean gone forever.
I tend to be a bit of a sentimental sap anyway but I knew Mika’s babies were due between the 26-28th and honestly it didn’t really occur to me the significance of the day until the day arrived. You see, 20 years ago on October 27th, my first husband of 16 years took his last breath with our 4 children and I by his side. He had so courageously fought a battle against a brain tumor and He won! At peace and free from the physical limitations that had beset his mind and body, he could now watch over us in a different way and we both expected it and needed it. I was devastated beyond words and felt at that moment as if life had just ended for me as well. I was a young 30 something year old with 4 kids and what on earth was I supposed to do now…everything felt so empty, so pointless, I was bothered that neighbors were just driving up and down the street going about their business as if everything in the world was fine. Didn’t they know? Didn’t they care that I was hurting and I needed them to just stop for a minute and imagine being in my shoes? Didn’t they care that someone had just passed away and that someone was my EVERYTHING! How could they just keep going?
A couple of weeks ago now, a prominent figure in the Utah community by the name of Collin Kartchner passed away very unexpectedly and left behind a beautiful wife and young children, similar in ages to mine when my own young husband passed away. Reading her thoughts seemed to open a gaping wound in my soul, and I’m always surprised and caught off guard when it happens but every year that date finds me even when I’m not paying attention, I always feel something isn’t quite right and then I remember… My husband wasn’t as “famous” as Collin, but he was famous in his own right in our little community, at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Ohio, but most especially in our home! I had to go sign some papers in the HR department shortly after his passing and the flags were at half staff…an auditorium was named after him and a plaque hangs on the wall to this day, The TEC auditorium…it was hard to process it all and honestly I don’t think I did for many years. Collin was laid to rest on October 26th and I couldn’t help but feel so strange that I was just going about my life and some sweet woman was dying of pain and sorrow.
I am remarried now to one of the most kind, compassionate, forgiving and encouraging men I have ever known in my life. He has healed my soul and has brought peace to this mama bear and her cubs. Not an easy task! He allows me to grieve and to feel the pains of a young mom lost and so so insecure those 20 years ago. He allows my children to reminisce and talk about their dad and he has had spiritual experiences where he has felt Tim’s presence as he has given blessings of comfort/healing to our children.
But as we were delivering puppies on October 27th and 28th, I couldn’t help but think that this was no coincidence, but rather a gentle reminder that heaven isn’t far away and that there are angels among us always watching over us and wanting to do all they can to be a part of our lives…I have so many angels and it just felt like I needed to acknowledge their little reminder that they are here and love and serve us often. And for whatever reason, this year seemed different than so many other years, 20 years just seemed like something big and grand, like something we needed to acknowledge in a bigger way than the other “anniversaries” Well what better way than to joyfully bring 10 beautiful puppies into the world and name them after those loved ones that are out of sight but not gone!
- The first born is a little gold boy named TEC Tillman pronounced “Teek” standing for Timothy Eric Corbett, my late husband. And his father, Henry Tillman Corbett.
- Second born is a little black girl named Barlie Marie, after two of my cousins and sisters to each other, Brandi Marie Svoboda and Carlie Ellen Crocker
- Third is a big black and white boy named Carl Mooch after my Grandfather Carl Crocker and my uncle Toby also known as “Mooch”
- Fourth is a beautiful silver boy named, Brother Davey. You can guess that one! Oh, how I miss him and would love to sit on the couch and have a conversation. He was such a wonderful big brother and I don’t remember a part of my childhood that he wasn’t the center of.
- Fifth is another gold boy named Tommy Terryn. Named after both my Uncle Tom and a little boy from North Carolina named Terryn. The morning after the pups were born, a friend had read my facebook post about a Memorial Litter and asked if I would use the name of a sweet young 10 year old boy that was a family friend and had just passed away from a brain tumor, more “coincidences”?
- Next is Terri Ruth, a little black and white girl named for both my Aunt Terri who practically raised me and my Grandma Helen Ruth who was my earthly angel.
- Another little girl named Mary Leona, both my grandmother Mary Crocker and my husband’s grandmother, Leona Frampton who we both lived with at times in our lives.
- Little brown and white boy named Danny Bo Doug, in memory of my Uncle Daniel Glen Brewster, my Uncle Robert “Bo” Biltz and my husband’s grandfather Douglas Eldredge who was a great comfort to my husband as he was preparing to serve a mission in Japan.
- Last of the girls is a black and white little one named Constance Faye after my husband’s grandmother Constance Baugh Eldredge and my first mother in law Faye Hiatt
- And the last of the boys is a precious gold boy named, CK Max. He is named for Collin Kartchner, a hero to so many youth and parents for generations to come I’m certain, and Grandpa Max who was a man with a long legacy of hard work and service to the Lord.
Although these will not be their names in their forever homes, I feel like in some small part, I have honored our family and friends in naming these perfect little precious pups after them.
Out of sight but not gone or forgotten, I will love you forever my family and my fur babies who’s names you bear while here with me. BFF forever and ever.