Today: Learning to savor life’s little moments.
Hi Dick,” said 72 year old Lou Weintraub warmly as he stepped out of the dark shadows and into the bright yellow sun light.
We were standing 50 yards from where the blue Pacific Ocean met the sand’s edge in a cascade of white water. As we spoke, Lou’s tiny companion, a 5 year old Chihuahua named Tummy sat by Lou tilting his neck to look up at us.
Tummy weighs 8 pounds, and is all white except his little head which looks like someone spilled chocolate sauce on top of it and the chocolate trickled to the left and right of his sparkling brown eyes, with a narrow trickle down to his nose.
“He’s cute,” I said with a grin, as Lou picked up the little guy and we both petted him.
“He brings so much joy to my life,” said Lou. “I love him,” he added as he gave Tummy a kiss and tickled him under his chin, as Tummy joyfully licked Lou’s fingers and then mine.
These are tough times for Lou and Gwen, his wife of 36 years. For 14 years she’s battled severe diabetes and has dialysis three times a week. She’s also suffered two strokes and is legally blind and needs a caregiver to assist her.
“I do a lot of things alone now,” said Lou. “But no complaints,” he quickly added with warmth in his voice. “Life has been good to me.”
As Tummy lay in Lou’s arms, I asked how he got this tiny guy. Lou chuckled with glee.
“It was for Gwen,” he replied. “She needed a constant companion she could communicate with and that she could love, and be loved in return. And we found someone with a litter of Chihuahua puppies.
“We chose a girl puppy but there was a misunderstanding and when I arrived they had sold her,” Lou continued. “But they had Tummy. He was so cute and happy and playful and loving, I quickly fell in love with him and when I brought him home, so did Gwen.
“He’s been a wonderful companion to both of us ever since.”
“On cold days,” Lou added, “Tummy wears the cutest tiny silk outfit. It’s checkered, black and red and white, and it has his name on it. It says ‘Tum.” My daughter made it for him.
Lou gave Tummy a hug and gently set him down as the three of us began to walk. Tummy’s tiny legs were a whir as he kept up with us, always staying right next to Lou.
Then our conversation turned serious as Lou spoke of his wife Gwen. “The other night,” said Lou, “I had to call the paramedics because I couldn’t wake her.” It was frightening.
But after a brief hospital stay, Gwen was well enough for Lou to bring her home.
Then a warm glow came over Lou. “When Tummy goes to sleep at night,” said Lou. “We have a Chaise Lounge next to our bed,” adding with a chuckle, “He hops up at the bottom of the Lounge and works his way up into the bed at the top. We call it The Throne.”
A throne fit for a king, teeny King Tummy, who brings so much love into the lives of others as he offers moment after moment of joy to those who will seize and savor them.
Success Tip of the Week:
Most of us are so busy, we ignore life’s little moments of joy that make each day so much nicer. But they’re there for us if only we will embrace them.
Editor’s Notes: Gwen’s caregiver is a young man from Thailand named Can, who has lived with them for three years. “He’s become like a son to me,” Lou said. This interview took place during the walk and in follow-up telephone conversations.
In the next KazanToday:
If only you knew the facts, you would respond differently.