January, 2002 Wingspread

We mourn the loss of our precious Missy
     She was given to me by a lady who had planned to let her die after she was weaned; she had “too many handicaps” to bother with her, so it was said.
      I took one look at her and she was MINE forever. Missy was no bigger than the palm of my hand and Shirley and I took her by our vet’s for a “vet check.”
      His response was, “Billie, what have you gotten yourself into?” She had water on the brain, which caused her forehead to bulge, an “incurable skin disease,” and I said, “Check her out anyhow.” The vet drew blood from her tiny neck and she screamed just once. Shirley and I cried. On the way home, she snuggled under Shirley’s chin, and we comforted her. Munchy, the Yorkshire Terrier, was ecstatic. Now he wouldn’t be lonely.
      As the days passed by, Missy had more than the vet had discovered. She had a “prolapsed rectum” which required surgery twice. The second time I sent her in, I asked Brian to take a photo of her, in my hand, against my heart. I feared I would never see her again.
      I hadn’t counted on Missy’s desire to endure and overcome! But when I noticed that her situation once again needed surgery, I couldn’t bear it. She could not bear to be touched or cleaned, and though she never complained, I shared her pain. So on that day, in the first year that Missy came to me, I just knelt down suddenly, laid hands on her tiny body, and cried out, “FATHER, PLEASE........” That is all I said.
      Missy jumped as though she was suddenly “energized,” and began to run round and round in circles. Munchy joined her, delighted that now they could “play chase.”
      To my amazement and joy, Missy had been instantaneously healed of her skin disease (all the sores had immediately dried up) plus her head---all the bubble of water had disappeared. And she never again had to have surgery. When I told the Vet, he looked almost scared; doctors don’t understand miracles. He had given her a few months to live at the most.
      Missy was radiant. Stubborn. Filled with such joy each a.m., that she would get up (she and Munchy both slept with us) and “dig us up, out of the covers.” If Rodney (who was her hero) didn’t respond, and she kept digging until he peered out at her, and then she would wash his face with her kisses.
      She was afraid of nothing but my “fly swatter.” When she and Munchy would get into a knock-down, drag out fight and “lose it,” I came running with my fly swatter and the battle ended immediately.
      Missy was never “house broken.” She would like to have been, I’m sure, but when the vet completed his last surgery on her (that second time), he had found a part of her intestine lying across a kidney, so he had to remove that part, plus he went ahead and did a hysterectomy. How she had survived such trauma only proves to me that her heart was set on living and loving, and she refused to leave us.
      Missy eventually ruined my carpeting and we had to remove all of it; she would sneak and use the throw rugs, rather than go outside on a rainy or cold day. She pretty much did her own thing, and yet I admired her tenacity of will, her resolve to live and to love in spite of all the pain she had suffered; and I especially loved her for her total adoration of Rodney.
      I can still see her, as he carried her through the house, her head on his shoulder, eyeing me with the joy of “being totally loved.”
      Nothing she ever did made me feel angry or upset. The very fact that she never seemed to notice her own hurts, and never showed any animosity toward anything unless her “food” was threatened, made me love her all the more and hope that I might have some of those same wonderful qualities that made her an Overcomer.
      I can still see her, racing Munchy through the house, out to the back patio, and back in---looking for the treats that she knew I would give her. She found ways to entertain herself, like chewing up pieces of small boxes, or anything she could find to tear up and make believe she that she was a fierce dog, and had made her “kill” in the jungle. Munchy at times thought she was silly; but that is because he is so proper, a fine English gentleman, a “Yorkshire Terrier” with ‘AKC papers.” Missy was supposedly a “Cairn Terrier” but I suspect she was a mixture of Chihuahua and West highland Terrier.
      Whatever she was, she was precious to me, to Rodney, and to the family here whose kisses always were given freely to anyone who held her.
      She attended all of our Bible studies, and she and Munchy were deliriously happy when I told them we were going to “have a party.” This meant that Aunt Gail and Uncle Brian, Aunt Margaret and Aunt Shirley and Uncle Eddie would be here and there would be “eats.” She expected Love and she received it, generously.
      Her death came suddenly. She was fine on the day of December 27th, and ran and played as though nothing hurt her. But she’d had a cough for awhile and I suspected it was heart failure. She never complained, she would cough and then get back her breath and her day would be all joy. In the night, she evidently had a heart attack and possibly a stroke. We found her the moment she fell off the bed. She couldn’t move, and was rushed to the vet.
      His diagnosis confirmed my fears. She had heart failure and the medicine he sent home did not help. In fact, she never walked again and she went to sleep on December 30th I say that she “went to sleep” because Missy is not dead. Her love is as real and tangible as it was all those ten years that she was mine. Love cannot die.
      Rodney wrapped her little body in one of her blankets. Uncle Brian had made her a fine box. And Rodney put her into it, our hearts breaking. He did not want her to be buried anywhere but “out back” where she loved to run beside the patio garden. As he laid her to rest, he vowed that “when Spring comes, you will have a beautiful flower garden above you.”
      I share this story with you because of the meaning that Missy brought into my own life. I had no idea that God could instantly touch her tiny body and set her free from her infirmities. It just doesn’t usually happen. But He did. And that gave me hope and faith in His Love.
      I observed her strong, brave spirit which had refused to give in to her “set backs,” and her resolve to “love life, no matter what.”
      I saw her being “doctored” (I had to give her eye drops, antihistamines, diarrhea medicine, etc. etc. throughout her lifetime) with never a whimper or resistance to me. I saw her trust in my love, and this teaches me that no matter how I feel, or how hard the trial, God is my Father and He loves me without limit.
      She made my heart glad; she gave me joy; she was my friend, my little girl. And I share her story with all of you, who have such dark things around you and who need that ray of Light which pierces through all the darkness and sets you free.
      Missy is free and now she runs with the winds and plays chase with her angel/dog friends. Missy is here, in our hearts.

INTRODUCING:Margaret's"Chocolate Barney" WINGSPREADS'S newest family member At four months of age

URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS: For David Speaks, OSP, to regain his spiritual fellowship; For: A new brother, OSP, as he grows in grace & knowledge of the Savior; For: Ernestine Johnson, a dear sister in Christ, who faces heart surgery. FOR; Lucille Hill, Darren Raschke’s grandma, who is ill in the hospital at Hutchinson, Kansas. Darren is at JCCC, Helena, Ok.; FOR; My son, Richard’s salvation; FOR; Gerald Carter, our brother in Vienna Illinois, to receive a job at a work camp. FOR; Johnnie Dunnum, JCCC, Helena, to pass his GED. FOR: Danny Brandon, at a camp in Milton, Florida, to be overwhelmed with God’s divine Love. FOR: John Boltz, Death Row, OSP, that all hindrances to his appeal be removed and Truth will prevail. FOR: John Romano, our dear brother at OSP whose execution date is set for Jan. 29th. Pray that as he awaits “that blessed hope” the Love of Christ will sustain him, and he will have that “peace that passes understanding until he is caught up the moment his spirit departs to be with our Lord forever. FOR: Willie Scott, at Max. Sec. In Tucker, Ark., to be assigned as a state trustee. He has been our brother for many, many years and is one of our prayer warriors. FOR: Michael Long, our brother at Larned Correctional Facility, Larned, Kansas, that his case for a parole will be heard. Pray for Mike’s acceptance of God’s will, and that God’s Love will be very real to him. FOR: Rodney and myself, that we can keep up with the work and all of the new brothers who have contacted us. And pray for WINGSPREAD.

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