Sometimes you hear a story that just has to be shared; one that demonstrates the power of compassion for all God's creatures and makes us better people.
This is the story of a remarkable young girl - Alexa. You see, I don't know Alexa really well, but I do know several very important things about her. She is the girl who found our dog, Lola, after she ran away several years ago during the first winter storm. It was brutally cold that day and when I went into the yard to let her in, she had pulled her chain out of the ground and was long gone.....chain and all.
I was frantic and began running up and down the street yelling her name. Then I called the Police Department and began enlisting the help of my friends and neighbors to find the dog we'd rescued from the shelter several months earlier and grown to love. While going up and down the street yelling Lola's name I spotted our neighbor's daughter who had just gotten off the school bus, and asked if she'd seen Lola. I told her what happened and asked her to keep a lookout for our little dog. About five minutes later Alexa returned to help us look for our dog. I thought to myself, "What can this small girl do that an adult couldn't do?" I had little confidence she'd be of much help, but I welcomed the offer and she set off in search.
Long story short......who found our dog? You guessed it! Alexa. She had called the phone number on Lola's tag and alerted my son, Bryan, that she had Lola with her and was bringing our wandering dog back home. Our reunion with Lola was a beautiful moment and I'm not ashamed to admit I cried like a baby. Several weeks later, during our Christmas festivities, we gave thanks for the gift Alexa had given us. It was one of the best Christmas presents ever. Without her help, our Lola wouldn't be with us today.
Alexa's story doesn't end there. No, it continues. While at an event last night, her mother related, once again, the compassionate nature of this very special young lady. Several months ago, after a bad storm in the area that included wind damage, downed trees, etc., Alexa was walking in the neighborhood when she found a nest that had blown out of a tree. There on the sidewalk were broken eggs and debris strewn about, but what caught her eye was one very tiny bird with unopened eyes, no feathers and barely clinging to life. She called her mother and they brought the bird home. Many people would have simply walked around the dying creature, but not her.
With information from the internet, Alexa set about the task of doing everything she could to give her newly named bird, "Chance", a chance to survive. She put him in a tupperware bowl with some cushioning and placed it under a heat lamp. Early in the morning she foraged in the yard for fresh worms (yuk!) to feed that fledgling bird. She gave up going out in the evenings so she could tend to feeding and caring for this tiny creature. She set her clock early to keep on schedule so Chance wouldn't miss his feedings.
For five weeks Alexa put everything she had into nurturing Chance back to health. She demonstrated an incredible amount of compassion, caring, commitment and love. It's hard to believe that a young teenager could devote this incredible amount of effort into saving a little bird's life, but that's precisely what she did.
Five weeks went by and Chance began to open his eyes and the appearance of a few little feathers were noticed. Then Alexa noticed that he didn't seem himself and her concern for Chance turned to sorrow as his little life slipped away before her very eyes. Her mother, knowing how upsetting this was, tried to console her daughter. But, Alexa, with wisdom far beyond her years, told her mother it was alright.....that they had given him a chance....and that's all they could do. She had no regrets.
It doesn't matter how old I get, I'm always amazed when I see very special people; wise beyond their years, innately compassionate, who make this world a better place. These are people who awe and inspire us with their incredibly kind and generous natures. They teach us more important lessons than could ever be learned from a book or a classroom. Alexa demonstrates to us the qualities of hope and commitment. I have little doubt she will inspire many during her lifetime. She is just beginning her journey in this world, but through her example others will learn that kindness and compassion are gifts that each of us should strive for.
Everyone needs inspiration.....to be shown a path filled with hope and light. Sometimes the young can teach us the greatest lessons. Thank you, Alexa, for your beautiful spirit and the lessons I've learned from you.
As always.........live an inspired and patriotic life!