April 23, 2013


i read a post on the blog, a holy experience, today. a touching story based on the sign, "honk if you're happy." the following is an excerpt from this blog which is written by ann voskamp... but, please take a moment and go to this link to read the whole story and blog post. you'll be happy you did! - 


"Who doesn't roll his eyes at such naivete? As if the world is this strange hybrid of Pollyanna and Sesame Street - if you're happy and you know it, honk, honk - when it's really just a strange new, old world, broken and a a mess." 

"See what happened to him? The sign said, 'Honk if you're happy'. And he discovered that the act of honking the horn - it made him happy. It's not the honk if you're happy. It's honk TO BE happy."

reading this blog post today was incredibly fitting. after all, we had our own experience with happiness honking this weekend. it started with a text from taylor.

his GF, mara, has a dog. 
his name is ghost.
taylor often "babysits" ghost.
apparently, he believes that requires matching attire.

my great big, grown up son is completely enamored and in love with this 10lb precocious ball of fluff. 
precocious? a dog? yes, this dog is. 
ghost is precocious. 
taylor often regales us with stories about ghost.
ghost stories. 
c'mon, admit it, that made you smile, didn't it!

for example, he taught ghost to give kisses. 
it meant repeating "give me a kiss" a million times over
but, he finally got it.
so no big deal. a lot of dogs do tricks
except no matter who says, "give me a kiss", ghost automatically runs and gives taylor the kiss. every. single. time.

so my son and ghost have forged a bond 
and we hear about it ALL the time. 
taylor talking about ghost is like a proud first time parent who thinks their baby is the best, brightest, cutest, most unique humanoid to ever grace the earth.
no exaggeration.

on more than one occasion, he's been known to bring ghost by for a 'playdate' with harri. something to do with wanting to socialize ghost. teach him to share and play nice.

so it was no big surprise when i got a text this weekend with another ghost story.

it goes like this...

taylor and mara were out and about with ghost. they popped into a restaurant to pick up some take out. while they were inside waiting, they could hear the blaring of a car horn. 

taylor was like, "who is the idiot sitting on the horn in the parking lot?"

the honking continued on and on and on.

exasperated, taylor peered out of the restaurant window.

there was but one lone car in the parking lot. 
mara's car.
and there, happily peering over the steering wheel, was ghost. upon spotting taylor, his horn honking reached a feverish frequency.

beep beep. beep. beep. beep. beeeeeeeepppppp!

he honks incessantly every time they leave him alone in the car now.

can't even gas up the car without ghost serenading them with his maniacal honking.

i giggled as a read the text...entertained by another ghost story. 

then he sent me video footage of it...
and i watched it and just laughed and laughed...shamelessly hitting the repeat button over and over...it's not just the sight of a dog honking a horn, it is the pure look of happiness on ghost's face. 

he just looks, well, so darn happy (and a bit bratty)!

you just can't help but smile and be happy. and the funny thing is that happiness is contagious... and in this case, accompanied by loud. blaring. blasts. 

my thoughts immediately went to my sparky boy. he had been tucked away in his room for most of the day- in too much pain and too fatigued to get out of bed. i didn't want to disturb him if he was sleeping as that is often the only way to escape the relentless pain but i knew this would brighten his day. i crept upstairs, gently edged his door open and poked my head into his darkened room. there he lay, flushed cheeks, eyes dull with pain, harri nestled in at his side

"how ya doing buddy?" i whispered. dumb question. the answer obvious.

"i hurt mom. it's so bad today." he grimaced back. 

"i've got another ghost story...this one comes with a video...you feel up to viewing it?"

"sure..." a faint smile graced his parched lips.

me - perched on the side of his bed, he - aching body propped up on bended elbow, his tousled head leaning on my shoulder, our necks cricked to peer at my phone's little screen we watched that little video over and over and in that darkened room where suffering suffocates light, 

giggles erupted and happiness happened

and merriment rose in his sallow eyes
and life came to his grimacing face
and tension eased from his furrowed brow
and joy came to my heart 

and long after i had left his room, his giggles followed me, their melody music to my ears.

honk...honk to be happy.
maybe ghost is the smartest, brightest, most humanoid dog to ever grace this planet.
just don't tell harrison i said that.

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