I am so excited to share this story!!! This is the story about Michael Jackson, God, a beautiful young woman, and a puppy -- with characters like that -- well, how could it be anything but grand?
I was working at the pediatric hospital in Utah with my wonderful colleagues that I still miss every day, including our hospital chaplain whose name happens to be Michael Jackson -- he is, in fact, the original Michael Jackson.
I have to say this about Michael -- he made me want to be a better person. In another life I suspect he was a dog because I am not sure I ever met a human being so capable of giving unconditional positive regard to another -- his abilities to authentically show warmth and regard are positively dog-like! So I guess it is not a surprise that he is a Man of God -- dogs and God's special people have much in common, but that is a post for another day.
So back to the story -- Michael happened to walk in my office as I was sharing ultrasound pictures and I excitedly handed a couple to him. He looked at them and said, "I know what these are" and then looked at me, back at the pictures and struggled with looks of wonder and horror that I immediately understood and I quickly reassured him that no -- those were not MY ultrasound pictures but my dog's. Indeed, they were ultrasound pictures of D Litter puppies -- Maize's second litter that turned five recently.
It was pretty darn funny -- I will never forget that little scene :)
Fast forward to the puppies' arrival. You know how I always name my puppies -- I hate calling them by colors as if they do not have an identity except the one defined by the color of ribbon around their necks. And for some reason, I named a girl Ashlee -- spelled just like that -- Ashlee.
Kathy LaPine is one of my dear Utah friends, and she is a special friend to Maize and Cadi. Kathy has two berners of her own, and her younger daughter decided that she wanted one of her own -- love those multi-generational berner families :)
Kathy's daughter was about to start graduate school but I knew she was reliable and more importantly, I knew that Kathy would never let anything bad happen to Maize's puppy and so it was decided that Ashlee would get Ashlee. Did you follow that? Kathy's daughter's name is Ashlee -- spelled the same way as the puppy, Ashlee -- a fact I did not know when I named the puppy.
Of course my poor colleagues had to endure all manner of puppy stories/pictures and I had to share that one -- the Ashlee going to Ashlee story -- with my colleagues, including the aforementioned Michael Jackson. And do you know what he said? He said it was clearly Divine Inspiration -- and what litter was it? The D Litter! And so little Ashlee went to big Ashlee with the name bestowed on her -- unknowingly -- by Michael Jackson: Kaibab's Divine Inspiration.
Little Ashlee got a new name, as all those Ashlees could be confusing -- her new call name became Joy. Together, Joy and Ashlee went off to graduate school where they earned Ashlee's MFA and along the way had many adventures, including meeting a man that they both fell in love with (insert little heart :).
Do you hear wedding bells? Yes, Ashlee is getting married in May, and Joy is part of the wedding party! And guess who is marrying them?
The Very Reverend Michael Jackson (insert big smile :) -- and no, they did not know each other until recently. Divine Inspiration indeed...