Elizabeth L.Chalker, Author
The things you can accomplish and overcome with your mind far and away exceed the greatest capabilities of your physical body. ELC
Symon was my four legged son. A Corgi-Shepherd mix who was the light and love of my heart and is now my angel from Heaven. Symon wasn't just a dog, he was my child and was truly a very special creation of God's. I was honored to be his mommy. I trust some of you understand what I mean!
In Loving Memory of Symon Patrick Chalker on this second year anniversary of his Home-going to Heaven.
Symon Patrick Chalker, aka, Brother Jones
12/27/1999 – 1/24/2011
Eulogy from Memorial Mass
My Little White Dove From Heaven Made With God’s hands and Gods heart:
Job 1:21 “…The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord”
I want the world to know who Symon was. I want the world to know what a Divine, supernatural creation he was and continues to be in heaven. Symon came to be my son as I was in the last stages of graduate school. He was adopted from the pound and I instantly fell in love. He was so amazing, so precious. Big jack rabbit ears, gorgeous light brown-greenish eyes and a black rim around them as if he was wearing eye liner – his nose area looked like he dipped it in ashes – his coat was almost the same color as my hair, a reddish/light brown. He was a shorthaired pup yet his hair was like silk to touch and was full, especially his tail that curved like a little pigs tail. He had a crooked front right paw and his lips, gums and tongue were spackled with purple, black and pink. He had that yummy puppy smell – like the baby smell of humans. He quietly looked up at me and had a calm presence about him.
I have joked throughout his life that he looked like a German shepherd with his legs cut off about half way. That is how tall he was. He had a little bit of white hair on his chest like a little white dove. He was stocky and strong, tender and expressive. He was so smart yet clever too and so animated.
Our life together was filled with many adventures, joys, hardships, trials and triumphs alike. Symon was the love of my life.
He was like no other dog I had known and did not seem to really be a ‘dog’ at all, rather a divine creation, an angel straight from heaven, or like I would tell him everyday – he was my little white dove from heaven made with God’s hands and God’s heart. I would remind him that he was a Holy Spirit filled pup and his name is inscribed on the palms of Jesus Christ and is written in the Lambs Book of Life: his photo is on the halls of God’s mansion in heaven. I would tell him that he was God’s special, supernatural being sent to me as a tremendous gift to share life with for a while. As I would proclaim all of this to him each day, his beautiful eyes would get big and light up, as a child’s does when one shares an exuberant story about how loved he or she is.
I didn’t get to have human children, Symon was my four-legged son and my marvelous blessing from God, and he was an angel. I have been very ill for over half of my life and the past 8 years I have been mostly bed-ridden. Symon was not only my son he was my constant companion. He was my confidant; he knew everything about me. How many of us have anyone on the planet that knows all about us? Symon was my joy, my best friend, my family. He showed the characteristics and love of Jesus Christ to me constantly, with his unconditional love, patience, loyalty, faithfulness, strength, tenderness, humor, courage. If I was upset he would put his little paw on my arm and look at me with his head turned to the side as if to say, “it’s gonna be ok mommy, I’m here and God is here.” On the days when the physical pain was too excruciating for me to even move and when even breathing hurt, he would snuggle right next to me and put his paw on my arm and rub it back and forth. He would look up at me and kiss my forehead. Every day we would snuggle, I would hold him in-between my legs with his head on my stomach; he would wrap his front paws around my arms. When I took a bath he sat right next to the tub.
Our days the past several years mostly consisted of moving from the bedroom to the bed in the living room and each time I would go to another room, Symon would follow happily and get right up in his spot on the bed. He would put his tender head on the pillow next to me when he didn’t want to snuggle anymore. I don’t get to sleep very much due to constant pain, however when I would fall asleep I would wake to Symon snuggled up to my side with his head next to my chest.
He knew I could not get up a lot so he trained himself to hold his urine and would never go in the house. Times when I could not get up for most of a day he would patiently sit at the foot of my bed and look out for me. When I would finally be able to get to the kitchen to get us some food, he would follow with a smile on his face and his gorgeous saucer eyes and would spontaneously kiss my cheek and extend his paw (that’s how he gave the love). He would dance and sing for his dinner. He was passionate about his food! And when he was done eating he would come find me with tears in his eyes and wet paws…. He cried when he ate he loved food so much and when he drank water, he made the sweetest little sound and would splash so his paws got wet. We would often tell him “you can’t dry your eyes with wet paws”.
Symon was so very loyal, too. For example, we went to sit on the beach one day and when it was time to go, he was taken to the car first while I lagged behind. Symon ran from the car back down to the beach because he didn’t want to leave me behind. If someone came to the apartment, Symon would sit right beside me and fiercely guard me.
He made me smile everyday, he made me laugh; he lightened the darkness we lived for so many years.
For rides in the car when he was little he would sit up with his paws on the dashboard and his nose to the windshield like he was flying… he would stick his little face out the window and bite the air… and when he got older and I was too ill to go out, on the rare occasions that we got taken for a car-ride, Symon would sit in the back seat upright like a little boy or when he wasn’t feeling well, he would lay down, unless there was food in the car, then he perked up and put his paws on the armrest in between the two front seats so he could join us.
Symon was so patient, he allowed me to put shirts on him and nibble on his little face; he allowed me to take his little front paws up off the ground and have him dance with me, while he playfully nibbled at my wrists to let go and let out a playful growl; he allowed me to just shower him with kisses and hugs and snuggles; he tolerated my signing to him while he got a bath; he allowed me to lay face to face with him on a daily basis, looking into each others eyes while I shared with him how much I loved him, and everything about him that I loved, which was everything. We talked about God; about how He was our dad and that we were a family… we talked about heaven…we talked about past adventures we had taken together…we talked about what to do so I could get the medical treatment I needed… we talked about where to move because our apartment is mold infested and gravely affecting our health (mine now)… we talked about anything and everything… everyday.
Symon was my family, my life, my son, my baby, my angel, my companion, my confidant, a huge part of me, he was my heart. And he was like no other being I have ever known on this earth or in my life.
He was so very brave, courageous; long-suffering…He went through a lot on this earth. He had two major surgeries for what’s equivalent to a human ACL joint exploding. He had a titanium plate in both back legs for that …it was part of his breed his vet said and one happened when he was two, the other happened when he was seven. Symon also survived two poisonous frogs, poisoning with walnuts, a horrifying dog attack; liver cancer…he broke a tooth trying to eat through a couch because he never liked to be confined… when he was little I would put him in the front room that was separated from the rest of the house by an island counter in the kitchen and doors on either sides. I would come home to find him at the front door waiting for me. How those little legs got on top of the counter and jumped down to the other side I will never know.
Symon traveled by car with a friend from Florida to California to be with me when I went there for medical treatment for what I thought would be a brief stay and ended up being there for over a year. He traveled back the same way. He took trips with me to Virginia and all over Florida… When he saw his first 18-wheeler on one of our road trips, he abruptly jumped from his seat into my lap; he was so scared.
We used to run together on the golf course behind our home; Symon would literally run figure 8’s in the sand dunes…when he was little, he would herd me by gently nibbling at my ankles to get me to go where he wanted me to be…he played football, soccer and basketball with me and friends in our healthier days…he would stop any ball with his mouth and chase me and others no matter what sport… his jaw was so strong he would latch onto a tug toy and I could lift him off all fours and twirl him around and around in circles until we both got dizzy…there’s so much I could share with you about my little boy, about the divine angel God made just for me… if only time would permit.
Symon turned 11 on December 27, 2010 – He went to heaven on January 24, 2011. He went from my arms back to God’s heart.
I got to be with him. I got to sing praise songs to him; quote scripture to him; share with him how grateful I was and what an honor and privilege it was to be his mommy; I got to hold him, and lay face-to-face with him, snuggled in his favorite blankie, and tell him that we would always be together and I would always love him….one last time. I got to whisper love in his ear and look into his eyes, holding his hand, as he made the transition from earth to heaven, I got to hear him take his last breath and feel his heart make its final beat….and we got to be in our home, together, for his Home-going. He went so peacefully, so gracefully and without any struggle.
Job 1:21”…The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
I had the honor and gift to prepare Symon throughout his life, for his journey to heaven. Nevertheless, during the last year and a half of his life, heaven was a subject we talked about on a daily basis. For just 14 months before he died, Symon had major liver cancer surgery. He had three quarters of his liver removed as the cancer metastasized within his liver, spreading to three lobes. He went through that surgery like the champ he was. He even grew his liver back!! My extraordinary little boy. The months leading up to his surgery were traumatic for me, the mommy, to say the least. The agonizing choices I was faced with. Do surgery; don’t do surgery. The biopsies, the blood tests, the poking and prodding Symon had to endure – going from his main doctor to a specialist – which specialist to choose – decisions about what to do once he was opened up on the surgical table; i.e., proceed but only if small to moderate risk, close him back up without taking out the tumor if It’s a high risk of fatality to proceed… seemingly endless agony in the decision process. How would I deal with the emotional part of going through this surgery with Symon – how would Symon endure it all…how would I cope if we lost him…
A scripture that kept coming to me was Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
The spiritual side being the most agonizing for me. There was a day when Symon was at the vet for the day going through biopsies and tests, where I screamed at God – as a mom about her child. I pounded on God’s chest and made it clear to Him, not to mess with a mom and her baby – for He made us both and knew how fierce a mom who loved her baby would be if messed with. I threatened God – threatened to kick His butt if He let anything bad happen to Symon. Like any mom with her child when faced with harm would do and feel and experience, I did regarding my son, Symon -- and I took it all to God. He understands.
Symon was always so peaceful, even in this trial, he never complained, never let on that he was suffering or in pain. He had a tumor in his liver that was bigger than two softballs put together, yet he never yelped and still had his vivacious appetitive! He was this way throughout his life, even to the moment he died.
Symon is back in heaven now with our Creator, with our Savior, with our Lord Jesus Christ. I’m still breathing, however, I miss him beyond what human words can ever describe. The grief is profound sorrow for me. When he passed from my arms to God’s heart, my heart went with him and it was as if someone reached inside my chest, took my heart and then tore open my abdomen and gutted me.
Throughout our time together, Symon was with me, by my side through everything. All of the uncertain times, the abrupt cancelation of my engagement/marriage…the medical diagnoses/misdiagsoses and treatments… abandonment by certain family members, friends, some in the medical community, my local church, etc., Symon was with me…through my surgeries, my ever so long nights of agony and suffering, loneliness, despair…he was there, he was always there and most nights, he was the only one there. The last 8 years, Symon and I were the only ones with each other most of the time. Me and my boy, Symon P…Brother Jones. He had a little rap to his nickname that went like this:
“Shake it lose – break it doowwwnnn brotha Jones”.
He was divine; a remarkable, majestic piece of heaven right here on earth. It was a privilege and great honor to be given the blessing of being his mommy. It was supernatural favor from God to get to be loved by Symon. He was here but a brief time, nevertheless, his legacy will live throughout eternity; Symon Patrick Chalker was an angel from God and he exuded Gods’ love in detail, for me, for the entire world to know. Everyone who met him said he was special; he indeed was so divinely special.
He used to bring me flowers; when he would go outside to do his business, they would stick to his hair, pretty purple ones, my favorite color…
I miss his smile, I miss his paw in my hand, I miss our talks and snuggles, I miss hearing him sing and laugh, I miss hearing him breathe, I miss singing to him everyday “Symon P, Symon P, Symon P Dog Jones…Chalker dog!” and yelling as loudly as I could to him everyday that he was a good boy and exclaiming how much I loved him…to his embarrassment. I miss everything about him. He made me feel safe living alone and he made me feel not so alone in general. He gave me a reason to get out of bed.
My arms have no one to hold now… my lips no one to kiss….my bed empty of snuggles and my voice silenced since Symon went to heaven, for our daily talks are at a distance now…
Some things are certain, nevertheless; I will always be Symon’s mom, he will always be my son, God will always be our Daddy and we will always be a family; and we will see each other again when I get to heaven, and this time, we will be together for eternity.
Symon is free now, no more suffering or pain; he is restored to his youth and he lives on with Christ in heaven.
Thank you, Symon, for teaching me God’s kind of love. My heart will always be yours, you will always be with me, and I will always be with you. I will see you again, someday soon, and we will never be separated again. I love you tremendously and always.
Additional things I miss so much and absolutely adored and loved about my boy.
The way your whiskers danced.
Bringing the leash to me and/or others to go outside.
Running circles around when someone came over or I came home.
Your little wiggle when I came home, the way your whole body would wiggle from side-to-side.
The feel of you tail wagging on my back as I kneeled down to hug you after being away.
Your cute as can be little side-ways run.
Your personality – so animated – so clever – so sensitive – so intuitive – so strong – so compassionate – so tender – so brave.
The Athlete you were.
The little Lover you were.
When we were in Ca hiking and you stopped cause you sensed the horse coming that I didn’t see or hear til he came right up on us.
Your little laugh.
Your cute little growl and the different ones as your voice changed from a puppy to adult.
Your puppy smell.
Your baby teeth.
Singing to you in the bath.
Singing to you at dinner time.
Singing to you at any time.
Symon as a little baby, now restored to his youth and whole health
Elizabeth L. Chalker, April 10, 2011, (c)