October 24, 2018
The question finally came from Zachary.
“Mom, you’re home now, when will we get a new dog?”
I should have known it that was coming. My canned lines have been:
I am not home to train one.
Lincoln has to be potty-trained because I am not potty-training a kid AND a dog simultaneously.
Since I have been home for almost 2 months and Lincoln is on the home stretch (hopefully), it was just a matter of time before Zachary asked.
Gavin asked long ago. 💗
I’m ready and I’m not. It’s been a year (How has it been a year??) since she’s been gone. I look at puppy listings and watch cute videos, but then I look at her picture and know that no dog will be the same.
Stefan sends me posts of sad little black dogs needing adoption and I watch the car commercials with the Golden Retriever family. I show him red heeler puppies for sale and he shows me a video of a dog jumping off a cliff into a lake. It’s clear to me now what is going on here.
He misses Gretchen most, and I miss Gwynny most. We both loved both dogs, but Gretchen followed Stefan and Gwynny followed me. If I could, I’d just get two more dogs. But with boys that are 7,6, and 2, that is probably definitely more than I should try to juggle.
It seems like once I hit the year mark, she’s truly gone forever. Up until that point, I can think back a year ago and she was still with us. But after a year… any date is one that she wasn’t alive a year ago. Maybe it sounds dramatic to mourn this way over a dog. But the truth is, she (and Gretchen too) was so much a part of my daily life, that it left a gaping hole that has been hard to heal. I almost don’t want another dog because I know I will love her deeply, as will my boys, and I know after 10-15 years (if we are lucky) I will eventually lose her too.
I know that this isn’t the way to live life: afraid of loving, afraid of loss. But isn’t that what we do? Isn’t that our natural reaction to avoid future pain? Stop reaching out, stop taking risks, hide within ourselves so that we don’t get hurt again?
I just ran across the last picture I took of Gwynny at home before she died, and suddenly the pain is as fresh as the tears on my cheeks.
“Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of the mourning, but the heart of the fools is in the house of pleasure.” ~Ecclesiastes 7: 3-4
God teaches us, reaches us in the pain, if we allow him. We can’t dwell on it or be fearful because of it. It is only through trusting in Him and truly living each individual day that we can find our purpose and joy.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ~Mother Teresa
I’m not saying we are rushing out to get a dog. But I’m working on letting God be the one to teach my heart, so that I can love today, no matter what.