Sunday, December 8, 2013

If we knew........

that one day would be the last time. For someone. For someplace. For you. What would we do differently? And would it ever make a difference in our lives or the lives of our loved ones and others? I think perhaps we think it would make a difference in a desperate attempt to understand the whys and to salve the hurt. Or the first time would also be the last. I think we would linger try to draw as much from the moment as we possibly could. To savor it. To hang on to that one last time. If we knew.

Yesterday we lost a beloved member of our small little family. Our beautiful, perfect Challenger Reveille (Chucky). Our third greyhound rescue. He was so sweet, so even tempered, so loving. He was a mama's boy the foster parents said. And he was. We bonded immediately. I was still trying to recover from the loss of our first rescue Holly Rae who had cancer and we had to let her go 3 months before. In that space of time we also adopted a sweet, elderly little lady Emma Rose. Emma was broken when she came to us and we tried unsuccessfully to help her come back. She didn't. But she was safe, loved, spoiled rotten and she got along well with her new brother Chucky. Unless he wanted to cuddle. No cuddling. We lost her after only 11 months to cancer. At age 11. Same as Holly. And now same as Chucky. Eleven has been a dreaded number for me. I suffered at the thought for well over a year. I told myself I was trying to prepare myself for the inevitable. It didn't. So we lost our Chucky. 8-17-2002 ~~ !2-7-2013. Our love. Our joy. Our laughter. Our constant companion. Our baby boy.

We know when we rescue or adopt or whatever that we are letting into our lives the potential for great sadness. And so many have lost pets that were their family members. I always tell them that the years of joy we have with that animal is worth the pain at the end. And I'm telling myself that over and over. I don't feel the joy. I just wish as he went out the back door to the yard and I had known. And held him close and told him goodbye. It is just surreal. I am reminded of a book I read years ago. "The Thornbirds". And how the best comes at only the cost of great pain. We bring our babies into our homes and know the countdown begins at that moment to find that thorn. And we do it again and again because the joy does make the pain worthwhile. And it is a beautiful song.

“There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to outcarol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain… Or so says the legend.” 

― Colleen McCulloughThe Thorn Birds

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