Last week I wrote about the loss of one of the greatest loves of my life, my German shepherd, Tasha, who was the inspiration for my Downward Dog Mystery Series. Specifically, I wrote about how through her bravery, I learned how to love again. Today I’d like to share some of the lessons she taught me. I actually wrote this to Tasha as we lay in bed together on one of her last nights, but I waited to post it until now. Wherever she is, I hope she doesn’t mind my sharing.
Lessons You Taught Me.
As we lay here together, we both know our time left together is short. Being with you now is a privilege, and it reminds me of all of the lessons you’ve taught me over our past twelve years together.
- I am able to love–and be loved–without condition. I know, it seems like this should be a given, and it probably is. But somehow I needed your presence in my life to prove it to me. This will always be your greatest gift.
- Love is hard–but so very worth it. I feel sorry for people who experience loss and then give up on love. Nothing is more powerful. Nothing is more worth doing. Over and over and over again.
- We all make mistakes. Lord knows, I’ve made plenty, especially in your earlier years. Frankly, my sweet, you made some doozies. It never changed my commitment to you, or yours to me. Not once. There’s incredible beauty in that.
- When you make a friend, you love them for life. You didn’t trust many people, but when you bonded with someone, you did so completely. You never forgot their names, and you recognized them years later. In your last days, those same friends came to see you, some after having not been with you for a very long time. You see, they loved you for life, too.
- It’s never to late to make new lifelong friends. As you aged, you grew sweeter. Your circle of friends broadened. I met some of the best people in my life in the last two years of yours–and all because of you. In those friendships you live on for me.
- You can live with chronic illness and pain and be happy. Both of us have imperfect bodies, but you never complained about yours. You accepted it and were happy in spite of it. I’m still working on that one.
- The mailman is not to be trusted. OK, Sweetie. If you say so. I promise, I’ll keep an eye on him. You can relax now. Your guard dog days are over. You did your job well.
I have a few requests for you as you move on to your next journey.
- Don’t wait for me. I don’t know if there’s a life beyond this one, but if there is, live it. Without regret, without reservation. Enjoy it. Relish it. I will join you when it’s my time. Come get me then, but feel free to forget about me in the meantime.
- That said, if you want to visit, I’ll be here. Writing about you. Thinking about you. Loving you. I am here for you. Always.
- I will be OK without you. That doesn’t at all reduce my love for you. In fact, it shows how very strong that love is. You don’t have to worry about me anymore. You made me strong enough to survive on my own.
Goodbye Puppy Girl, my sweetheart, my love. Thank you for gifting me with almost twelve years of your presence. I will always love you; always miss you. But I am forever grateful for the gift of you in my life.
All four books in the Downward Dog Mystery Series are available at booksellers everywhere!