Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Every New Beginning . . .

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end . . ."

                                                - Closing Time, Semisonic

Yesterday we had a bit of arctic chill.  Not the most horrible arctic chill ever, but enough to remind me of one of the worst days of my entire life.

Two years ago.  The Polar Vortex.  It was so cold that school was closed even thought there was no snow or ice.

My water pipes froze.

And I wished with every fiber of my being that the frozen pipes had been my biggest problem.

Speedy went in for surgery.  They went in and cut his small intestine open and got out the sock that was stuck in there.

That was the only night of his entire life that he ever spent away from home without me.

I worried, and I prayed . . . Before he went in I made a million promises to Speedy of the things we would do if he would only hold on and live just a few more years.

And in the end, he didn't make it.  He survived the surgery, but died a few days later from complications.

No matter how much I run the heat, there is a chill in the air in our house when we have these arctic blasts.  The feeling of that particular chill reminds me, to the very core, of that day and then of what followed.

I sat around yesterday evening and kept busy watching TV and doing stuff on the computer.  Really, just wanting the time to go by so we can get out of this artic cold snap.  It is going to warm up later in the week.

But I wasn't alone, and I was so grateful.  I would often look up and meet two eager, fresh, young eyes radiating forth joy and curiosity.  Bandit . . . the one who is living all of those promises I made to Speedy on that day.

At one time I was afraid that I would resent my then-unknown puppy because I would associate him with Speedy's loss.  I thought I would love him a little less because he wouldn't be as beautiful and he wouldn't be as special and he wouldn't be exceptional.

But I have found that the opposite is true.  I can bear Speedy's loss because of Bandit.  Bandit brought joy and fun and youth and potential back into our home.

And Bandit is beautiful.  And he is special.  And he is exceptional!  Bandit lives and he loves with so much style and grace and purpose.  And I really could not love him more!

I don't know why I was blessed with two dogs who are so equal in that indescribable quality that Speedy had that made the world a better place just because he was in it, but for some reason I have been!

And so . . . this chill reminds me of the worst time of my entire life, but it also reminds me to be grateful for what I have.  It reminds me that while time may be fleeting, Bandit and I have every glorious second of right now.

Our new beginning may have come from another beginning's end, but it is a good beginning.  It is our here and our now.

And I wouldn't trade what we have.  Not for anything.

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