We who choose to surround ourselves with
lives even more temporary than our own,
live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept
its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
understanding the necessary plan.
Irving Townsend, "The Once Again Prince," Separate
Lifetimes, 1986. Used by permission
Gifts by Ginger-lyn Summer
come to us,
from shelters or friends or in any number of ways,
these beings of fur or feather or other outer
They come to us wanting only
to be fed, sheltered, and loved.
And we take them into our
homes and our hearts.
They may have prized pedigrees,
or they may be abandoned or abused
rough around the edges.
But there is something about them,
some sort of light in their eyes
that tells us they are meant for us.
And a sweet dance of love
begins with our new friends.
watch them delightedly discover their new home,
laugh at the antics of kitten or puppy,
smile as the
former lost soul
settles comfortably into our arms.
They become a beloved member of our family,
reminder of the uninhibited joy
that we have often forgotten how to feel.
The dog that excitedly runs
to greet his human friend returning home,
or the contented cat curled up on a lap
remind us of how
unfettered love can be.
They come to teach us to remember how to love.
They come to teach
us that our hearts,
so often battered by this world that we struggle through,
are still open enough
to feel wonder and mystery
and a precious connection to another being.
And we love them, and care for them,
and experience the joy
we thought was lost from our lives.
But life is fragile.
One day, perhaps
or perhaps after a long struggle with illness,
our precious friends are gone.
we mourn them deeply.
We feel lost, and alone,
and that the joy is once again gone from our lives.
We feel anger, and pain, and fear.
We question Deity, and wonder why.
Life is fragile.
are more fragile than ours.
We cannot escape death,
and for it to take our most precious friends,
who ask so little,
seems unfair and too much for us to bear.
But they leave us always with a gift.
They leave us with that love they gave, that joy they sparked.
Our hearts are larger for having loved them.
We are enriched by having these special souls in our lives,
even if it was for too brief a time.
And the love that was created
by our special friends who came into our lives
is a living
always a part of our being.
We may think our hearts are closing again,
but we cannot erase
that they have been opened.
They teach us love for a reason:
so that we will have it in
our hearts always.
Each day, each act of kindness or love,
is a tribute to our pets who have moved
Honor your special friend with kindness and love.
Each day, reach out to your living companions
and let them know how precious they are.
Reach out to others in your life
and let the love your friend brought
you live on.
Reach out to others in need, whether human or animal.
I can think of no better gift than the
love they teach us.
And I can think of no better way to honor their memories
than by extending that
In this way, they will truly live forever.
2009, Ginger-lyn Summer. All rights reserved. Used by permission