Choosing to LOVE After Loss!
I know, I know, it’s Valentine’s week. We should be talking about butterflies and rainbows, hearts and happy things. I promise, we’ll get there but first things first. I heard this phrase this week and it makes so much sense that I wanted to share it with you.
“There is no strength without weakness…joy without grief…success without failure.”
It makes sense. You can’t experience pleasure without first feeling pain. How else would you know something was the opposite? It’s through experience. Not everyone loves celebrating Valentine’s Day. For some it doesn’t remind them of the love they have, but perhaps the love they’ve lost. I want to take a moment to share with you something that recently happened to our family and to assure you that if you’re dealing with heartache, joy will return as sure as I’m breathing. There is a plan for us and it is to thrive.
I love my daughter more than breath. When she hurts, I hurt. All mamas do. It’s in our DNA. We never want our kids to feel pain or be sad or anything negative. But life is life and it’s real and we feel. We feel all things, so immense pain and hurt is possible and all we can do is be there…support and LOVE them through it.
This is Life!
My sweet girl rescued an aging pup a year and a half ago. He was abandoned on the side of a freeway and her heart went out to him. She begged like I’ve seen no other beg, worked her wiles on her father and got him to agree so she could bring him home. Charlie was his name and there was no changing it. He was tiny and kind of sickly but so feisty too. Quickly fitting into the family, Charlie had his own routines and Nicole reminded us often, “he’s a free range pup,”… and he was. He wasn’t any trouble, would sleep most of the day and do a little dance whenever Nicole came home. They were paired and it was obvious to everyone. He looked to her for love and he gave it right back.
“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” -Winnie the Pooh
Sadly, in early December last year, without much warning he passed… quickly… when Nicole was not at home. She knew he was going to go at some point and had said to me many times, “I want to be there Mom.” Well, that was not to be and I had to call her and tell her what happened, then ask her to come home so she could say goodbye. That phone call was the hardest for me to make. We both just sobbed.
Watching someone you love go through the grief process and all the emotions that come with it is rough. For weeks her thoughts and emotions were up and down. She began looking for another Mini-Pomeranian to rescue, asking for our blessing. We really didn’t want to have another pup in the house. We were all missing Charlie and felt like we needed to sit in that space and go through it. She missed how he waited for her at the window by the front door until she came home, try to bark (but nothing really came out) and most of all, the little jumping dance he would do just for her when she finally did come through the door!
Eventually Nicole found a Doxiepin puppy that needed adopting and we ultimately agreed. We all went to look at her the Saturday before Christmas and in an instant, wounds began to heal. Part Mini Dachshund and Mini Pincher, Nicole named her Libby. Libby Lu as she’s often referred to, is a spunky and gregarious puppy. We brought her home and Nicole immediately began the task of setting up her kennel, water and food stations, toys and attempting to begin training her where she is and is not allowed. They’ve been inseparable since. It’s funny, I always have a moment after we get a new dog, looking around at all their “stuff” and think to myself, “Gee, I wish I was a dog. They’re got a pretty sweet life here!”
…in an instant, wounds began to heal.
I’m not saying if you’re hurting or have lost someone go out and replace them. Not at all. I’m sharing this story to reminding us all how healing love is. Was it easy for Nicole to adopt Charlie in the first place when she knew he was older, sick and probably wouldn’t be around for long? NO, but she knew he needed love and a home so she gave it at a cost to her heart. Did she want to risk again and adopt another dog who needed a home when she knows what the eventual outcome will be? I’m sure she wanted a puppy. Everybody loves puppies. But it is more than that. She chose to love more and take the risk when she could get hurt. She Chose Love!
Valentine’s Day Is Coming After All…
In celebration of LOVE and how it can heal hearts, I’m sharing my favorite homemade sugar cookie cutout recipe this week too. They’re my son’s favorite and he’s kinda picky, so try them! They’re good. I wouldn’t steer you wrong. It comes from a recipe that’s been passed among my family and friends probably my entire life. I’ve tweaked it over the years and it’s pretty close to perfect now. I’ve broken down the macros for you so you can fit it into your plan, no matter your goals. Life is meant to be celebrated so enjoy and factor it into your day if you do! Click here for the recipe, but here’s a sneak peak.
A cookie staple, no mater the celebration, are my Frosted Sugar Cookie Cutouts. Simply mix, roll, cut and bake. They can be used at any gathering. Just find the right cookie cutter for the occasion and you’re all set! 82 cals 1P/10C/5F per 1/2 oz cookie and 1/2 oz icing.