Thursday, December 18, 2008

between hello and good-bye

A few years ago, I lost Cosmo, a little cat that meant the world to me. She was my first real pet (other than fish and hamsters) and when the time came that I had to say good-bye, I swear I could feel my heart cracking with grief. I was only able to have one year with Cosmo, but her departure from my life still left me lost and teary for some time. A year needed to pass before I was able to open my heart and home again to another sweet cat, my Elora.

cosmo...a month before good-bye
(my only picture of her)

There are friends, who were there to pick up the pieces of me after losing Cosmo, who have asked me why I would set myself up to go through all of that again? First with Elora, and even more so with Sophie, they wondered why I would open myself up to so much hurt again...especially when you know it's inevitable...the second you say hello to a new pet you know that somewhere down the road you will have to say good-bye. But, as most dedicated pet owners know, the answer to their question is's all the moments together in between hello and good-bye. I wouldn't miss out on those moments for anything.

beautiful elora

Outside of the constant everyday joy and love that our pets bring into our world, each of my pets have taught me something, have made a profound difference, have changed something in me. Cosmo brought me back from a place of sadness during a difficult time in my life. Elora became my constant and my comfort amidst a great deal of change. Finn taught me about patience, about limits and about champions. And my Sophie....she is taking me on an unexpected journey that takes my breath away...a journey to finding peace, to finding happiness, to finding the real me.

sweet finn

And all of these wonderful pets have helped teach me one of the most important lessons of all: to love like you have never been hurt before. It is the best and the only way to love....both animals and people. It's that kind of love that opens you up to the possibilities of new hellos, that creates all the worthwhile moments in between and that helps you survive the good-byes.

joyful sophie

So thank you...Cosmo, Elora, Finn and Sophie...for everything in between.


Jeanne said...

Thanks for stopping by today!

I once had a German Shepherd/Australian Shepherd mix named Esme who was the Best Dog Ever. When we moved to Minnesota, she actually made friends before I did. She loved to play Frisbee, and the little kids in the neighborhood would knock on the door as soon as I got home from work and ask if she could come out to play. They even left Milk Bones on the doorstep for her when I was gone. When it was time for her to go, it was truly awful.

But I have the most wonderful memories....

gigi said...

Our pets fill the little cracks in us and make us full and complete and add that spice and joy to our life. Always have to have animals in my life. You've got some pretty cute ones there.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely. Our little Harriet was a constant companion for Mother during the last months of Mother's life. It's comforting to us to still have Harriet to love and care for and be reminded of the joy she brought to Mother's life. Great photos of all your sweet ones.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Beautiful friends you have! I love animals, well Dogs more than Cats I suppose. I know and understand the depths of dispair that is felt when you have to say goodbye. You can only grieve for what you know, the love, loyalty and friendship of a pet should be grieved, because it is a loss you never truly get over. But a new dog or cat that needs love, will help to heal the pawprints on your heart.
Lovely post, thanks for sharing both sad and happy memories! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh man, my heart is full. It makes me sad for all the ones that don't have the opportunity to fill someones life. Each animal in my life has helped me more than I have taken care of them by far.

Katherine Aucoin said...

This is such a sweet and thoughtful post. Pets are wonderful gifts from God as are friends and family. It's the circle of life, we live and we die. The middle is the best part!

Pam said...

I can't imagine life without my kitty cats. They give me so much, and even those that are gone, their memory still warms me.

Everycat said...

These are wise words. The joy and love, all we learn from our animal companions far outweighs the sadness when we must part. They leave our singular world so much richer.