“I’m grateful for being here, for being able to think, for being able to see, for being able to taste, for appreciating love – for knowing that it exists in a world so rife with vulgarity, with brutality and violence, and yet love exists. I’m grateful to know that it exists.” ~Maya Angelou
“It seems to me that if God were to speak to us, the message would simply be to love each other and offer reverence, rather than enmity, toward all of life.” ~Wayne W. Dyer, The Shift
A wonderful post by my dear blogging friend, Eliza Waters, really brought up my unfinished grief over the loss of 3 of my 4 pets recently, all within a six month period. When a loss is suffered, no one can say how long it will take or when we’re ‘over it’. To feel tremendous love is to feel grief deeply. This is a part of life, and a component of healing is giving ourselves permission to feel sad. It’s a lesson I’m certainly learning these days. Even the recent season of joy and light was a rough one for me. Normally I put up the tree and my large ceramic Nativity scene as early as December 1st but this year the tree went up on the 20th and the large Nativity never came out of its box, having two smaller one-piece ones around my home subbing in for it. But these seemingly small events meant a lot to me, and showed me how sad my heart still is.
On the bright side, our 17-year old feisty tabby girl ‘Katie’ who was adopted from the pound 15 years ago, is doing her best to help us get our ‘cat quota’ in. She mostly sticks by me, but the other day, while on my lap and my husband within ear shot, I told her that she needs to give ‘dad’ some love too, since he’s below ‘quota’. (Our Siamese ‘Ebony’ practically lived on his shoulder, especially in the last few of her 17 years). Later as we settled in to watch a program, what did she do but spend the hour in HIS lap! Good girl! He needs his cat-pats too.
Time passes and the healing comes. Achingly slow at first. Then a morning walk without thinking of Nikki for a while (as Eliza shares as well), then a whole day passes without tearing up about how much quieter our house is. Someday, when we’re ready, my husband and I will be ready to begin visiting rescue shelters to find another 4-legged ‘fur-kid’ that Katie can teach the ropes to. Until then, she’s helping us feel loved (and bossed around a bit too!).
Image sources: 2 square images at the top are from my Pinterest boards without sources being evident. The incredible drawing of the crying eye is called ‘Don’t cry to night’ by Omar Gordillo Soto[source]. And the pawprint in the clouds is from Facebook/RainbowBridgepetloss [source]
Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression. ~Dr. Haim Ginott
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get. ~H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Here are some fantastic one-page articles about teaching and encouraging kindness in children, even when they’re still toddlers. It’s really never too early to begin. May peace prevail. Namaste. Gina
8 Ways to teach kindness to toddlers and preschoolers, by Tabitha Studer at WhatToExpect.com
Kids and kindness: Can you teach compassion? by Holly Bennett at TodaysParent.com
Teaching Children Respect in 5 Minutes or Less, by Julie Hunt at SmartKids101.com