I am learning once again how grief and grace dance hand in hand.
In the midst of grieving the loss of our beloved Ellie (see March 18 post) I began looking online for another rescue dog. Ellie was a rescue, and once we adopted her we vowed to always adopt a rescue dog. It's shocking how many are available, once one starts to look.
And I spent a lot of time looking. In those weeks when I could hardly focus, and tears sprang readily and freely, I began to browse animal rescue sites. It felt almost disloyal to Ellie, even though I told myself it was anything but. Greg and I often have told a widowed person who remarries not to feel guilty. Wanting what one has had is an expression of the love shared and missed. We honor life by claiming it. Ellie is lodged deeply in our hearts and nothing will erase that. Loving a new dog, we're discovering, only makes more room in our hearts for expanding that love by welcoming another precious into our lives.
Welcome to our world, Sophie Grace!
Sophie is a mixed breed whose mother was rescued from the streets hours before giving birth to nine healthy puppies. The question, "Should we get a puppy or perhaps a dog a year or so old?" was promptly answer when we held this 5 pound baby in our arms for the first time.
Sophie is almost 10 weeks old, and even though she came home less than two weeks ago, she has quickly etched herself on our hearts. Love and joy and laughter abound in our home again.
Easter will be here in 10 short days. There is much packed into the church timeline between now and then: Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and then, resurrection! Joy! The promise of renewal, new life, and life everlasting.
I'm feeling that promise and joy even now as I walk through the rest of Lent.
In life and in death and every moment in between, grace happens.
And I thank God with my whole heart.