I've had every intention of writing a blog a week since the Newbery Medal was announced in January. I planned to share stories of the Newbery medalists, their books, and my interactions with them. And then my life changed. My beloved rescue dog of nearly fifteen years, Ellie, died January 30. She'd been declining in health due to her heart condition but until the last days was a happy, engaged and loving girl.
During her rapid decline, I focused my attention almost completely on loving her through her dying and death. I don't regret that, not for a minute. I got way behind on many obligations, including this blog, but I was immersed in caring for my sweet dog who had been my faithful companion for so many years.
I've allowed myself to grieve; to cry when the moment strikes, to look at her photos, to share Ellie stories with my family and friends who also loved her. Grieving is hard, exhausting, and necessary work, and as a pastor who has also endured tragedy and trauma, I recognize that every person grieves in their own way, and that's okay.
I'm looking for a new dog to rescue but taking my time. Ellie will be hard to follow, and I want to be sure to love and cherish a dog for that dog and not as a substitute, which no dog can ever be.
I'll keep you posted and will soon post about Easter books for children. In my own recent time with death and grief, I can't wait for Easter. But walking this long, shadowed journey of Lent, it is exactly what I need right now. Resurrection only happens after death, and we all walk the valley of shadows. Let us be kind and gentle with others and ourselves and hold fast to our faith in Life beyond life.