Be Joyous!

When my kids were toddlers, I bought a Ms. Claus suit for the mannequin at the retail store we owned. It was a last ditch effort to get traffic into the store. Ever since then, every year on Christmas day I put on the Santa suit while the kids open presents. Then the kids run around in the red velvet go-go boots and play dress-up with the dress.

This year I was joined in my attire by our 14.5 year old Portuguese Water Dog. She sure doesn’t look like a Porty you say? Well this is what one looks like when you have to shave off all her hair as a result of the massive lice infestation that occurred due to her compromised immune system and her inability to fend off infection.

You see, this will be her last holiday with us. The doctors visits come more frequently now. She’s in pain and having trouble walking. The pills have helped, but only for so long. I know this because we’ve seen the signs before. This is the youngest of our three dogs and our last.

Terra’s departure will leave a massive whole in our lives. For the entire duration of her life, with a few exceptions, she has NEVER been more than 5 feet away from me. Porty’s by nature follow their owner EVERYWHERE. Yes, that means her nose is only a foot away from me in the bathroom (I tell this story to anyone who thinks they want a Porty so they know what they are in for) and she barks if she’s separated by something as simple as a screen door.

I won’t take her departure lightly, but I also won’t resist it. And that’s the greatest lesson I wish to share. Rather than fear her death or fight it, we attempt to embrace every last moment with her and make her last weeks as comfortable or pleasant as possible (even if it does mean waking up at 3 am to help her up on the bed or carry her down the stairs to go out—UGGH!)

So for this holiday season I wish you each an opportunity to embrace something you may have been resisting. Face it with grace rather than fear. Fear is just a form of resistance. Embrace the beauty of the moment and the love that surrounds you and flow with it and into it.

Be thankful for what you have had and the moments that are still to come.

Be joyous!

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