Losing both of them in quick succession left our house feeling very empty. It was hard to sit down on the couch and not have Hootie the cat jump up with an inquisitive look to curl up in my lap. It was strange to go prepare a meal in the kitchen and not see Little the dog wagging her tail and getting underfoot.
The sorrow that we felt then has now made us keenly aware of the virtues of our new dog Snow. When she came to live with us just a few weeks ago, it lifted our spirits just to know she was waiting for us at our home. Walking in the door, we took extra time to greet her and let her do her wiggly, snorting dance of greeting. Every morning is a happy morning when Snow goes crazy because she's so glad we are out of bed.
That's the way life works. Our great and small losses can embitter us, or they can make us more grateful for what we are given.
It's the theme of the movie Shadowlands: "The joy now is part of the pain later. The pain now is part of the joy later. That's the deal."