Our dog, Poly, passed away in a terrible accident three weeks ago. I was at fault, making it even more traumatic. It was awful, as those of you who have lost fur babies know, and I could go on and on about it, but that isn’t what this post is about – it is only the catalyst, so for all of our sakes I’ll move on.
Poly was a great hunter. She was the master of her domain, our yard, and she loved to explore from dawn to dusk, unless it was raining or super cold. She romped in the the leaves, rolled in the dusty dirt, and even brought in the occasional “gift” of her hunted bounty. (ick) She loved us and loved people, but wasn’t a cuddler. In no way was she the lap dog we thought she’d be. She was a doer and explorer. As a family with young kids, we quickly learned that she needed her own space and needed to be able to come and go from the comfort of that space at her leisure. Enter the lovely dog door that has graced the front of our home for the last 4 years. Next came baby gates to barricade the foyer so that her toys wouldn’t be mistaken for children’s and vice versa, and so that her “sweet” gifts wouldn’t make it into the hands of a child before we noticed. She had her own little house, right in the heart of our home. How empty our foyer has felt the past three weeks! It epitomizes the hole in our hearts and I’ve been faced with the dichotomy of doing something in that space to move forward, but not wanting to feel as if moving forward somehow lessens the loss we feel.
The Christmas season is upon us and our family tradition is to put up our tree and decorations the weekend following Thanksgiving, but that didn’t happen. I’m in a slump of unfulfilled to-do lists, inaction in place of production. Sadness is in part responsible, coupled with the overwhelm of three young kids, a home, and a growing business. As Chris and I discussed a game plan, we couldn’t decide where to place our tree this year. You see, our youngest, Caleb, is just over a year old and we lovingly refer to him as the tiny terror. He can get to and destroy just about anything, and we could envision what putting out our holiday decor would lead to. No thanks.
Chris suggested the foyer as the ideal tree space this year. Easily visible from the living room. Simply barricaded by a baby gate. Emptiness and sorrow replaced with joy and hope. Isn’t that the meaning of the season, after all?