A Time to Mourn ~ A Time to Lose
On May 4th, 2014, Aunt Baby celebrated her tenth birthday with us. Just a few weeks later, we said goodbye to her on May 29th.
I could hear Mom's voice in my head: "It was her time."
After Aunt Baby's death, there was a beautiful outpouring of support from family and friends - a reflection of the imprint this loving Labrador left on our world. There are two special gifts that remind me daily of the adventure and joy this little lady brought to me.
My husband planted a white crape myrtle outside our dining room window the day after Aunt Baby's death. Today, just over two months later, this bush is thriving and ready to bloom.
Without a doubt, my girl is smiling on us and showing us the beauty in a new season.
One of my dearest friends, Anne, gave us a statue in remembrance of Aunt Baby. This loyal, protective pose is signature Aunt Baby - anyone who knew her can relate.
My husband aptly placed her on watch in a flower bed looking directly into the pool - the furever lifeguard on duty.
A Time to Heal ~ A Time to Seek
It's now August.
Our Aunt Baby statue has recently inherited additional duties. She now sagely watches over 27-pounds of rambunctious, awkward, shy and adorably loving black Labrador Retriever that has invaded our home.
Please meet Andy Jordan! We estimate that he is five months old, so have determined that his birthday will be hereby celebrated on March 15th, the same day as his Pop.
On any given day, I am now disheveled, exhausted and thoroughly smitten with this bundle of pure love and devotion.
And I can feel Aunt Baby's approval - knowing how good she would have been to her young brother.
While Andy has a completely different personality, he has the same sweet, protective and curious nature as his sister and brother, another black Labrador named Alvin, before him.
A Time to Embrace ~ A Time to Laugh
Andy's first visitor was my good friend, nurse and author, Gail Sobotkin. Her words sum up our boy beautifully ...
"Little Andy was very shy at first, but by the end of the day he was eating snacks out of my hand. He's very good looking and has a sweet playful side to him.
On the day of Gail's visit, I was expecting a phone call from my South African Sista and fellow author, Martie Coetser. Naturally I picked up my phone when it rang - so excited to surprise Gail with Martie's voice.
I was shocked, angered and ready to explode when a stern man's voice informed me he was Andy's original breeder. He had an accusing demeanor - insisting he would need to make a home inspection because of our pool. I hurled my harshest, administrative-type responses, yet he would not back down.
I would have seriously packed a bag for Andy and high-tailed it out of Dodge before meeting this man! And, as I was thinking furtively, I began to hear an ever-familiar giggle on the other side of his voice.
And two realizations became immediately apparent:
1. For the first time in my life, I had been truly punked. (Note to self: Do not answer the phone on April 1st.)
2. I would go to war for my boy.
So thanks to Martie and her Barend for the life lesson and a wonderful opportunity to talk to you both. (Note to others: Mr. B is a sweetheart to talk to once one's feathers are unruffled...!)
In closing, the song that feels right to include is this beautiful adaptation of Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
The Byrds: Turn Turn Turn / To Everything There Is A Season
We thank our friends for your words of support, patience and guidance over this long, lonely summer. Indeed our hearts and Aunt Baby have led us to Andy Jordan.
Love and hugs,
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