An Unexpected Decision – an unexpected goodbye…

It has been difficult to write on a personal level this week. When emotions run high it is not always easy to focus!

My move to the mountains continues to bring daily blessings. The land is remarkable, the people kind and the future filled with possibilities.

I am beginning my third month in Asheville. There have been an abundance of details to cover. As many of you know, I have not been alone in this journey. My beloved companion, Lilly, has held her own while trying to adjust to the myriad of changes and watch over me. We have not been strangers to changes over the years. Each move or new caregiver has been a challenge taken with the assurance that we could always adjust with one another near.

This move has been different. Lilly has sacrificed her sense of peace as she has tried to figure out what I needed both physically and emotionally. Our schedule has been foreign. New caregivers have continued to come to our door, raising her anxiety about my safety and support. She has never missed a beat with these changes before us but no matter my effort to assure her, she has met these new people and situations on high alert. Her most common action has been to stand between my assistant and myself as if to be the protector. Her loss of appetite has been a real concern – there have been long days in the veterinarian’s office to re-hydrate and continued focus on what food combo would work to encourage her to eat.

During these days of stress I had begun to wonder if she would be able to adjust to this transition. Wishing I could make it alright, I struggled to push away the consideration that Lilly might need to retire and enjoy the freedom of just being a dog. It has felt too soon – I have felt too alone. But to see her struggle made my needs feel selfish.

No one could have convinced me that I would be faced with such a hard decision so early in my new journey. I carried the thoughts of her needs close to my heart while I continued to make home for us. Last weekend, as if my struggles were heard in the heavens, I met a couple who were immediately drawn to Lilly. In a short period I had shared a bit of our story and they expressed an interest in helping any way possible. I left them, Lilly by my side, feeling a strange sense of relief.

As I said in the beginning of this reflection, my blog has been quiet on the personal level this past week. I was too emotional to see this truth in words. After a couple of visits with these new friends, Lilly spent this weekend away – running with other dogs on land fenced and plenty, sharing her natural care-giving with a kind couple and enjoyed the contentment of being a dog. Tonight they came to gather her kennel, bed, toys and blankets. If the week goes as well as the weekend – we will have found her new home in these mountains and begin yet another new moment in this journey.

It is one more goodbye. A goodbye so unexpected. As goodbyes accumulate they become less easy to ignore. There have been many tears rising from deep in my heart. Tears that continue to wash the sadness with a sense of comfort. Even though I know it is the right thing to do, I get irritated with having to be the adult yet one more time.

Standing at the edge of another ‘unknown’ – I can only trust that the one, who has always brought me strength, is ever near. In the words of Julian of Norwich, I rest in the knowledge that ‘All Shall Be Well’.


28 thoughts on “An Unexpected Decision – an unexpected goodbye…”

  1. As I read your description of this difficult decision, it does somehow feel “right” for Lily. You are brave in so many ways – this is just another example. Love you, friend.


  2. Carrie,
    My heart goes out to you- -now there’s a space for a new friend. All SHALL be well.


  3. Carrie, i surround you with love and peaceFULL prayers as you live into this courageous choice for your dear Lilly.


  4. I am so very sorry, dear Carrie, to read of your very hard decision. Lilly was always more than a dog–a constant (and amusing) companion. She can’t be replaced, but I hope you find another companion animal soon. Blessings, David


  5. Oh Carrie, As I started reading your post I found myself holding my breath thinking “No, no.” As one who has known the bond that is so solid, filled with a love that many cannot understand my heart weeps for you and with you. You made the ultimate sacrafice for your friend and companion. How bittersweet to turn and walk away all the while knowing that she has found a place of joy, peace and freedom to find the puppy inside her. As you know so well she cannot be replaced, there is but one Lily. Just as you have made the decision that is best for her you too will be blessed and comforted by her understudy who will have big paw shoes to fill. I know that you will soon meet your companion who will join you as you continue on your new journey. Your strength, courage and abandonment of self brings strength and hope to the lives of those you touch. I know it was difficult to share such personal feelings. I thank you for opening yourself up and for sharing your continued journey. Blessings, peace and comfort from your sister in Christ. deb young


  6. Wow Carrie, what an emotional time for you! It sounds like you came to the right decision for Lilly, but my heart goes out to you knowing how difficult it is to separate from those we love, not to mention rely upon. I hope the decision continues to feel right and that other things come together for you in light of it.
    Fondly, Michele


    1. Thank you, Michele. Today has brought a greater sense of peace and more tears. Things will come together in ways that will probably surprise all of us!


  7. I am sure it was the right decision for Lilly and may not feel right for you, but in time it will. My prayers are for you as you look for another campion, there will be another one to love.


    1. It was the right decision for Lils. I’m certain the future holds possibilities I can’t imagine right now.
      Thank you for your support, Lilyan.


  8. I can’t even fathom my life without my dogs. You are an amazing woman to have made the loving choice for Lilly. May your courage and noble heart be richly rewarded by gobs of good karma.


  9. Our hearts go out to you dear Carrie……Knowing you in Greenville & at St. Paul’s was a special time in our lives…


    1. Thank you Gene and Susan. Neither of you are strangers to walking the road of ‘hard’ decisions. You remain in my prayers as does the rest of your dear family.
      Your kind words bring comfort.


  10. So you have moved to Asheville! A beautiful place if ever I saw one. You may remember my sister and I were there the weekend before Rick passed away in 2006. And Ray and I were there in May 2009. His nephew and wife live there. May you find peace in those mountains.


    1. Hi Becckie! Yes, Asheville is now home. I am thrilled to be here even with these hard decisions before me. Thank you for visiting my blog and offering kind words.
      Peace be with you…


  11. Oh, are so brave, and I am so saddened to hear about another goodbye you are dealing with. Please know that you are in my daily prayers.


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