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’.