In May my mom traveled back to our old hometown in Ohio for the wedding of two of her very good friends. Both of them had lost their spouses to cancer and then, in a development that truly surprised their group of friends, found love together. Both around 70 years old, they are starting a happy new phase of life together!
I think it’s a lovely story that illustrates why we should always be open to new chances at happiness.
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My parents didn’t believe it was fair to leave an animal home alone all day, so because they both worked our family didn’t have pets when we were kids. Then, when Phil and I went away to college and they were feeling the need and the free time to nurture another life, Mom and Dad adopted Spenser. I will tell the tale of Spenser another day, but let me leave you with the phrase “canine angel.” We were completely head over heels for Spenser.
So when after a long and wonderful life with us Spenser passed away a few years ago, we were all devastated. But it was Mom, his caretaker, who had to adjust to daily living without him. She insisted that she didn’t want another dog. “It’s impossible to replace Spenser, so what’s the point?” “It would be a lot of work to get used to a new dog.” “It’s expensive.” “I don’t want to be tied to a schedule of walks and feedings any more.”
But after more than a year of missing Spenser and the companionship of a little life, Mom mentioned to a friend that she thought she may be ready to look for a dog. She had done some research and really liked the idea of a Cairn Terrier. Well, it happened that this friend of Mom’s volunteered at a local animal shelter, so she promised to keep her eyes open for a Cairn (but warned that it was pretty unlikely).
Not long after that conversation Mom was readying herself to go to a friend’s birthday party when she got the call. The shelter had just received a Cairn Terrier that day! Could she come over right away and meet him? Well, it was Saturday evening and she didn’t want to be late to her friend’s celebration, but she decided to go to the shelter first. My, oh my, are we all happy that she did! She fell for the little orphan instantly and went back to take him home that next week.
Now Raleigh and Mom are constant companions, and I rarely have a conversation with her that doesn’t include comments about how amazing he is. “He’s so loving.” “He’s such an adorable little scamp.” “He’s a wonderful snuggler.” “Oh, how did I get so lucky twice?”
New chances for happiness come in so many forms!