Friday, January 9, 2015


It is the little things that really are the big things!  The smell of freshly mowed grass, fields of lavender, warm clean blankets, a baby's breath, a puppy dog, the touch of warm gentle hands, soft tender words. 
From Gracie, my eyes and soul and heart have found a place I didn't know existed.  A place where  unconditional love and trust lives, and a place where life is embraced with something inexplicable, bountiful, and beautiful. A place where you can jump for joy! 

Seeing life through Gracie's sightless eyes has awakened me to that which is most important of all.  Her little soul has taught me to watch, listen, feel, and learn at a deeper level.  She does not feel sorry for herself and doesn't  know she is different. She teaches lessons that can be found in those who embrace all life. See clearly, listen closely, and love with your whole heart, no matter what.  If you can do this, you have been truly blessed.
There are times when my shoulders are like marshmallows. I do what I have to do.  Being selfless and giving sometimes takes its toll.  The trick is picking ourselves up and making it up two flights of stairs in the dark with trust, faith, and hope. You can tell observing Gracie, that each step is a step of faith.  But eventually you, as does Gracie, make it to the top, and it is there and then, that you celebrate life and your ability to have accomplished something huge and significant no matter how small it might appear. 
With Gracie, it is not about  facing a problem or dilemma, but in the solution and the destination.  She has no capacity to ask 'why me'. Nor does she waste time feeling sorry for herself.  She simply moves forward and reaches her goal, searching for that one ray of sunshine that can only be found in a special place, like most of us at one time or another.  
Comfort and encouragement are there for Gracie, skirting on the edge. And when the goal is reached there are hugs and love for my girl who is instilled in a world of darkness.  But through it all there is a window of light that she sees and opens for all of us to cherish and learn from.  I put frames around these moments and treasure them in my heart. For with each triumph, Gracie has taught me to how to watch, listen, learn, and live at a far deeper level than I ever could have imagined. 
I hug her and inhale her. I am one with her for a while.  And it is in these times that I can feel sadness leaving my body, as I peacefully breathe in and out into her fur. It is not a wonder that so many, many warriors have told me they felt like an 'angel had entered their rooms' in the hospital.

Gracie may not see, but she sees with her heart. I have been at the starting gate with her since she was seven weeks old and now she is eleven years old. I know that because of her I am a better person.  I have learned to accept challenges differently.  I have learned to love deeper and expect that same love in return. I have learned that no matter what there is a way, and no matter how many obstacles are put in my path, I take the knock and the bump, and find a way around it to reach my goal. I no longer waste time feeling sorry for myself.  I celebrate the moment.  I take more delight in the little things, the small steps and in many insignificant details to most.  I feel often that I am on a different plain.  And I suppose to some degree I am. But I am content, and I am blessed to have had the greatest teacher ever, a Petite Basset Griffon Vendeen named Gracie, that has opened my eyes to the beauty around me and taught me that there is a spark inside of her that is like no other.  A spark that shimmers and radiates hope, love, and courage.  Gracie is a true inspiration, offering warmth and love to anyone who takes the time to watch her, as her little light shines so brightly.

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