“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” -Anne Lamott
For the first year and a half of her life, Grace was… not loved. We received a call from a friend who knew we’d just lost our precious black labby and Gracie burst into our hearts! For the next 11 years our lives were forever changed.
The very first thing she taught us was the importance of play. On the way home, we stopped to take her for a walk, where she found the biggest, muddiest puddle and immediately jumped right in, rolling around so completely that she looked like a chocolate covered marshmallow! She was utterly joyful. It never occurred to us to stop her.
Lesson #1. Be playful: learning to play, with your whole self, no matter what age, is essential.
Despite her past, she never once held back her outpouring of love. The generous flood included copious tail wagging, kisses, nose nudges and simply looking into our eyes with pure love, complete trust and steadfast devotion.
Lesson #2. Be vulnerable: if you’re going to love, go all in!
Even though her past was difficult, she never let it define who she was. She was generous, kind, forgiving, accepting and percolated joy. She loved everything. This is why her name is Grace.
Lesson #3. We can’t change our past, but we can rewrite a brave new ending.
She was my constant companion.
Over and over, again and again, she showed me what grace looks like.