This past year has been marked by events both wondrous and unbearably heartbreaking. My father passed on the 20th of this month, and I'll share a more fitting tribute to him then. The second great heartbreak of the year was in June when our beloved dog Duncan passed just after we moved into this house. He died of congestive heart failure and a massively enlarged heart. The irony is that he had been the heart and soul of my family for 10 years. He was there when I had to be in Atlanta during the hard months after my brother died eight and a half years ago. He was there for my mother a year later, when she got home from her countless journeys to the hospital to be with my sister-in-law before she died. He has been there for my niece and nephew, offering unconditional love to them. He was there when my dad's real decline started not long after my brother's death, sending him in and out of hospitals and rehab centers for years. Again, my mother spent countless days going back and forth to be with him, and when she got home Duncan was always at the door to greet her with a smile on his face and a wildly wagging tail. A gently placed muzzle on her shoulder kept her comforted so many times. When dad was misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's he was there to support them and he made visits to the rehab centers and helped others.
My mother has a beautiful, large glass jar in which she has created beautiful displays. We wanted to create something for the holidays, so we removed the current contents and then filled it with buffalo snow, a small tree, our green acorns, a tiny pinecone and a Dalmatian figurine we always use for the season. I sprinkled our snow over the setting and now Duncan is set to play in his winter wonderland.
I still miss you big guy. It's not the same around here without you. ♥