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After nearly 16 years…
We lost our family dog, Daphne, last week, after nearly 16 years of companionship. To say it was a unforeseen gut punch doesn’t do it justice.
Daphne came to us when she was about 12 weeks old, at a time in the mid to late 2000s, when our family trajectory was at a very key place. Our kids were still all at home, before adulthood beckoned them from the nest… a call they have all since answered.
She was grumpy, and feisty, and felt free to challenge any and all before their proper vetting.
She was the tireless companion and confidant of Kathy, my wife, who spent a considerable amount of time without me as my travels for missions and later also business took me out of the home for long periods at a time. Daphne was always happy to see me return and greeted me accordingly.
Please pray for Kathy.
Now, we feel her absence palpably, and grief comes in unanticipated waves.
Daphne and I had our contentious moments, to be sure. She could be demanding. Maybe she was trying to help me see myself? I’m not sure.
Kidney failure came on quickly in a few weeks time. She was such a trooper. She hung in there strong while we arranged for the girls to join us in saying goodbye. An answer to my prayers.
We laid her to rest on the family land in Southeast Texas on July 7, 2023. Somehow it felt important and purposeful to do it there. Kathy’s folks were with us, and Destiny (our middle daughter) joined us by FaceTime.
Now we amble forward, like those whose lives are missing something. We are missing her. No doubt our grief is measured in comparison to those who have been hit by losses far greater than this one. And still it hurts intensely.
As she was approaching her last moments with us, I kept seeing a mental picture of her from the very early days she was with us, which I later confirmed to be a memory. She and Katie, our youngest, then just seven years old, we’re taking turn chasing each other in our old house on Redcoat in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Initially that recurring image felt like punishment, as it was accentuating the pending loss. When we were talking as a family, it occurred to me that the Lord was trying to encourage me with this image. She was about to be free from her body that was shackled in pain. Once I saw it for what it was I was indeed encouraged. Thank you, Jesus.
This experience makes me wonder how God will redeem His creatures / creation, that was unwillingly marginalized due to humankind’s fall. I bet He will surprise us, putting His goodness, kindness, justice and love on display in ways we can’t yet imagine. I think sometimes we can be so preoccupied with ourselves that we limit God’s scope and interest to our immediate need or what’s personally beneficial to us. How unfortunate. Show us who YOU are, Lord!
Our family is super thankful for the time we had with Daphne. She saw us through some seasons of life that were uncertain, turbulent and painful, and also those that were happy and worthy of celebration! I think the famous quote about knowing pleasure through contrast rings true here. Missing her so is an indication of her contribution to our lives and family.
Our family would appreciate your prayers during this time. Thank you.