I can't remember where I first read it, but sometime within the past six months. An absolutely wonderful quote, which I add to my signature on the internet, whenever I add a signature (which I don't usually).
Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened.
Isn't that a wonderful way to look at life?
It is a given that we won't make it out of this life without loss, disappointment, pain, etc. But somehow it brings such peace to look at it from this point of view.
I think about Paul and David and I try not to grieve their loss, but to celebrate the fact that we had them throughout their childhood and were able to watch them grow into men, and especially now to periodically get messages from people who knew them, telling me what a difference they made in their lives.
How can you not smile because they lived and made a difference in their part of the world?
How can I not smile, remembering the Lawsuit years, instead of grieving the ending of the band before they had their shot at stardom?
I think about the friendships I've lost, whether through death or "attrition," those people who leave your immediate circle and move on. There is a lot of temptation to grieve what is no more, but how much better to smile at the memories.
How can I not smile when I think about all the things that Gilbert and I did? How can I not smile when I remember "MQA" nights with Lynn and Rosemarie, when we would have dinner, and then sit around for hours trying to solve the problems of our worlds. How can I not smile when I remember the progressive dinners we had at The Secretariat and the closeness Melody and I had? How can I not smile when I remember all the fun Peggy and I had here and in Australia? How can I not smile when I think of the jobs that I loved and lost and the friendships that were part of those jobs, now gone as well?
So much better than crying or being bitter because those things are no longer part of my life.
How can I not smile when I think of all the puppies we've had, some of whom have grown to adults and now live with their own families, some of whom didn't make it, but who died in a loving environment.
How can I not smile when I think of all the years and all the foreigners who passed through our house, almost all of whom have now disappeared from contact. What fun we had with parties, and English lessons, and trips to see the sights of California. It would be easy to grieve the fact that we no longer have contact with most of them, but it's much more peaceful to smile, remembering all the high points, and forgetting the bad points.
How can I not smile when I look at our children -- at the adults they have become -- instead of feeling sad about our empty nest and how seldom we see them now that they have their own lives.
When good things end, even if they end badly, how much better to dwell on the good parts and tuck the bad parts away (after awhile...sometimes you have to deal with the bad stuff). Nothing is going to change the status quo, so why not revel in the good stuff?
The one problem with keeping mid-age puppies for a longer time is that they feel that this is home, they start to settle in and start getting into mischief.
Bissell is really feeling his oats, now that he's been here (is it only two?) weeks.
He loves clearing things off of the table between our chairs (which means I now have an excuse to have to clean the table).
He's a terrible beggar at the kitchen table. Sheila and Lizzie sit and watch me intently, hoping I'll feed them. Even Chunk learned to sit patient and watch. But not Bissell. Bissell is a whirling dervish leaping and leaping and leaping, trying to beg for food (we are having "discussions" about that!)
But the flip side of that is that he's getting the idea about going out on his own for purposes of elimination. He even went out in the rain today, which was very nice. I haven't really found any puddles since he's been here, though Walt did discover a hidden cache of poop in the living room. But we may have ended that. One can only hope.
He and Lizzie have become great friends and nighttime is their time to race back and forth from back door to living room and back again. It's such fun watching Bissell run, kind of like a gazelle.
Tonight I swept up a huge pile of styrofoam that he'd torn into bits all over the room, scattered with pieces of a magazine he'd torn up. I left it all in a big pile while I went to get a dustpan. All of a sudden I heard this "whoosh." Just like a little kid jumping into a pile of autumn leaves, Bissell had slid across the floor right through the pile of garbage I'd just swept up.
I was sorry to have missed seeing it. He's a funny little dog. I'm sure his new family will love him. Soon. Please.