Filling the Empty Spaces

I've been thinking a lot about Nancy's letter to Joan, the one she sent along with her pug, Sweet Pea. Every time I read it yesterday it would make me cry -- something about her apology and her hope. Her sorrow at allowing Sweet Pea to get kicked by the horse, her hope that Joan is happy to see her again. There is something in those words that speak of stewardship, a bond between the women, each entrusted for a time with the care of this sweet animal. Sweet Pea looked for Nancy as she drove away and was asleep in Joan's bed before the end of the night. My friend, Jon Katz, does not think animals grieve and at the very least, that we cannot know what goes on in their heads. People grieve though and they falter and they try to do their best. Nancy bought Sweet Pea an antique collar and a monkey crate when she was in her care, she let her break her wine goblets, she let her sleep beside her. She made a decision to give her up when she felt her own travels caused her dog distress. She hoped that Joan would welcome this little girl back with as much love as she was given, perhaps more because it is easy to love a puppy, perhaps not as easy to love an old girl with a broken jaw. I feel Nancy's heart in those words -- in the white spaces where nothing is said -- her emptiness, her guilt, her need to do the right thing -- I sense her love for a little animal whom she chose to dub with the same endearments that were bestowed upon her. We do what we know how. We hope that it is right. We let love fill the empty spaces.