By Coleen Ellis

I’m dreading the holidays without my dog.

My heart is already heavy. I’m dreading opening the Christmas decorations box, where I know I will find Harry’s ornaments and Christmas stocking tucked away from last year. A year ago, when I had no idea what the following year would bring to me with a new normal without my big, beautiful dog.

I packed those decorations up without nary a thought I should slow down and savor the fact I physically had my precious boy with me. Heck, the fact I should slow down in general to savor him, every minute I could, not knowing my world would change within a few months and I wouldn’t have those moments any more.

Therefore, with the holidays literally around the corner, I’m starting my New Year’s resolutions early this year, starting them right now with the beginning of the 2018 holiday season.  I’m going to call them my “New Me Resolutions.” Time flies by so quickly that I’m going to be mindful to be thankful this holiday season for all I have, and all I’ve lost.

I’m going to be mindful to slow down and take in the season, versus hurrying through it to the next event, the next shopping excursion, the next day. I’m going to be mindful to sit and be and to enjoy everything around me, from people, my precious four-legged loves, and the beautiful décor. I want to remind myself that next year will come with its own life changes, so this might be the last festive season to share with loved ones.

This season let’s do this together. Let’s savor the season and be thankful for life, for love, and for all the elements that make up those two things.

I know the tears will come for Big Harry. And, yes, I’m still sad and I’ll always have an ache in my heart for the presence of the absence of him. I’m good with that… and I’m also ready to celebrate him and the huge gifts that he organically brought to me with his presence.

Here’s to the holidays, My Friends. Let’s do this.


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