“In the morning to another day,
twisting and dodging the drops of rain
Now I know what I wanna be,
it's what you already see.”
-Sister Hazel, You See Me Beautiful
This is a picture of my Noticer of life child and Lacie, a kitten we fostered over the summer. This photo was taken right before Lacie’s new owner came to take her to her forever home. When I looked at my camera after taking the picture, I knew I had to tell you this story, and I knew today, August 12th, would be the day.
Lacie didn’t arrive at our house when the other kittens did. Lacie contracted a tick-transmitted disease from her mother and was very sick. She wasn’t expected to live. About two weeks into our fostering duties, we got a joyous call from the vet that Lacie had recovered was well enough to join her siblings. My Noticer went with me to pick her up. This kitten was tiny, fragile, and scared. My daughter consoled her all the way home. She vowed to look after her.
My daughter spent endless hours holding Lacie in her lap. Oddly enough, the kitten would look directly into my daughter’s eyes during these cuddling sessions. My child and Lacie sat together just looking at each other. When a prospective adopter came to our house to select one of the six kittens, she sat down on the floor. Lacie immediately curled up in the woman’s lap and looked into her eyes exactly the way she did with my daughter. That moment sealed the deal for this kitten. Once she was big enough to be spayed and immunized, Lacie would go home with this kind woman.
My daughter continued to love this kitten every day for four weeks knowing she’d eventually have to give her away. The above photo was taken right before Lacie’s new owner came to retrieve her. Some might look at this picture and see sadness, but I see peace. My daughter knew the love she gave made something really, really special happen—even though it was not hers to keep.
When I look at this picture, it speaks to me. It says: Love makes good things possible.
And that’s what I needed to tell you today. I share this reflection not because I think you might be parting with a kitten; I share it because there’s a good chance you’re making a priceless investment today. I suspect you’re pouring love into someone or something despite knowing you’ll have to part with it someday. A selfless act such as this can feel depleting, trying, and at times, frightening.
Investing love into the life of another being is not easy; sometimes it’s downright painful, but let us not forget why we do it: Love makes good things possible.
As my daughter so beautifully demonstrated through the care of this kitten, love is not ours to keep. Love is ours to give away, and when we do, we make good things possible.
So let there be peace in our hearts today.
My friends of The Hands Free Revolution, today is my Noticer’s 10th birthday. She’s taught me so much over the past decade. If you have read the Firefly post, the Hurry Up post, or either of my books, you know this little girl has changed me for the better; she’s taught me to slow down, notice, and keep track of life. When I share a message my Noticer inspires me to write, I often read her your comments. They make her smile like a sunflower on steroids. Your words build her up. They inspire her to keep writing music, singing to despondent elderly people, and talking up the depressed cats to prospective adopters. Today I wanted to thank you for loving her as I do. It does not go unnoticed.
I leave you with one final picture of my daughter holding Lacie at the vet before she was spayed and immunized. Avery was assuring her furry friend that she would be okay. Turns out, she was more than okay. She was loved. Thank you for being part of our supportive Hands Free community on Facebook and Instagram. Your comments never cease to enlighten and encourage.
* For more truthful story-telling and practical strategies to keep track of life, please see my books, Hands Free Mama and Hands Free Life. For gorgeous reminders to choose love in metal, leather, silicone, or paper, see the Hands Free Shop. Enjoy free domestic shipping on all items in the shop for one more week with the code: LOVESCHOOL.
P.S. If you enjoyed this short reflection meant to bring a cleansing breath and a heart-led focus your day, you will love my forthcoming book, ONLY LOVE TODAY: Reminders to Breathe More, Stress Less, and Choose Love, available for pre-order now.