I watched my daughter carefully assemble her Legos packets she received this past Christmas.  Legos have really changed over the years.  When I was a kid, most sets were pretty uniform.   With the old school interlocking pieces of the same sizes and colors, Lego artists were limited only by the boundaries of their imagination. Now each set comes with directions and specialty pieces, each unique to the grand design.   I suppose you could mix all the sets together, creating an original.  But I’ve been advised that it’s not recommended.  My neighbor just told me of a Millennium Falcon set that had over 1000 pieces.  Each piece has its own meticulous place according to the directions.  I miss the good ‘ole days.

I’ve been a little slow these days, sitting, observing, and thinking.  As many of you know my canine companion of almost 14 years succumbed to brain cancer a couple of weeks ago.  While watching my daughter’s Lego labor, I felt I was in the midst of similar work.

  Grief work reminds me of Leggos.  It slows us down and the details become important. 

I feel as if I am gathering all the little parts to build something special.  Those tiny parts are all the memories of Moses.  I want to think about every little wrinkle in his nose when he “dog smiled” or how his ears perked when he heard the rustling of a cellophane bag.  I want to relive the story of the time he attempted to out maneuver a rabbit and left my husband and me in stitches from raucous laughter.  These memories are like Lego parts and I’m gathering them, sorting them, putting them in order for my creation.  The final product is the precious story of our life together. 

I don’t know how long it will take me to gathers all these details.  It is slow, sad endeavor.  But my goal is to spread these memories out like a long labored quilt, carefully stitched together.  I want to look over my work and lift my head to the heavens to say “Thank you”.  The spiritual work of gathering these memories will enable me to choose gratitude. Many of you have called or written to give comfort and you have shared your stories of companions long gone.  Your words help me collect my parts for the grand design.  My goal is to arrive at that precious place where memories stir up happiness not sadness.

So now we are on the hunt for Moses pictures.  I’m going to choose a few for collage, to be framed with his obituary.  It will be a snapshot of our life together. But most of all a reminder to be grateful for the time we had together, the lessons learned and the love shared.