Four years. It probably doesn’t sound like much to the average person. But to the average four-legged friend, it’s a fraction of a lifetime. Seriously, four years for most dogs is equivalent to almost 28 people years. That is a long time. Four years. From the ground up, that is how long I’ve known real joy. That’s how long I’ve known what life should look like. That’s as long as I’ve known my forever people. And it does feel like a lifetime.
Not because I plan to move along to doggie heaven any time soon. God willing, I intend to be around a while yet. It feels like a lifetime because I’ve watched the change, the growth, that can happen in a person. I wouldn’t say dad has changed much. He’s an emotional rock. He is steady, steadfast, and true to my dear forever mom. He provides for the family, both financially and emotionally. He keeps everything level. I am grateful to him for all of this.
Mom, on the other hand, has evolved since I’ve known her. When I met her she was struggling with a lot of different things. She had recently lost a job she loved two weeks before her father suddenly died. She had struggled with an eating disorder. And (perhaps worst of all) she turned to all the wrong methods of coping. But that was then.
All of that is behind us now. Through chaos as it swirls, we have emerged. And she has changed a lot since I met her. Please don’t misunderstand. She always loved dad and I bigger than the sky. But something about how she shows her love to us (and now dear baby Carter) has evolved over the time we’ve spent together.
I know four years doesn’t sound like a long time to the average person. But it’s a long time to me. I know life on the streets. I know life moving from adoptive family to adoptive family. And I have found my forever home. Within it, it has been an honor and my privilege to see my forever people grow together throughout my time here. Four years. From the ground up, that is how long I’ve witnessed the growth that accompanies sincere joy. And it’s pretty beautiful.