I adored the shelf clock I bought when Crate & Barrel was a relatively new concept of trendy home furnishings back in the early 90’s. As an adult, a homeowner, and a grown-up, it was one of my first “I like this” purchases.

A wooden box enclosed a clock and a silver pendulum.

clockmay2016Later on, the decision to purchase a puppy was another big step in calling myself an adult. It seemed to be the next thing after getting married and settling into a home, “BC,” before children.

Driving to Alachua County to meet my new baby, only 6 weeks old, he was brought home and the raising began.

If you think a puppy is easier than a baby, think again! The sweet days of biting, chewing, toileting, crating, and crying are not anything less than a full-time job, but the outcome of a well-trained dog is true joy.

These furry, four-legged best friends, are here for, what feels like, a second.

One can’t think too far ahead but only to enjoy them in the moment.

Ike was a precious gift, maybe a little spoiled, but he was a loyal and loving companion. He carried my tears on his silky yellow fur, joined me on my new running adventure, and was always there for me – even when I wasn’t there for him.

As we journeyed into his adult life, I prayed God would be gentle with him, no suffering, letting me know when the “time” came to say goodbye.

I’ve never been a part of one’s passing from this life to the next but the day and the few days to follow were beautiful in the midst of my sorrow.

The clock I loved so much suddenly stopped.

When I returned from saying goodbye to my boy, I noticed the time had stood still, right about the hour he left this life.

What happened thereafter was incredible and I wouldn’t have believed it if someone else were telling me this story.

Three days later, a Sunday morning, I woke to find the pendulum swinging again, and outside my door, the plastic green Adirondack chair I often sat on with Ike by my side, had a large heart-shaped water stain.

ikesheart0108Was this God’s way of telling me Ike was ok, his spirit lived on?

Psalm 30:5…weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

If you are in the midst of sadness and sorrow, grieving the loss of a loved one, or something special to you, may you look up to the heavens, feel God’s loving embrace, see His love and spirit, and know that your joy will come.

Nicole Santapola

About Nicole Santapola

Nicole Santapola began her relationship with Christ after 30 years of religion being a mainstay in her upbringing. Experiencing a divorce, Nicole found herself a single woman leaning on God's promises and learning both His faithfulness and love. She calls Discovery Church home. She began attending in 2002 and through bible studies, women's events, and restoration counseling, she was baptized at East Campus in 2006. Nicole has a passion to share God's love and encouragement to others particularly in the area of health and wellness. She has followed holistic health and nutrition and through education and cooking classes, she teaches and shares this with others. She loves to cook and bake mostly plant-based dishes in her home and visit local vegetarian establishments. Her walk began with Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind".

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