Thursday, February 7, 2013

In Memory of Princess – Ten Lessons from a Life Well Lived

Princess graced our lives and home for close to 20 years.  She passed away while being held in my arms last Friday evening.  If love could keep her alive she would have lived forever.
Although still heavy hearted from her passing, I wanted to keep her memory alive by sharing some of the things learned from being blessed with her company for so long.

Princess always knew that she had my number.  She knew that I would go to great lengths to keep her content.  
Lesson Number One:  Don’t do anything for yourself that someone else is willing and able to do for you.  Life is short and you should take advantage of any moment of pampering available to you.

We live in a close to 200 year old farm house that has been under renovations since we moved in.  I hate to admit this but we have had unwanted visitors from time to time in our home.  Although I have spent several different periods of my life as a vegetarian because I really don’t like the idea of eating animals, Princess was a very good hunter.  Picture the classic pose of a kitty prancing up with pride with the mouse she caught held in her mouth. 
Lesson Number Two:  Take Pride in all of your accomplishments.  Don’t be afraid of sharing what you have achieved. 

Princess lived her life fearlessly.  In situations where her brother Tiger (we are so creative with names) would go hide under a table, Princess would face whatever got in her way without a shred of fear.  She actually bit a huge snake three times her length.
Lesson Number Three:  Don’t let fear get in the way of facing the challenges you find along your path.

Princess took a very active interest in whatever I was doing at the moment.  She would sit on my lap while I sipped tea and looked at magazines with me.  She literally would turn her head to look at the pictures as I turned each page.   She also liked to sit with me while I worked on my dolls and when I engaged in any art or jewelry making project.  She would try to knock all the pins out of my pin cushion while I was sewing.  She would try to chew on the wire while I was working on jewelry.  She would try to add texture to any paintings I worked on by shedding some hair wherever she could. 
Lesson Number Four:  Maintain an active interest in the activities of those you love.

Princess was rather finicky about the food she ate.  She knew that if she snubbed her nose at what was offered to her, I would find something more delicious for her to eat. 
Lesson Number Five:  Don’t waste your appetite on anything that isn’t absolutely delicious.

Princess always explored her surroundings with curiosity.  Every spring when we would open up the screened in porch she would come outside with me to check everything out.  In the porch she would  eat a few spider-webs and look for the chipmunk that was smart enough to remain hidden until she was not around. 
Lesson Number Six:  Keep a healthy curiosity in your surroundings throughout your life.

Princess liked to play with her toys and silly things like pipe cleaners, candy wrappers, whatever caught her fancy throughout her life. 
Lesson Number Seven:  You are never too old to be able to play and have fun.

Princess was the queen of relaxation.  She would spend a good amount of time each day taking naps while basking in the sunshine.
Lesson Number Eight:  Whatever needs to be done, it is never more important than taking time to rest and relax.

When Princess was first brought into our home by my husband, she was malnourished, fragile, and frightened.  I had to dip my finger into milk and let her lick it to feed her until she was able to eat on her own.  This small amount of time that I spent nurturing her back to health was given back to me so many times over.  Princess always seemed to know when my husband, son, or I were under the weather.  Whenever I was home and not feeling well, Princess was a constant companion at my side.  She wouldn’t leave my side but for a moment and then would quickly return as if to make sure I was okay. She brought so much comfort to us throughout her life.   
Lesson Number Nine:  Take every opportunity you can to nurture and comfort those around you.

Princess never accumulated many things in her life.  But what she did accumulate was love.  As I mentioned before, if love would keep her alive she would live forever.    She will live forever in our hearts.  She will never be forgotten and our love will always be with her.
Lesson Number Ten:  It really doesn’t matter how many toys or things one accumulates in a lifetime.  What truly matters, and what is always remembered, is the love you nurture and share with those around you.