Oh our sweet sweet girl. Well okay, maybe one of those sweets should read stubborn… after all, we remember the day we picked you out of a bunch of furry little weimballs. You were the one that ran away… went to hide under a car… And we said yep, that's the one! We held you in our arms for the first time & your pretty blue eyes gave us a hesitant glance. And we gave you a good squeeze and named you Gracie. On the long drive home, you snuggled in, deciding to trust just a little bit more… Those puppy days were such fun, watching you play in a bowl of water… You would just bounce around the house looking like Dumbo with your huge paws and your flying ears. You gave us your whole heart and we gave you ours. The nights proved a little harder when your cries to be with us broke through the darkness, and we'd turn to each other saying… it's your turn. But eventually you tugged just hard enough at our heartstrings, and our attempt at not in the bed with us, pretty much went out the window. And weren't you excited!? In the bed with mom & dad, yippee!! Of course you took it a step further and went for sleeping on our pillows (and occasionally on our heads). Oh but we were smitten! Over the years, the queen size bed got upgraded to a king. And even though you were strong and still jumping everywhere, eventually we eliminated those boxsprings, and brought that mattress closer to the floor… all so you could- Be. with. us. -make things a little easier… because we sure did enjoy a little cuddle time (and maybe the occasional kick in the ribs). You may not even know it, but you gave your daddy a jump start on learning how to lay tile, you little linoleum eater!! We shared birthdays & holidays & everydays… We lit off fireworks every year, and you were never scared… it was always enough for you, just to have us by your side. We got dressed up for halloween and went trick-or-treating with your cousins, wasn't that such fun (especially when you got to eat the cookies later, right!? wink wink). We took in the colorful turning leaves each autumn, listening to the crunch they made beneath our feet… during long walks through neighborhoods or forests or just anywhere we could wander together… We even visited Santa Claus & experienced the merriment of thousands of little twinkle lights… We loved watching you grow and having you near us. Your separation anxiety turned into our separation anxiety. Because you see… you didn't just need us, we needed you. You were always there… through every deployment and TDY, missing daddy, but loving on mommie. And then we got to see your big goofy grin every time daddy returned home. You would run and jump and make all these cute funny noises… I don't think I've ever seen you smile so big. So when his job moved us to Germany, we packed it all up. And we got through all the time away from family and even more time away from daddy. You became mommie's constant companion and best friend. Someone to explore new places with everyday… A space heater during the cold and lonely days & nights… Your ears were always open when a happy chat was needed, and you could always be counted on to press your big nose to our faces or put a paw in our lap anytime we needed comfort. You. just. knew. You may have been 8, but middle age be damned… because you got to enjoy schnitzel & bratwurst and a French baguette or two. Got to go on your first ride in a little red convertible… I mean, we traveled… and you got to see the world! From wandering those quaint little German villages, to stepping your paws in the sand for the first time in the Netherlands… you absolutely loved it and we loved watching you! Riding through the snowy Swiss Alps, your nose taking in the scent of the crisp wintery air, your ears flapping freely in the wind. Gosh you looooooved your car rides… Exploring Italy only to return to our villa and soak up the rays by our private pool in the Tuscan countryside… You did it all. You were there. Sharing in the joy and the wonder of it all… Our little bean. You have about a thousand little nicknames… even the silly ones, you acknowledged them all, you always came running with your sweet little face. You have shared our life completely, from our wedding, to moving across the ocean and back. And even as we went through the heartbreak of realizing we would have no children of our own… you just laid your little head in our lap, and somehow we knew it would all work out and everything would be alright. Because you were ours… You filled our life and the lives of so many others with such joy. You gave our lives meaning, taught us how to love each other and ourselves, and you filled us with up with- So. Much. Goodness… So you see now, don't you? Our sweet Gracie girl… there has never been anyone loved as much as we love you. So sleep easy now baby. You did good.
And until we meet again, we'll be seeing you in our dreams.