I just held the family birdie in my hands as he took his last breath. Stephen had not been acting himself for some time, but I never anticipated being with him like this. How is that we have so much to learn from others, even more from our pets, if we are open to listening?

I’ve already become aware of the importance of living in the now due to the pup, but birdie helped to really remind me. Our lives are short and I would much rather have a bunch of “remember when’s” than “what if’s” – that is absolutely clear.

You will only have this moment in your life once, so be sure that you make the most of it. Spend time loving the ones you are with, instead of wishing they were someone else. Follow your instincts and take advantage of every opportunity. Be sure to take the time to appreciate all you have, to truly breathe in your surroundings.

So for now, I will remember when birdie hated new piano pieces and would squawk incessantly until I stopped missing notes. I will remember when my Dad found Steve in the backyard and we caught him with a butterfly net. I will remember when birdie would always announce your arrival and greet you warmly. I will remember when he would announce the arrival of strangers – better than any doorbell ever could. I will forever remember that millet is the equivalent to birdy cocaine. And I will remember the mutual love and understanding that our pet companions teach us and forever hold that dear.

RIP Stephen <3