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  • Writer's pictureAdrienne Tuling


...and a debt accepted with gratitude.

Being a stepmom to our three kids has enriched my world in countless ways. Music happens to be one of them. All three are talented; over time, we’ve had the pleasure of piano, violin, bass, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, cello, flute, and guitar filling our home with the most beautiful music. But the house is more quiet with two away at university. Our eldest has been performing with her university choir, though, and we’ve been fortunate to attend both performances. Each time I’ve been introduced to profoundly beautiful pieces. My newest earworm is “O Love” written by George Matheson and composed by Elaine Hagenberg. I don’t think I have heard a more beautiful song, both in lyrics and composition. Have a listen here and tell me what you think: O LOVE

“I give thee back the life I owe”

People who know me know that in life and business, I have pets on my brain pretty much all the time. They wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the verse that begins “I give thee back the life I owe” had me thinking about my beloved Lucy (Lucy was and will forever be my heart dog).

These words were comforting because they helped me understand that Lucy was never mine to keep. Lucy was mortal, and by virtue of this fact, her body and time on this earth were temporary. It's incredible these were literally spent with me.

I had not wished Lucy into being, or “made” her but somehow Lucy became family. I loved her and held her in my safekeeping until her body could no longer keep up with her beautiful soul. Then I gave her back; the life I loved, reveled in, mourn, and now accept as the most beautiful gift.

“I give thee back the life I owe,
that in thy ocean depths its flow,
may richer, fuller be.”

George Matheson

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