There are single seconds of my life that are forever imprinted on my heart. The moment my children were born. The instant I realized I had fallen in love with Boo. The last time I kissed my son goodnight before he died. The morning when I saw my new son for the very first time.

There are other moments of course, that have played a pivotal moment in my life. Some I have written about, memorialized, but most others I have just held close to my heart, savouring their memory for my eternity, grateful to understand it is these slivers of time that shape who I am and the person I will become.

Most of these moments, life shapers and game changers or whatever you want to call them, have occurred without fanfare or recording. The only evidence they've occurred tend to be the smile or grimace that marks one's face as they remember those shards of life. It is rare that one actually has a camera in hand to mark that exact moment in time where something in your life shifts.

Abbott and Jumby

I had a camera in my hand on Sunday moment as well as a freshly bathed boy and a fairly new puppy on my bed.

The two of them had been refusing to meet beyond the obligatory sniff from either one. They regarded each other with wariness; both scared of the other's sudden movements.

My heart was heavy from all the hope I had hoped and all the disappointment I had absorbed. Life was just never going to be easy for my son, my Jumby, no matter how hard I hoped otherwise, no matter how many puppies I offered him.

It was enough to just break me and for an instant, it did. So I just let it all go. I let go of the hope and the unspoken disappointments of life.  I just watched. And I breathed.

And suddenly it shifted.

Jumby found his dog. A dog found his boy.

They've been together ever since. Jumby rubbing his clenched fists against Abbott's fur, jerking his limbs against Abbott in an effort to get closer to the dog, with Abbott gently licking Jumby, stretching out to grant the boy more access.

It was a quiet moment in my life. A blurry one, really, from all the tears that kept leaking out the corner of my eyes. But it was a moment that resonated loudly in my heart.

There are very few moments of normal that my son is afforded. His normal is strange to most people. But here, with the love of a dog, my son gets to experience something so many people take for granted.



It's so simple and so pure my heart cracks from the joy of it all. There is so much I will never be able to give my son. So much he will never be able to experience.

But as I watch the two of them together, folded into one another, silently taking in the other's company, I know the love of a dog is not going to be one of those things. Not thanks to Abbott.

I got to witness a rare moment of normalcy for my son.

It's a moment I'm never going to ever forget. It's imprinted on my heart, forever.

A boy and his dog.