Dear Oliver

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You came to me on my birthday. Ears expressive, rump round and disposition sweet, you went on to make me happy for three more birthdays. When I was happy, you celebrated with a dance. When I was sad, you were ready with a hug. You were always there for me and you always loved me.

You came into my life because of your daddy. In some ways, you’re an extension of him: eyes always on the silver lining, always ready for hugs and kisses, flexible and accepting and accommodating.

You loved me in your own way, all the time, no matter what. You always listened and you never judged. You didn’t always have something to say—you mostly spoke through your actions—but in your eyes, I was great and you loved me in spite of all I did.

I seldom understood the meaning of your actions. It is a regret I will take to my grave. 

I’m sorry, baby elly. I’m sorry I didn’t always understand the way you loved me and I’m sorry I let you down. Mommy loves you, wherever you are now.

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