The man I chose.  My best friend and partner.  Him.

He has faults, he has bad days, he can also be moody and indifferent.  But when you move beyond all that, it’s easy to see goodness.  He’s a man who lives with grace, humility and integrity every day, even on the toughest of days.

Last night I recounted that toughest day to a family member.  The details of which  had remained unspoken.
The tragedy I spoke of, was the day we lost our dogs, one year ago.

Early morning was when we made the fateful decision to put down the older dog who was suffering from cancer.  It was devastating.  The loss was profound and we believed life would never be the same.  It took hours to select the perfect burial spot and dig his grave. Stopping periodically, we wept and recalled his wonderful life.  We had never dug a grave before so we did the best we could.  Wrapped in his blanket and left with his favorite toy, we covered him in fresh dirt and left him all alone.

Afterward, we reunited with our other dog, his three-year old son.  The rest of the day passed in a fog, as sadness settled in.  We loved on the only pup we had, we let him play in the lake and even gave him a bath, before taking him home for the evening.  I was outside with him when it happened.  It was dusk and becoming harder to see, when the car hit him.

The sound was undeniable, the squeal of tires followed by a thud. It happened in an instant, it took a second longer for reality to sink in.  When it did I began to scream and both of us ran down to the street.

But this is about him, and his grace, which is amazingly rare.  As our pup lay dying the man who hit our dog got out of his car.  He was apologetic and visibly shaken.  But the rarest man offered grace, comfort and peace by repeatedly ensuring the driver he was not to blame.  The driver had no clue that our entire day had already been so heavy.  The driver had no clue that the dog was our best friend and accompanied us everywhere.  The driver had no clue how desperately we needed this dog to live.  But still, he was given grace.

Him.  A man so rare, that even on the darkest day his heart is pure, his integrity is true and his soul is kind.  He could have shown devastation or anger, but he chose to show love to the complete stranger who just hit our only remaining pet.

Our pup died 15 minutes later as we laid on the side of the road, loving him.  Then we wrapped up our precious friend and buried him with his father.  Two graves dug in one tragic day.

In the days, weeks and months that followed never once has he blamed.  The forgiveness he gave that night was genuine.  It came from his heart.  I’m not sure there are many people when faced with such im-mobilizing grief, would do the same for a stranger.

Reliving that day still brings sadness and pain, but it also reminds me how lucky I am to have found a partner who continually shows the perfect example of goodness and love.  Him.  I look with respect and awe.  He is a man to be cherished.  There’s no one I’d rather walk through life with.

Him.