Filling the Void

Jet black fur glistens in the ultra-bright sunlight, tiny brownish-black eyes squinting nearly shut as he strives to find a sliver of shade. The bulging eyeballs typical for pugs are restrained behind his miniature eyelids. Daintily panting with a hot, wet breath, his outstretched tongue is a soft pink licking machine. His downy double-coat making him a pug with a cuteness complex. We are in love. Sitting in the car, hind legs balancing his tiny frame on Jason’s lap, he is as eager as we are to get on with life.

The past four years as brought us much loss: three babies, two beloved dogs. Each time, we suffered. Each time was taxing, fighting to maintain what life was left in each living being of which the universe put us in charge. Each failure dug a hole deeper, wider, more permanent than ever. Each time we cried. Each time we said “never again.”

We did it again. Meet Rocky.


His endless love, constant snuggles, whimsical desire to play, happy-go-lucky innocent presence bring a smile that only a little one can. We do not have any of our children; we never may have any. We could become those crazy dog people (assuming we are not already) who dotes on our fur baby with every ounce of what we crave to bestow upon our own offspring. There are no losers. We recovered a little love that has eluded us every day since we lost our last pup; Rocky has procured a home that knows no bounds on love.

We exchange suffering for a more profound meaning of what loving someone, or something, means. We learn to never take a moment for granted. We grasp onto every “normal” day we get, with no doctors, no illness, no medications, no worries, no imminent loss. We find the joy in healthy life, and plead for it to not end the way we have come to expect.

With hasty, wet, balmy, stinky dog kisses on the cheek, black fur darts across the floor. Tiny legs jump in impossible bounds, bunny-hopping across the thick carpet. We laugh. Instigated, Rocky grabs his snowman toy, dragging it backwards under the coffee table, spinning circle after circle, the white blur of fake snowballs swing in a dizzying loop. Tears fill the outer corners of our eyes. We are not grieving. We are not wistful. For once, it is merriment coaxing them along.

Published by lkgaddis

I have been working on this memoir-style project for a while now, and I'm excited to share it with others. My hope is to get as wide an audience as possible, and to receive comments, suggestions, and ideas to improve and expand what I have. I also want to encourage others to become curious about the topic of babies, and the loss that can come with the adventures of trying to start a family. In the world of celebrating healthy babies, we who know otherwise need a voice too.

3 thoughts on “Filling the Void

  1. Reblogged this on Sophia's Story and commented:

    This post originally published two years ago today. Reflecting on that day, so much has changed in our lives, yet so much is the same. We no longer have to wonder if we will ever have living children. Evelyn brought that chapter of our lives to a close. Yet the addition of our happy 14-month-old does not erase our history. It does not erase our previous losses, nor does it dismiss the lifelong grief such loss brings. Rocky continues to bring joy to our household, yet as Evelyn’s birth did not fully negate our pregnancy losses, Rocky’s homecoming does not erase the devastating ways we lost our previous beloved dogs. Still, as Rocky and Evelyn have forged a best-friend calibre relationship, her ridiculous giggles at his antics fill our home with sounds of joy. It is this that eases the frequency of the painful memories.

    This post reminded me of the ebb of flow of life: The highs and lows, the peaks and valleys, the happiness and grief. It reminded me to take a moment to reflect on my gratefulness that our track, which begun it’s rise when Rocky joined our family, has continued on this course. While we cannot be guaranteed a smooth ride forever, I will enjoy the peace that bestows us now.


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