Lenore of Happiness

Lenore on Mandy's couch
Lenore would come with me to Mandy’s when I got a massage, she hopped on the couch like it was there just for her.

By now, you all know that Lenore died last night. Did she have any idea how many lives she touched?  I’m only becoming aware of it by looking at Jon’s facebook page.  I know what she did for me and  now I see that her love had such a far reach.  I think how wonderful it is that Jon was able to capture her essence in his writing and pictures and share her with the world.  How wonderful for all of us.

And I’m sad, so sad too.  We had a special connection me and Lenore.  The way we walked through the woods together, both of us finding the wild parts inside of ourselves. Aware of each other always, as if connected by an invisible thread, but each in our own world too.  Each taking from the woods what they had to offer us.  I will miss my companion of the woods.

And I have to admit, I thought someday, when Frieda finally left us, Leonore would become my studio dog.  So she would not only walk with me in the woods and  ride with me in my car,  but she would accompany me to my studio too.  It just seemed like it would be the natural progression of things.  But when does life and death conform to our sense of order.

I think when we’re authentic and  true to ourselves our spirit, our essence precedes us.  Animals can’t be anything but true.  And the joy that emanated from Lenore, was Lenore, is Lenore.  When we sat on the floor of the animal hospital last night, Jon holding Lenore, his head resting in my lap, her tail was thumping as they put the needle in her leg.  And when her heart stopped beating I felt her spirit, it lingered over her body for just a few seconds, and I looked at the space it occupied and smiled.  I actually smiled.  Because I was feeling what was there and it was pure happiness.  The space itself seemed to shimmer, like heat in the air above a fire,  with tiny, soft twinklings  of pinks and greens.  I can still feel it now and the joy of it makes me cry.

I’ve never seen Jon so moved by the death of one of our animals.  He cried for Lenore like I’ve never seen him cry. He even accused me of being happy to see him cry.  But I told him I was happy that he could cry, not that he was crying.  The depth of feeling was so powerful, it made me see their connection in a new light. Lenore always brought out the silliness in Jon, in the way he would sing to her and the songs he would make up about her.  Be she also came into his life at a time when he was at a divide.  He could have shut down his emotions or opened them up.  He always said Lenore kept his heart open, brought out the love inside of him.

Yesterday I thanked Lenore for keeping that love alive so when I came along Jon was open to loving me.  I remember when Jon first got Lenore.  We were just friends then, both married to different people, he brought her into my studio at Old Bedlam Farm.  She ran around my floor chasing scraps of fabric and we called her name again and again so she would get to know it. Lenore was there from even before the beginning of me and Jon.  Or who knows, maybe that was the beginning.

Because of Jon’s writing, Lenore will live on.  But she’s gone from our lives in a very real way.  So I miss her and I cry and I smile.  And I’m grateful for what she did for me and Jon and everyone else out there who loves her.


28 thoughts on “Lenore of Happiness

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience of loving and losing Lenore. The tears flow freely from me as I read what you and Jon have shared. Part of it is remembering my own animals that I have loved and lost; another part is having the connection with these spirits that you both so graciously have shared. She will be missed.

  2. So sad. So many losses in such a short time. What a gift Lenore was to Jon, to you, to all of us that he shared her with. You write so beautifully of her and your feelings about her. Your feelings are so heartfelt. I’m can only imagine how much you will miss your little walking companion in the woods. I believe her spirit will be there with you and it will bring a smile to your face. Your right life and death don’t conform to our sense of order.
    I can just picture her as a puppy running around your studio.
    Lenore was a beauty with a youthful, loving spirit. Jon captured it in all of his photos. I’m so glad I have the children’s books that he wrote so that I can curl up in a corner and see her from time to time.
    Thank you and Jon for sharing her with us. I’m sorry for your loss.

  3. So beautifully written. Lenore will be sorely missed by so many. I have followed Jon’s blog since the beginning and remember well when that little black fur ball came into his life. How fortunate we are to have been given the chance to share in Lenore’s many life adventures. As always, thanks for sharing. Althea

  4. Oh Maria,
    Like thousands of others I am so sorry that you have lost such a beloved companion and so soon after Simon and I am crying too…..but what a beautiful tribute you have written to her; really a picture of her could always melt my heart and make me smile; my thoughts are with you and

  5. (Tears) reading this, such a poignant way of saying how important Lenore’s imprint is on the world, and on your world. What a gifted animal spirit she is….and of course, now lives on only in spirit. This was beautiful, Maria.

  6. I thank you and Jon for sharing this with us. I love your description of her spirit. Smiles and tears go together sometimes and help us through. I will always picture Lenore with her crown, as the Royal Baby of Bedlam Farm. And I smile.

  7. Maria and Jon, Thank you for sharing Lenore and your love of Lenore with us. The Love Dog lives on and I will smile a special smile each time I read Lenore Finds A Friend to my grandchildren or to myself.

    Take good care.


  8. Your Beautiful words convey so well what you are feeling about Lenore. Very touching for this lover of labs and all manner of furry things. I too felt the sweet spirt of my departed companions and found it so comforting. May you and Jon feel the love surrounding you, from Simon and Lenore and the community of souls who share in you lives at Bedlam Farm.

  9. “But I told him I was happy that he could cry, not that he was crying.” Wow. There’s a ton of insight and wisdom packed into those few words. I’m sorry Lenore had to leave you and Jon so soon, and especially so soon after Simon. (And I woulnd’t be surprised if a horse finds its way to your farm next). Whatever evolves, I wish you both peace.

  10. Dear Maria,
    I hope you can feel the shimmering heart strings from all of us out here in cyberspace, being sent out to offer love and comfort and support for you and Jon during this sad time. I hope they weave themselves together into a comfort quilt of light and love for you guys. Loosing both Lenore and Simon is a lot in one week. What characters Lenore and Simon were/are and that Jon and you brought them to life for us with words and photos is a gift we are all grateful for. Blessings and love. Sheri

  11. I had not been on either of your websites for a while…a self-imposed hiatus with all things computer. When I did go on Jon’s earlier this week I was floored and heartbroken at the news about Simon. Then, a few days later I saw the distraught photo of Lenore, looking for all the work like she was saying, “what is happening to me?” I kept checking for updates and was included in the group that crashed Jon’s site last night, no doubt. All I can say, Maria, is that you have my complete and total empathy, sympathy and love. I find myself unable to think about this week you have suffered through in complete sentences.

  12. Maria, I had been contacted by two friends when I opened up Jon’s blog and was in tears reading about Lenore. Two beloved family pets who died within a few days of each other. I won’t take up space now to say how saddened I am for you both. Next week, your focus on flying south will help erase some of the pain of these losses but coming back home to a house minus one very sweet girl and a braying donkey will become your reality again. I don’t think we ever ‘get over’ these losses but they remain in our minds and hearts forever.
    Sandy P in Canada

  13. Maria
    my heart goes out to you and Jon
    this was a beautiful post
    I am so very sorry for the loss of Lenore and Simon
    I am so very sorry


  14. What a lovely, lovely creature Lenore was!! Everything about her was wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing her with all of us.

  15. Dear Maria,
    I wrote earlier but it did not seem to go thru. I was so so sad to read about Lenore.
    So much sadness with Simon and now Lenore in only a week. Lenore brought a smile and melted my heart everytime Jon posted a picture. I have Lenore as one of my screen saver pics….she turned me to mush and if i was feeling blue i would flick to a picture of her. Your beautiful heartfelt tribute to her was so lovely said all the things I feel when I have lost a beloved animal companion. My constant thoughts and healing wishes are with you and jon this night.

  16. I have such admiration, and you both give me such happiness and strength, the way you and Jon share your lives and thoughts with so many of us. It is a very brave and hard thing to do–I know because I and my husband are very private persons. He had a knee transplant, 4 weeks ago now, and follows the Farrier’s progress with deep interest–just as my son-in-law takes strength from Jon’s rehab. visits and his description of them (SIL had quadruple bypass surgery 1 1/2 years ago)

    I wish you could see my husband lying on the floor, doing leg exercises, with a tight little row of our three cats sitting upright and leaning over him with deep interest.

    Take care of yourselves, you are beautiful people.

  17. Just had time to read your recent blog posts and they’re fabulous -I love your penis art and your wise words about Simon and Lenore and life. I love your spirit – thanks for sharing with us. I wish you and Jon all the very best on your trip – we’ll all be thinking of you. I also love the swan you got Jon and your calling him a closet Italian. Thanks for bringing such joy to the world.

  18. Dear Maria, Your words are so moving..in so many ways I relate to the way you think and process.The photos too, both the ones that Jon took of you and you of him with Simon and Lenore told a wordless and powerful story.I want you to know that your Simon wall hanging was beautiful..I kept going back and looked at it..at another financial time I would have snatched it up.It as does much of your art touches a place in me.as does John’s writing.I was so very grateful and blessed that I came to the “saving Simon” open house.You may not remember but at your art show at Hubbard Hall I told you both that I always wanted to see Rose herd and meet the animals and didn’t before Rose died.I regretted it mostly because in my life I was so very much about being responsible and things like vacations etc were for others not me..that I went to that first show was very big for me so as I reflect on things I am as I say blessed to have met and seen in person Simon and his hearty bray and Lenore oh Lenore..and Red and Jon herding.I felt so connected to the whole spirit of the weekend. I was happy too to have met Izzy at a few readings in Massachusetts.Such a “peaceful kingdom” that speaks to so many..I wish you and Jon your healing time in the warm sun of Florida..Be well..Louise from Massachusetts

  19. Maria, a beautiful and eloquent tribute to dear Lenore. I especially love your description of her shimmering spirit being released. May the Florida sun be healing and have a wonderful time. Thank you for your generosity of spirit as well with sharing your own deep feelings and for allowing us to know and love the Hound of Love all these years.

  20. Maria, I just read about Lenore, as I have been on vacation and missed the news. I understand your and Jon’s deep connections with your animals. So your description of Lenore’s death is no surprise and beautifully written. Lenore oozed love. She was the best free spirit I have ever heard of. She didn’t have to work for anything or work at spreading her love all around. She is physically gone, but the love remains. She showed us all how easy and happy our worlds can be. Her passing brought me a moment of sadness, but quickly moved to a smile, remembering Jon’s descriptions of her antics and precious moments over the years. She lived a fabulous life and seemingly thanked you both for taking care of her and her pain at the end by thumping her tail purely from the joy of being with you. I hope you both feel better each day and get stronger as your colds/flu leave you. I wonder if it is possible that you both are experiencing a manifestation of your grief for the losses of Simon and Lenore. I feel rest and time will help you regain your strength and stamina. You have been knocked to your knees and apparently need to live through it. Bless you both. Lenore seemed to be everyone’s dog and we share your sadness; we also share the joy of peeking into her life. Good dog, Lenore. Kisses and treats wherever you are. And something disgusting to find on the trail. We love you too.

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