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Homer died.  He was 14 years old, and it was just time to go.  So he acted tired for a couple of days and then just laid down and closed his eyes one last time.
Homer had a good life, having belonged to the Wood family for as long as he could remember.  He was there long before the two boys came into the world.  They grew up with him, with each one of their life experiences somehow linked to him.  Homer was there jumping around when Michael threw his first ball into Dad’s baseball mitt, and he licked Jacob’s face like crazy every time this little one fell while learning to walk…   His big fat wet nose was always right there in the middle of the action, no matter what the action was—snowman building, cookie baking, swimming, running, climbing trees, reading books at night…
But Homer died, and the house is strangely quiet.
Every one cried.  And cried some more.  Michael, the oldest, wore his heart on his sleeve, dealing with his pain loudly and openly.  Jacob responded differently, holding most of his emotions in check, just showing bits of anger here and there.  “Why did you take him away?” he asked.  How can you really understand death at 3 years old?  Or at 52 for that matter…
“Where are your tears?” three year-old Jacob demanded angrily of his mother a few days later.
What are you really asking, Jacob?  Are you afraid that life going on means that Homer is forgotten?   We could never forget him, but life must go on, Jacob.  Day after day.  And smiles must return.  And giggles must fill our house again.  Yet tears must come first.  So let me ask you, Jacob, where are your tears, little one?  It is time to let them out.  Then you might not feel the need to demand them of others, because your own heart will begin to heal.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
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