Nothing Gold Can Stay | Working Mother

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Ellenore is a happily married, working mother of three kids ranging in age from college to grade school. Being a member of the working mom club for the last eighteen years produced many stories. They range from the profound to the ridiculous. Entering middle life led to the desire to make a bigger difference and raise children to the same. She also blogs at, and tweets at @ellenorea.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Learning about Love and Loss from a Family Pet

My daughter and her best friend Bella

Watching the world unfold together

My daughter and our precious Bella were always together.

Ellenore Angelidis

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

Pets are an amazing source of support and life lessons. How they join our family and when they, sadly, transition out.

Our beautiful little papillion, Bella, passed without warning at four and half years old. As I struggled to make sense of this loss, I thought through how she modeled what true love looks like through how she lived. The Robert Frost poem above came into my head as emotions swirled in my head looking to cling on to something to avoid getting sucked into a spiral of grief. As I re-read it, Bella's greatest qualities came rushing in and I realized how much she taught us as a family.

Bella literally bounced into our lives as a tiny two pound ball of fur. She stole every single person’s heart that first day. She was the complete embodiment of everything good in this world.

  • She loved unconditionally everyone who she identified as hers. Each expression of adoration was as unique as the person it was directed toward. We all thought she slept with us because she would bed hop during the night looking after her beloveds.

  • She embraced life with abandon. Nothing was half way with her, whether jumping two feet in the air in welcome or the hopes of a treat, or racing around crazily at top speed with amazing turning ability to burn off steam or to entice someone to play with her.

  • She knew home is wherever her family was. She traveled the world with us including two assignments in Luxembourg and France and countless hotels in the EU and the US. If we were with her, she was home.

  • She was liquid joy which was contagious. It was hard not to smile around her and be uplifted. She was always happy to see one of hers return whether from a two week trip or a walk around the block.

  • She fully understood we were better together. She was most content and settled when we were all in the same place just relaxing as a family. She had a way of making those times extra special with her presence.

  • She wanted to be our protector which was humorous given her diminutive size and her general fear of anything bigger than herself. She would keep look out all day for unexpected visitors at the front door or the back yard. It was both funny and touching.

  • She sensed when someone was sick or down. She would give that person more of her precious time and attention. She would stick to them like glue until she was sure that person was back to normal and her vigilance no longer needed.

So it seems so unbelievably unfair that on the day when Bella suddenly and inexplicably breathed her last breath, I could not sink my tear soaked face into her sweet, soft fur as I had done on countless occasions over the years. I needed her comfort in facing the huge hole left by her untimely passing and inconceivably she was gone.

Bella was solid gold. I wish it were not so but nothing gold can stay. But her lessons and love live on in our hearts.


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