One of the sad things about having pets is that they don't always live as long as we would like them to live. This is especially true of small pets. Over the years we have had several sets of gerbils. Most lived a regular gerbil lifespan (2-3 years), but Hope's last gerbil, Inka III, lived around 4 years! After it died, we got 4 new gerbils, one for each girl.
We'd had the gerbils for only 2 or 3 months when Hope realized that her new gerbil, Inka IV, was sick. We hand fed it and loved on it and prayed for it, but it didn't make it. Hope was so sad! I was sad, too. I so wanted to spare her from this pain. But I couldn't.
After Joy found out she told Hope that Hope could share her gerbil and could even call it Inka. Then Hope gave Joy the sweetest hug! I try to teach and model compassion to my girls, but sometimes I wonder if they are getting it. That night I saw that, at least some times, they do. It touched me to see these two girls, who are the ones who are at odds the most out of all the girls, share such a sweet moment of love and compassion.
Hope is doing well now. And I think that Joy's compassion played a part in soothing her pain. I pray that as my girls grow and experience other pain and difficulties that they will be there for each other and comfort one another with compassion and love.