A Daily Ray of Hope: Holding on and letting go at the same time


Editor’s Note:  When I began publishing InsideVero.com in late January, it was my custom each morning to offer as a “daily ray of hope” an inspirational quote for the day.

Along with each quote, I shared an image of a landscape, seascape, sunrise, or of some wildlife.  One morning, I even offered a picture of our Doberman, Panzer, hanging his big nose over the foot of our bed.  The accompanying quote spoke to the value of appreciating different perspectives.

Having let my attention be drawn almost completely to the daily news and the surface-level drama of local politics, I find that I have drifted away from making time each morning to draw inspiration for the day.

Yesterday, at the tender age of three, Panzer passed away, with Cheri and I at his side, holding his paw and kissing his forehead.  It was a sacred moment.

This morning, I am reminded that all moments are fleeting and can be sacred, if only we pay attention and remain grateful. Panzer’s passing leaves a hole in our hearts that can only be filled with gratitude and healed with love.

As I write this morning, I am looking at a wall hanging that reads, “In the end what matters most:  How well did you live?  How well did you love?  How well did you learn to let go?”

— Mark Schumann

“…nothing wonderful lasted forever. Joy was as fleeting as a shooting star that crossed the evening sky, ready to blink out at any moment.”

– Nicholas Sparks, Safe Haven

“Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realize that nothing really belongs to them.”

– Paulo Coelho

Panzer and Cheri Schumann
Panzer and Cheri Schumann
Addie at Panzer's grave
Addie at Panzer’s grave


  1. Some people have pets and say they are just an animal, other people know that our pets are an extension of our being, a part of our family and a part of our heart. Their existence, their presence brings joy to our day. I hope you both find peace and comfort in your rememberance of Panzer.

  2. So very sorry for the loss of Panzer. Thank you for the reminders and relevant quotes on life. I needed that.

  3. Our relationships with animals can enrich our lives beyond measure. The head/paw bed shot is terrific.The losses our friends leave when they go slowly fill in with the special majesty and nobility they graced our lives with, and that very same stuff becomes a part of who we are. That’s it-their last gift to us-a lasting one. It’s why I am so terrific Mark( haha-trying to cheer the Schumann’s here!) I have lost many animal friends and carry their spirit. : ) I have received many gifts by honoring all of them-the horses, dogs, cats,assorted wildlife-in my life. My children know how to do this too and I have watched them all grow in this mutual love-not everyone has an opportunity to realize how powerful these connections are or even that they exist.

  4. So sorry for you loss.

    Your words of inspiraction were always thought provoking. However, sometimes the words that we need to hear the most don’t come from the great philosophers.. My mother who had a life filled with sorrow often told me that “as you go through life, your heart will break often. It is God’s way of reminding you that you have a heart and with each new crack your heart expands to love yet again.”

  5. Losing man’s best friend is an apt description for the death of a pet. My heart is extended to you and your family.

  6. sorry, to hear about the loss. I still think of Sasha, my German Sheppard, who has been gone since June 1st, 2005.

  7. Mark, Cheri, I am sad. Sad for you all and sad for me. I met Panzer a couple of times and saw Panzer was a Nice Dog. Happy Times, Happy Thoughts. People, Pets. We have Happy times with them and then we have to let them go. But the HAPPY will never leave. Connie and I had a little girl dog for 19 years and she was my little girl. Connie called her my second Wife. The way she would watch me and look at me. I called her my “Little Bitch” and she was that many times. I have a picture of Her on our wall and I see that picture about once a day. I always smile because I think of “The Happy” . God is with You All at this sad time and also with Panzer, and Panzer back with Him. GOD/DOG Peace to You All, Remember “The Happy” . Kevin and Connie

  8. So beautifully written. Also very inspiring, as I think of Our only dog now, it’s so hard to even deal with the thought of losing Her. But knowing that we ALL love them so much, and how MUCH that adds to both Our life and Theirs can bring some peace to My mind. Wishing You and Cheri peace and love with each passing day. What wonderful parents Panzer had.

  9. So touching. Animals can bring us some of the purest love there is and enrich our lives immeasurably. Thank you for sharing. Learning to let go is one of life’s most challenging lessons but can bring great peace.

  10. We know your hearts are broken and our hearts break with yours…..

    Enjoy your memories as you heal…..

    God Bless you and Cheri

    Ken and Deb

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