Nine candles were lit.
The middle candle (Shamash) is used to light the other eight candles, each representing the eight days of Hanukkah – to remember the miracle of when the Jews returned to rededicate the ancient Temple, but found they only had enough unsullied olive oil to burn their lamp for one night. But the eternal lamp kept burning for eight days to give them time to make more oil which takes eight days to produce. This was a demonstration that God’s presence still dwelt in the Holy Temple.
We like candles. They give a warm glow to the room and in our hearts. And there’s something about lighting them. It is like bringing a bit of light to the world.
This year, it is rather special to light all eight or nine Hanukkah candles on the last night of the year. And what a year it had been. As we light the first six candles, we think about the friends both hoomans and pooches that we said goodbye to this year …
Early in the year, we said goodbye to one of the poos from our Hyde Park meets. We had known that Tiger had been ill for a while and we knew she was going to leave us. Even then, it didn’t feel any less sad when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge in February. We remember her and her family still comes to our meets sometimes. We hope their sad hearts will eventually be filled with beautiful memories of Tiger.
And our heart also goes out to a poo friend, Jake who lost his daddy in October. We wrote about Jake back in May when Mummy and Impostor met him and his family (Amazing Jake). Though he has never ever seen his daddy, because Jake is blind, there was no doubt that he knew our friend Dick was always there for him. Jake, we send you and your Mummy a big hug. I am sure your daddy is still worrying about you.
And for our friend, Rivka, we light the fourth candle. We met her just once when she visited London. She had been ill for a long time and while she was in the hospital, there on her bedside table was a photo of me and George. We miss you Rivka and we hope David will someday have another dog – so his heart can love again.
Mummy lights the fifth candle for her friend Ellen, whom we were hoping to have met when she was in London in March. But she thought we were busy and we thought she was busy with her family – so Mummy didn’t reach out and she didn’t want to bother to us. Mummy thought she was going to see her at the class reunion in July, but Ellen never went. And then the news. Mummy didn’t know she had cancer. Ellen was always a private person – till the end. Mummy was saddened she was again reminded that being too busy to meet up with friends could be the reason you never see them again. 🙁
All these pooches and hoomans shone brightly in our lives and for those close to them. For them, the flames are symbolic.
For the next two candles, we light them for those who are lost and hope that they find their way home someday soon.
Izzy, we always, always think of you and every time there’s a candle to light, we light it in hope. We pain with your family.For those who do not know Izzy, this is her story – she’s been lost and she needs help to get home. Remember Izzy, pray, hope and never give up.
Harlow, we always think of you and wish a miracle would happen, and whoever took you will let you go home. We light a candle for you so that whoever took you might come to realise that you belong to your family – not them.
And for the last candle that we light, may this be a candle of hope. Hope for peace, hope that love can conquer all. Hope that 2017 may bring happier days.
May’s comment: Happy Hanukkah to all our friends who are lighting the menorah tonight. Let’s hope the bright flames will light our path for the coming year as well! We need it. Praying for peace.
And for all those that we lost in 2016, it will be a date in the calendar that those who love you will never forget. So even when we bid adieu and leave behind a year we would like to forget, we shall never forget you. Like you, may love always be in our hearts.