Happiness came in a ball of a rabbit.

We called her Sunshine, Sunny for short. She was naive, very timid, and not very smart at times. Yet her innocence didn't seem to trouble her at all. When there's food, she's happy. I think of how she was so attuned to the sounds of the kitchen, that when she hears the turn of the kitchen doorknob, a rustling of plastic, or even the opening of the fridge door, she hops to attention hoping we have something for her to munch on. Saturday, the other rabbit, can be chasing her round the pen, or gruff at her when she's jealous, but Sunny can still go and sit next to Saty immediately after, sometimes even sitting nose to nose. She still wanted to follow Saty when Saty can be chasing her away. I think that she purposely did it at times just to tease Saty.

But she respected Saty's authority as the 'top rabbit'. The older she got, the more she understood and was willing to wait for Saty to get the first pats and food before she comes. But Sunny will come. There's a hierarchy but she expects the same treatment. And the funny thing is, as weak as she was, Sunny always was so bouncy and excited. She remained simple-hearted. She was truly a ball of sunshine.

She came into our lives in July 2008, when I was still healing. She became my comfort. Instead of thinking only about my pain, I could direct my attention to her. She was a small but significant step in moving on.

I remember what a struggle it was to understand her behaviors, and to get her to trust me. She was so timid I didn't know how to reach out to her. And I spoiled her, definitely. But there were also plenty of times when I didn't feel like caring and took for granted that Lara will take care of her. Frequently did I have to remind myself that she is my rabbit. I didn't care for her as much last year, when I moved to KL. Lara took over, Mummy took over. I wish I had done more. I wish I had more time with her. But and as long as I knew she was safe and well, and causing the usual ruckus alongside Saty, I was happy.

She reminds me of myself, especially of myself the past few years. Awkward, rather aimless, timid, weak-willed, quite a loner, princess-y, fragile. But she also taught me a few things. The interesting part about her is that she was actually very sharp, attentive, and cunning even. She's the epitome of being wise as serpents but harmless as doves. Saty was the director, but she was the one devising ways to escape from the pen. She knew Saty is bossy but she allowed it. She was a hard worker and a neat freak of a sort -- she can commit the whole night to pushing one fallen mango leaf out of the pen through the fence. She had more character than just being pretty and shy.

Perhaps it's rather absurd to be writing this much in describing one tiny little rabbit. But these are observations from 2 1/2 years. These are all the things I've wanted to say to describe Sunny, but never did.

We got home from KL on a Sunday afternoon, excited to be back after 2 months. But soon after we arrived home, we learned the news. Three days before, the grass-cutter came to mow the lawn before we got back and he left the small gate open for no more than 5 minutes. That pest of a brown dog that's been roaming the taman for months came in and got my adorable ball of fluff. It was just one bite, but it was enough.

At first Lara and I were numb, we kept saying it's okay, things like this happen, especially when it comes to pets. But slowly our emotions gave way and the tears came. When I wasn't in tears, there was a dull heaviness in my chest.

The way Sunny went, the abruptness of it, points to the thought that she was on loan. I think of how that month - January - was the end of my third year after the break-up, and how God said it'd take me 3 years to be restored from complete brokenness. Then, at the end of the 3 years, Sunny is no more. That's why I cry even more, you know, because I see the bigger picture in this. And it's such a conflict inside, knowing that the past has truly ended, of which I'm grateful for, and yet it ended with another loss. I can't help asking, "Why? Couldn't she be allowed to live? It didn't have to be this way. Did I take her for granted?" But these thoughts, these questions can never bring her back.

Sunny is precious to me because we grew together. We grew bolder, we opened our hearts more, we loved more, we settled in, became content with who we were. And she taught me to live simply. She also taught me about obedience and submissiveness, especially when we trimmed her fur and she never moved an inch. How there's so much patience in a bunny amazes me.

It's been a month and it still hurts sometimes, yet I thank God. Thank God that I even had 2 1/2 years with her. I learned a lot from her, from her strengths and weaknesses. I learned about caring for another and being committed in that caring. It wasn't perfect, I'm sorry for when I took her for granted, I wish I'd more time with her, but I'm grateful for what I do have. And I trust God to continue walking with me this year and onwards, through pain and joy, rain or sun.

Sunny. Sunshine. Goodbye. I love you and will always remember you.