We had some time today, to relax, to nap, and to just be with each other. Mom took some time to lie down next to me on one of my many beds and tell me a story. She said it was a story she had been meaning to tell me for a while now, but she just didn’t have the words. Today, she said she found the words.
She talked about a bridge, somewhere in our future, that we would come upon. When we got to this bridge, she said she was going to have to stay on one side and I would have to go on without her, across the bridge. Now, I don’t like going anywhere without mom and I told her that I would rather stay with her or that she could walk across with me. But, she said this was a special bridge, one that she would not yet be able to cross. Mom said I had to be brave and take the journey without her on that day. There would come a day, in her distant future, when she would cross the same bridge, but it was inevitable that I would have to cross first, without her.
She talked about how Taz and Joey, and even Othello, would be on the other side waiting to greet me. You see, they had to cross the bridge before me, also without mom, and when they did, they met some of the others who had crossed before them. Apparently, there were quite a few before me who lived with mom and dad and had already crossed this special bridge. I remembered Taz, Joey, and Othello, but didn’t know about the others.
Anyway, she said that Taz and Joey and Othello would show me around and introduce me to everyone else. There would be soft grass on which I could run and play and I could take naps and eat whatever I wanted. She mentioned that I wouldn’t have any pain in my knees or hips, and I’d be able to run like the wind. She also said I would no longer have cancer. It would always be great weather, no rain or wind, but if I wanted to play in the snow all I had to do was think about it and like magic there would be some snow for me. I thought that would be pretty neat.
I got a little worried and asked her what I was going to do without her and how would she know I was doing OK? She said that sometimes, those who have already crossed this bridge, get to come back and visit. She was sure that Taz and Joey and Othello had visited a few times, but she could not really see them. She said she felt them, in her heart, and that when it was my turn to visit her, she would feel me in her heart. She would know that I was nearby and she would smile, sometimes through tears, remembering the good times we had and the love we shared, the love we would always share because we had exchanged pieces of our hearts.
That was a little comforting, knowing that I would still be able to see mom, even if she couldn’t see me. I just wanted to be sure that she wouldn’t forget me because I know I’d never forget her.
If the thing about exchanging pieces of our hearts is true, and mom has done this with all those who have lived with her, then I guess mom’s heart is pretty big by now. Not only that, but there must be pieces of her heart in lots of fur babies on the other side of this bridge. She told me about Rusty, the first Bear, and Wendy who all lived with her when she first moved to AZ. She talked about Ashley, Papillion, and Rubin who traveled across the country when she and dad drove to their new home. Then there was Marshall and Mick and Sandy and Annie and Hershey and Angel, all fur babies who have lived in the house and in mom’s heart. That’s a lot of pieces of heart to hold on to, but mom seems to have managed it pretty well.
We snuggled for a little while after she finished her story. She mentioned that she hoped we would not get to this bridge anytime soon and that we’d have lots more time together. I told her I would do my best to stay with her, and dad, for a long time. I want to make lots more memories with mom and share more of my heart with her so that when the time comes for me to be brave and cross that bridge, a large piece of my heart will stay with her. I know I’ll be taking a piece of her heart with me when the time comes, but for now I think we’ll just stick close to each other.