The Bridge Talk

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.


Interesting Two Weeks

Hello family and friends, I hope you are all doing well.  I know it’s been a couple weeks since I last posted to my blog so let me catch up on what’s been happening with me, my mom, and my treatments.

I had my third IV chemo treatment on Tuesday, March 21st.  Along with the chemo that was scheduled I also had some chest x-rays and an ultrasound of my abdomen.  Oh yeah, the regular blood work that goes with these treatments as well.  As you can imagine it was a pretty full day.

Mom and I left the house about 9:00 AM.  I had mixed feelings about this trip.  I sort of knew where I was going, so while I was happy to be riding in the truck with mom, I was not really excited about where I was going.  We listened to more of Springsteen’s audio book, Born To Run, and I find his voice soothing, as does mom, so the trip was relatively uneventful.

We arrived in plenty of time for my 11:00 ultrasound appointment.  That’s when the fun started.  For some reason, I ended up going in the back right about 11:00 to get ready, or so I thought, for my ultrasound.  Well, when I got back there, the techs drew my blood so they could start those tests, but I didn’t go right to my ultrasound.  I ended up waiting, and waiting, and waiting.  I began to worry about mom, sitting out in the waiting room, probably wondering what was happening with me.  I tried to tell someone that they should go out front to talk to mom and let her know what was happening, but I couldn’t get anyone’s attention.

Apparently, there were a few emergencies at the vet’s office, next door, which was where I was supposed to get my ultrasound.  That’s what was causing the backup.  In the meantime, they took my chest x-rays.  So, my blood work and my chest x-rays were done and we were just waiting on the ultrasound.  Finally, it was my turn.  Remember earlier when I said that I wasn’t too thrilled about this appointment today?  For an ultrasound, they have to roll me on my back in this V-shaped table thing, shave my tummy, and then do the test.  Well, I was having none of it and tried to squirm my way off the table.  No matter how hard they tried I would not lie still.  I was starting to get really scared, I wanted to see my mom, I wanted her back there with me.

They took me off the table and went out to talk to mom, finally!  When they came back I got a shot that made me a little sleepy and very relaxed.  While I was dozing, they must have put me up on that table again because before I knew it I was waking up inside one of the large kennels.  I had to stay in there for quite some time.  I actually lost track of time, it seemed like forever and all I could think about was mom sitting out front, by herself, worrying about me.  Again, I tried to tell somebody to go check on my mom, but I was still so tired I could barely speak.

It took some time, but eventually I was hooked up to my IV chemo treatment.  That seemed to go OK and within about an hour I was bounding out front to meet mom again so we could go home.  I was really, really happy to see her, and she was happy to see me.  She took me outside so I could pee, then gave me some water.  We bring our own water when we take these trips.  I don’t like ‘city water’ and mom said she doesn’t want me drinking it either.

We settled in for our ride home.  While we were driving home mom filled me in on what had happened and the results of all those tests I had to have done today.

First, she said we had been in the oncologist’s office for six hours.  SIX HOURS!  That’s crazy.  She mentioned that someone finally came out to let her know about the emergencies that had happened and why it was taking so long.  She also let me know that my x-rays were clear, which is good.  We certainly don’t want to see any problems in my chest and around my heart.  That was great news.

She also let me know that my ultrasound came back good as well.  The oncologist advised there was no new growth of tumors, no change in anything that was already there.  I guess the chemo is doing its job.  I hope it continues to work and that I’ll have lots more time to spend with mom and dad.

One of the reasons things seemed to take so long was my reluctance to lie still on my own.  When I said I got a shot and then got a little sleepy it was because they had to sedate me in order to do the ultrasound.  They had to tell mom first because she had to sign additional paperwork.  When I was removed from the table the first time, to get the shot, I sort of lost my place in line.  Well, that extended our wait time even further.  By the time I started my IV chemo, after all these tests, it was already almost 4:00 PM.  Keep in mind we left the house at 9:00 AM, arrived a little before 11:00 AM, and I spent most of the day in the back while mom waited out front.  Actually, she said she drove to Whole Foods to get something to eat, but wasn’t gone for more than an hour because she didn’t want to be away in case something happened.

We made it home by 7:00 PM – that was a l-o-n-g day!

After treatment, I was OK for Wednesday and Thursday, but by Friday I didn’t feel well.  I didn’t want to eat much at all.  Mom kept trying different things but most of the stuff she made for me just didn’t smell, or taste, good.  I didn’t really eat much on Saturday either.  Mom had to force some pills down my throat, which I didn’t care for, but I knew it was important.  She said she was sorry each time.  I understood.

By Sunday, she tried something new.  Mom made me scrambled eggs.  You know, they tasted really good so I ate what she cooked.  She was excited I was finally eating and made me another egg.  Then that afternoon she grilled me a hamburger.  Not just any hamburger, but the grass-fed ground beef burgers she buys for herself.  She’s kind of a ‘health-nut’ and tries to eat healthy food, so it was quite special that she made me one of her burgers.  It tasted really good so I ate the whole thing.  It took a few days before I started eating the chicken breast that she cooks for me, but I’ve started back on that as well.

Well, if you couldn’t figure it out yet, my diet has changed a bit.  For breakfast, mom makes me two scrambled eggs mixed with some brown rice and some shredded chicken breast.  For lunch I have more brown rice, more chicken, and a little of my dry U/D dog food.  For dinner mom grills me either a beef burger or a turkey burger and then mixes it with a little brown rice and some of my dry dog food.  I take my meds and supplements wrapped in small pieces of cheese, typically mozzarella or Havarti.  Do you think I’m a little spoiled?  Or maybe mom just loves me a lot.  I’m not sure, but I am enjoying my food again.

After this last treatment, I had some of the same side-effects, but they were not as severe and did not last as long.  It seems like I’ll have more good days between treatments this time around.  That’s good and I know mom is happy about it too.  I have my 4th treatment on April 11 and my 5th treatment on May 2nd.  I hope things go as well as they did this time.

Just a Little Off

Hello everyone, Bear here.  It’s been a while since I last posted to my blog.  You see, I’ve had a rough week.

Well, I had my second IV chemo treatment and the dose was reduced by 20% due to the really bad reaction I had after the first treatment.  Everything went well, at least at first.  Mom and I headed to Scottsdale on Tuesday, February 28th.  I really enjoy riding in the truck with mom.  She talks to me on the trip and opens the back window for me if we’re not travelling too fast.  On this trip, she popped in a CD of Bruce Springsteen’s audio book, “Born to Run” and we listened to it on the way to the oncologist.  I like when he sings and for his book he did the audio recording, so it was an extra treat to have him ‘talk’ to us during the trip.

The tech in the office was really happy that mom kept a journal of my experiences and asked to copy the applicable pages for my medical file.  This made it a lot easier than mom trying to relay all the information.  They took me in the back and took some blood to test to see if things were OK for me to receive my IV treatment.  Apparently, everything came back just fine and I was hooked up to an IV.

Since I had such a drastic reaction to the first treatment, the oncologist told mom that I would need a blood test seven days after this treatment.  At least I just have to go to Kachina Animal Hospital for that test and not take that long drive to Scottsdale.  We drove home to Bruce Springsteen’s voice again.  I had a great ride home.

I started to get a little picky about what I would and would not eat.  I was still eating my canned u/d with pumpkin, but preferred a delicacy called Trufood mixed with my dry food.  Well, this worked for a few days.  By the second day I started to get an upset stomach.  Mom gave me my anti-nausea meds and things seemed to quiet down a bit.  I was still eating my regular food but was getting a bit tired.

I take some pill medication as well and mom typically wraps those pills in a tasty Pill Pocket and I swallow it whole!  Love those Pill Pockets, or at least I did.  For some reason, things just didn’t taste or smell that good to me and I didn’t want to take my meds.  Mom tried peanut butter, which was OK, but I just licked the PB and spit out the pill.  Unfortunately, mom had to force me to take my meds.  I know she doesn’t like to do it, and I couldn’t really explain why I was feeling bad and didn’t want to take them.  I was getting really tired by the third day after my treatment.

I sort of bounced back a little by day five, but still was not feeling well.  I was still eating some of my dry food with canned chicken, but really only wanted the Trufood.

On day seven I went in for my blood draw.  My temperature was normal, which is good considering it spiked quite high after the last treatment, but I still was not feeling good.  I went downhill from there.  I didn’t want to eat, even the Trufood wasn’t tasting too good to me.  I wasn’t drinking much water either, which concerned mom quite a bit.  I just didn’t know how to tell her I wasn’t feeling well.  She stayed by my side trying to get me to eat and drink.  She even tried spoon feeding me.  I appreciated her trying so I would take a couple bites, but I just wasn’t interested.

Mom went to the store on Friday and bought some huge chicken breasts.  She put them in her crockpot with some chicken broth and let them cook for a few hours.  In the meantime, she made some rice and some plain pasta.  (My mom’s Italian, so there is ALWAYS pasta in the house.)  Well, the rice tasted good, and so did the pasta.  Then the chicken was finished and mom shredded it into a container and gave me some.  That tasted pretty good too.  I think I ate too much.  I sort of got a little upset, but didn’t throw up.  This was a rough day for me, and mom.  She was really, really worried about me.  I don’t think she slept well at all that night.  I was exhausted and spent the entire night in the bedroom instead of roaming the house for different places to sleep.  I know mom was up at least four times that night because she came over to check on me.  She would pet me and talk to me for a few minutes, but I was so tired I barely lifted my head.

I felt a little better this morning, but mom was still worried.  She drove into town to drop off the track & field equipment for Special Olympics practice and let them know she had to hurry home to take care of me.  My mom coaches Special Olympics, not sure you knew that.  She told me she was coming right back so I waited for her.  She was only gone for a little while but to me it seemed like, forever!

I have now eaten quite a bit of fresh cooked chicken today, it’s really all I want.  I’m starting to feel a little better but I’m still tired.  Mom has started wrapping my meds in sliced turkey or sliced roast beef.  She thinks she’s fooling me, but I know there are pills in there.  I’m just glad the turkey or roast beef tastes good so I can just swallow it whole.

I’m hoping I feel even better tomorrow.  Mom said she was going to stay with me as much as possible and that makes me feel better.  I always feel better when mom is nearby.  I hope she knows I’m trying to get better.  She has a special power called love that makes everything feel better.  I feel it in her hands and see it in her eyes, even through her tears. 

“A Dog’s Purpose”

My mom went to the movies with a friend today.  I stayed at home with dad.  She came home after a few hours, sat down and told me all about the movie she had just seen.  It was titled, “A Dog’s Purpose”.

Now I know what a dog’s purpose is, but I guess some people don’t.  Maybe they don’t have dogs in their lives to help them learn about our purpose.  That’s kind of sad, because we have a lot to teach.  Sometimes it’s tough to get it out and be understood by people.  I think that may be because they are not truly open to communicating with us.  After all there are some people who will say, “Oh, it’s just a dog.”  I don’t go around saying, “Oh, it’s just a person.”  I try to talk to everyone.  I like talking to people and I like when they talk to me.

Anyway, mom said the movie was about Bailey, a dog who had a young boy (Ethan) as a best friend.  Ethan and Bailey did just about everything together.  One thing they really liked to do was play together and Ethan taught Bailey a special trick with an old deflated football.  Well, Ethan grew up and Bailey got a little older.  After Ethan went away to college Bailey was feeling really sad, and old.  One day, Ethan’s mom, and his grandparents, realized that Bailey wasn’t doing very well and took him to the Vet.  Grandpa called Ethan who came home to be with Bailey as he crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Mom started crying when she was telling me that part.  But then she talked about Bailey, and how he seemed to come back again, as a puppy.  He was different, but still knew who he was.  He also remembered Ethan and wondered how he was ever going to find him again.  Well, Bailey went through a few more lives.  Each time he found someone who really needed him and he helped them through some pretty tough times.

I told mom, that’s what we do.  Dogs love helping people through tough times because we know how much fun they can be when they are happy again.  It’s like when mom is sad.  This happens now when I’m not feeling well, mostly after my treatments.  Mom sits with me, pets me, brushes me, and tells me that she loves me.  It’s these times when I feel her sadness, and all I want to do is to make her feel happy again.  I look at her and ‘tell’ her that I love her very much and that she needn’t worry so much about me, that I’ll be just fine.  I ‘tell’ her that we’ll get through these tough times, together.

Well, back to the movie – SPOLIER ALERT – if you haven’t seen it, and you plan on seeing it in the future, you may want to stop reading about now.  I’m going to talk about the ending.

Bailey ends up, once again coming back and, unfortunately left to roam the streets by a not-too-nice person.  He ends up in the same area where he and Ethan spent their summers, Ethan’s grandparents farm.  Bailey recognizes some familiar smells and, of course, follows his nose.

He finds Ethan, who is much older, but does not recognize Bailey.  It’s OK because Ethan keeps this new dog (which is really Bailey) in his home.  Finally, there is an opportunity for Bailey to show this much older Ethan that special trick he learned as a pup, when Ethan was a young boy.  It finally clicks with Ethan, that standing in front of him is his Bailey, or as we find out very early in the film, his Bailey, Bailey, Bailey, Bailey, Bailey – or his Boss Dog.  It was a really happy ending, after Bailey traveled those many years, and many miles, to find Ethan again.

I hope it was a true story because I’d like to be able do the same and travel wherever I have to, and as long as I have to, so I can find my mom again.  I know that would make her happy.  It would certainly make me happy.

A little information about my home

I’ve been thinking lately, about my life and the things I’ve done and seen over the years.  I wish I could have met my mom and dad sooner so we could have had more time together.  They adopted me when I was about 7 ½ years old, I’m 11 ½ now.  I was in foster care in an Aussie Rescue group in Payson, AZ, for almost six months.  At the time, Taz and Joey were still living with mom and dad, but Taz was getting old and not feeling too well.  Mom and Dad were concerned about Joey and how he would feel when Taz crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  They wanted someone to help him during that time, so they went looking and found me.

It was actually a friend, Heidi, who told mom about Aussie and Friends Rescue, and even found me on their website.  Heidi told mom about me and that she should check out the site and look for my bio.  Mom did and I guess my photo hooked her big time.  Lucky for me as I didn’t know how much longer I was going to have to stay in foster care.  As an older dog that could have been a long time.

Well, my foster parents brought me down to mom and dad’s house for a visit to see how I would get along with Taz, Joey, Dante, Othello, and Maya.  We hit it off right away.  I liked Taz and Joey and they liked me.  While I was visiting, Joey and I settled down in the kitchen, next to each other as if we had been friends forever.  The cats, well they looked at me from a distance, but I really wasn’t too interested in them.

My foster parents spent a few hours with mom; dad was away for the weekend so I didn’t meet him until later.  After a while everyone decided that I was a good fit and mom made a donation to the Rescue and my foster parents left.  I was a little scared when they left, you see they had taken care of me for six months and were all I knew.  This was a new place, with new friends.  I sat near the front door for a few hours after they left, wondering if they were coming back.

Mom tried to tell me that it would be OK, and that this was my new home; but it was Joey who really helped me to not be afraid.  He sat next to me near the front door and told me all the neat things I was going to experience.  He talked about the great food, playing outside on the property, rides in the truck, and about the cats and how they were fun too.  He told me about all the love I would have while I was living here.  He said that was the best part. 

After a few days, I started to settle in to my new home.  Joey was right about everything, but especially about the love.  That’s a photo of me and Joey shortly after I settled in my new home.  He always took the time to talk to me and make me feel welcome.  I miss him.

Eventually Taz crossed the Rainbow Bridge and Joey was a little sad, but we had each other.  It was actually Dante, my new cat brother, who appeared to be devastated by Taz’s passing.  You see, Taz would clean Dante’s ears and all around his head.  Dante apparently enjoyed this tremendously and would seek out Taz for a daily cleaning, sometimes several times each day.  After a few months, I stepped in and started to clean Dante’s ears, and most of his head. 

Joey crossed the Rainbow Bridge about eight months after Taz and I was very sad.  For a few days, I hung my head low and there was sadness in my eyes.  Mom tried to cheer me up with lots of love, as always, and started taking me with her on short trips and errands around town.  We started spending more time together and I started to enjoy life again.  We’ve visited the dog park and I get to go camping now.  I still miss Taz and Joey but I understand why they had to leave.  I know one day I’ll have to leave as well.

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, my cat brother Othello crossed the Rainbow Bridge in April of 2016.  So now it’s just me, Dante, and Maya.  We’re all doing just fine and still enjoying all the love in our household.  Dante comes to me for ear cleaning several times a day.  I like doing that for him.  I hope he will have someone after I’m gone who will step in and clean his ears.  When the time is right, I’m sure mom and dad will open their hearts to another fur-baby in need.  There is so much love in this house I don’t see how they could avoid doing so.

An Interesting Few Days

Well, I’ve had a few interesting days.  While I expected I may experience a few side effects, I was not expecting what happened to me post-IV chemo on Day 8.

Actually, it started during the night.  I had to go out and poop, really bad, so I woke up dad.  He took me out about 4 AM.  I pooped a few times but still did not feel too well.

Mom got up about 6:30 AM but I was too tired to get up and follow her into the bathroom as I typically do each morning.  Once she went into the kitchen I got up and went in there with her.  I had to poop again so she took me outside.  I was feeling really tired and weak and didn’t want to walk back in too quickly.  I could barely take a couple steps and then had to stop and rest.

When I came back inside I didn’t want to eat, nor did I want to drink any water, so mom was rightfully concerned.  She cancelled her clients for the day and took me outside again when I asked to go.  I had really bad diarrhea and mom had to clean my backside when we got back inside the house.  I was really sorry and tried to tell her, but she said to not worry about it and that she would take care of everything.

She called my oncologist in Scottsdale.  Who would have thought that I’d have an oncologist?  I also have a cardiologist and a board-certified surgeon.  I have more doctors than my mom has.  Anyway, after talking with the oncologist she said I had to go to Kachina Animal Hospital.

I arrived at Kachina at about 11 AM.  They took me in the back immediately and gave me an anti-nausea shot.  They also inserted an IV port in my front left leg and started me on IV fluids.  Apparently, I had a really high temperature, 105.  Also, the results from my blood tests showed that my white blood cell count was precipitously low.  They also put some antibiotics in the IV.  My mom was not able to come in the back with me and I didn’t want to go without her.  It was tough, but once I was all set up I realized they were going to take really good care of me and I tried to settle down.

I ended up staying in the hospital all day.  Mom came to get me about 5:30 PM and I was discharged shortly after she arrived.  I was so happy to see her.  I was already feeling better now that she was there and especially when she told me we were going home.  Dr. Lynn came in to talk about all that had been done to me while I was there as well as what to watch for overnight.  I was confident my mom could handle it, she’s really attentive.  We made an appointment for the next day at 8:30 AM so they could check my temperature and see how I did overnight.  Mom took home some antibiotics for me to start taking in the morning.

When I got home I went straight for my water dish; I was really thirsty.  I ate a little bit too.  Mom got some Trufood envelopes from her best friend and that’s what I ate.  Mom said I could only have one envelope at first, to see how my stomach did since I hadn’t had anything to eat all day.  I held it down and felt pretty good so mom gave me another envelope of Trufood about an hour later.  I drank more water a few more times.  Mom stayed up with me until about 10:30 PM when we went out for our last walk. 

I knew I was low on energy because when mom went out to photograph the sunset, I decided to stay inside.  Typically, I go out on the front porch with her and then walk around out front while she photographs the sunset.  She does that as often as possible, as long as there are clouds in the west and the colors show up.  We have some beautiful sunsets out here in N. AZ.  I decided to use one of her panoramic shots for this post.  I hope you like it.

I slept through the night, only getting up twice to reposition myself.  I got up about 7 AM with mom and we went outside.  I felt a lot better and was moving OK, not too fast but at least I was now able to walk continuously.  I ate a little dry food mixed with Trufood and took my meds.  When we went back to Kachina Animal Hospital I was happy to discover that my temperature was normal.  Since I was eating and drinking Dr. Lynn said I didn’t have to stay.  YIPPEE, I got to go home with mom!

I ate a little at lunchtime and then again at dinnertime.  I’m still sleeping a lot and moving slow, but that’s because my white blood cell count is still really low.  Mom asked about that but there is nothing we can do to raise that count.  I just have to ride it out.  Mom is making sure I have plenty of good food and she’s spacing it out throughout the day.

I’ve improved over the past few days and am almost back to my regular energy level.  I’m still a little picky about what, and how much, I eat, but mom is being exceptionally patient with me as we work through this stage.  At least now we have an idea what to expect the next time, just hoping it won’t hit me as hard.  Mom will talk with my oncologist so I can have my next IV chemo dose adjusted since it appears the first one may have been too strong.  Oh well, that’s life, always an adjustment.

Mom’s absolute favorite poem is “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.  The last stanza of the poem is as follows:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

So together, mom and I will be traveling this road, the road less traveled.

Pooh Bear

I mentioned in a previous post that mom calls me her Pooh Bear.

My mom likes Winnie the Pooh.  I know she’s all grown up, and my mom, and that Winnie the Pooh is sort of a children’s character, but she said Winnie the Pooh has a lot of redeeming qualities and quite a bit of wisdom for a bear.

So, I’m going to use a few of mom’s favorite quotes from Winnie the Pooh as I talk about us.

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

Mom has a big heart, she has to because of all the fur-babies that have passed through her heart over the years.  I’m one of many who have shared a space in mom’s (and dad’s) heart.  I remember my dog brothers, Taz and Joey, they both crossed the rainbow bridge already.  I also remember my cat brother, Othello, who crossed the bridge last year in April.  Mom tells me about all the fur babies I never got to meet and talks about how much fun they were and how much she loved them.  She always reminds me that she loves me too, and that I will always be in her heart.  I like that.

“How do you spell love” asked piglet.  “You don’t spell it, you feel it.” replied Pooh.

At night when I climb on the couch and lie on mom’s lap, I feel her love for me.  I feel it in the way she slowly and gently strokes my fur, around my eyes and my ears, and down my neck.  I hear it as she whispers in my ear that she loves her Pooh Bear.  I feel it when she sits next to me on the floor and I roll up against her leg, or when we wrestle and rough-house with one of my blankets.

I hope she feels my love as well, in my quiet, rhythmic breathing, the heaviness of my head on her lap as I fall asleep, safe and comfortable.  I try to look at her with love in my eyes, and I hope she recognizes it.  I think she does because she squats down, takes my head in her hands, looks into my eyes and tells me she loves me.  I like that.

“If there is ever a tomorrow that we are not together, there is one thing you should always remember.  You are braver that you believe, stronger that you seem, and smarter than you think.  But the most important thing is: even if we’re apart, I will always be with you in the heart.”

During these moments with my mom I try my best to hold them deep in my heart.  I am doing my best to store them in my memory; I hope she is doing the same, I think she is.

Because, I know, one day we will have to part.  She will stay and I will continue on to a bridge, crossing over.  And, all I will have are these memories and like Pooh, I will keep her in my heart as I’m sure she will keep me in hers.

But for now, we are still together, and I do my best, every day, to tell her that I love her, just as she tells me every day.  I like that.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”