To Mom from Heaven
I am sorry it has taken me so long to get in touch with you. Heaven is a very different place and after I woke up over here, it took me some time to get used to the many differences. I only just found out that I now have the ability to write to you.
As soon as I woke up, I right away looked for you and was very confused because I could feel your love and closeness but could not see you or feel your touch. I strongly sensed your sadness because we were not together. I felt the same way. For many days I grieved for you as I now know you have grieved for me.
There are so many things I miss that the two of shared. I loved being against your body because I could feel your heart and mine beating together. Maybe you did not know, but I would try to synchronize our heartbeats because I wanted so much for us to be a part of each other and to never be apart. As I lost my eyesight, I imprinted your face so strongly in my mind that every time I heard you laugh, I could see it. And the feel of your smile or tears were just as clear in my mind as the feel of them upon my head. And oh, how I loved when you sang to me! I felt like the only dog in the world….and a very special one at that! I miss our naps and how we would snuggle. You always made me feel safe and secure. It did not matter that I could not see or that at times I did not feel well. I always knew you were there watching over me. I was never afraid when I was with you.
And I don’t even know where to begin when talking about our adventures. It meant so much that you trusted my abilities and didn’t treat me like I was anything less than the dog I am. You let me learn how to adjust to my world as I lost some of my abilities, and helped me to compensate using other senses. You had faith in me and offered encouragement and praise. You knew how much I loved the beach, and I can’t thank you enough for taking me there —no matter how busy you were. The sand between my toes always felt very special and the sounds of the sea and the shorebirds were some of my favorite sounds (next to your voice, of course).
And the flowers! Even though I couldn’t see them in recent years, you described them to me, and I loved the smells and the feel of the soft petals. Also, I could many times hear the bees, and sometimes even feel the brush of a butterflies wings.
When not on our adventures, I loved just being near you as you painted, wrote, or posted our day on Facebook. I could feel your gratitude and warmth with all of our followers and could feel our sadness when you were reading something someone may have posted about a sick dog or one who had passed. Some days there were a lot of sad stories and when I would sense your sadness, I wanted to tell you not to read them, but I couldn’t say that, and you couldn’t help but offer your sympathies. That is just who you are.
I want to thank you, Mom, for always making sure I was comfortable. You kept me warm and dry in cold or damp weather, and while you let me bask in the warm rays of the sun, you were always careful to make sure I did not get overheated. We don’t even have to talk about all you went through to make sure I had food my body could tolerate and that I liked (I’m sorry if sometimes I got really picky and scared you).
We both know that even though I liked Dr. Paula, I did not like going to her office to have things done. But I know you only made me go out of love and concern for me. I’m sorry if I sometimes did not cooperate and made things harder for you. Please tell Dr. Paula I am sorry, too. Without the both of you, our time together would probably have been much shorter, and that would have been an unnecessary loss. You did so many things to keep me healthy. Not only did I have a long life, during my years with you I had a very, very good life. It was so good, you might be happy to know that I pretty much forgot about the first 12 years. Only every so often would something remind me of the early days, but the fun and happiness in our time together quickly pushed the bad things out of my mind. The only thing I would sometimes wonder about was my babies. I loved them all, and have always hoped they were in good homes…in the best of worlds, in homes like I found with you.
I also miss Robert, and the rest of my brothers and sisters and even the horses. I think they were sad when I left too, and only wish there was a way to explain things to them. I have tried communicating with them too, and sometimes I think they know I am there, but don’t know what to make of it.
Well, Mom, I got a little off track and sentimental, so will get back to telling you about my time here. As I said, when I woke up, I was confused because you weren’t here and yet you were. But what surprised and confused me the most at first was that when I opened my eyes, I COULD SEE! I started to get up slowly, but then realized I had no discomfort. It was like I was a puppy again. My tumor was totally gone! I started to look around to see if I could find you and was surprised to find that I could be anywhere, see anything, and do anything, just by thinking it!!! So, of course, right away, I thought really hard about you, and there I was, standing at your side. I tried to tell you I was there, but I don’t think you could see me. I saw the very deep grief etched in your face, and I saw and heard and felt your tears. I kept trying to tell you that physically I felt wonderful. Of course, I was frustrated that you couldn’t pick me up and hold me, which I wanted more than anything! I have come to see you every single day, sometimes more than once. I think maybe sometimes you feel I am close. I came on our birthday. I felt sad because that has always been our very special day and it hurt me to see you hurting so much. I really tried to stay with you to celebrate our birthdays, but my body would not cooperate any longer.
I have watched you trying to find a way through the grief you are feeling. I see it in your words, your writings and very much in your art. I want to tell you that is a good thing. I love you so much and will always miss you, but I don’t want memories of me to bring you pain. I would like you to remember me with a smile. We made each other so happy and I know I used to make me laugh many times. You made me laugh, too, but it is just not obvious on a dog’s face. Expressing your feelings is a good way to work through grief, so I am glad you have such wonderful talents to help you. U guess when God give a body such a big, compassionate heart, he gives them coping mechanisms for the sadness they are vulnerable to.
I hope you are finding comfort in the thoughts, wishes and words of the friends we have made around the world. Until I got over here, I never understood the enormity what an enormous impact your words and art have made on people around the world. I am so proud of you Mom! You took a scrappy old dog from a puppy mill and through stories, photographs and paintings, have made the whole world a better place. I always knew you were special but you are so humble, I never knew your goodness and kindness had spread so far and wide. Even when you showed me all the wonderful gifts and cards, I had no idea. You have thousands of people who find inspiration from you! Yes, thousands of people whose hearts we touched because of your talents and compassion. I thought, “Holy cow! We’re famous!” Oops, I got a little off track again, but what I hope you will do, is allow the friends you have made to help you regain strength and lift you up from the despair you are feeling.
Please don’t worry about me. Time is different here; it isn’t linear as on earth. Tomorrow, today and yesterday are all rolled into one. It most closely can be described as magical. Know that I am safe, as happy as I can be without you and the rest of the family, and will be here waiting for you on the day of our reunion. (I might have to push my way past a few bigger dogs to get to you, but as you know, I am a warrior, and nothing will stop me from reaching you on the day we meet again!) It may seem like a long wait from your point of view, but once you are here, we will have eternity together and that is a very long time.
In closing, know that I love you, am often by your side, and am watching over you. Soulmates forever.
P.S. I love so many photos of us together, because they bring back many happy memories, but chose this one to go with this letter because I want to remind you that as surely as the sun sets, it will rise. Everything cycles – the tides, the seasons, and life. I want you to be happy and when you remember me, remember me with a smile, as that is how I remember our times. You made me the happiest dog in the world.