Remember when I sat down with you outside on Wednesday, and told you that Heaven would be so much more amazing than all the beauty around us here on Earth each day? You believe me now, right? I can only imagine the beauty that you see, and the love that you are surrounded with. I sure hope you are enjoying all those Heavenly shoes and purses that are there.
Well, today was my first day as a speech therapist without you, and I did it. I made it through. I cried a couple of times in my office, but I did good my friend, you taught me well. Your years of steady companionship every day after work helped build me into who I am, and have allowed me to help so many children and their families (and other professionals who help them), over the years. Wouldn’t some of them be surprised to know a cat helped them out in the end? For our service to others has a ripple effect, reaching others and others and others in a vast network of paying it forward. I had friends at work and friends and family outside work checking on me. Remember when you first came to me, and I was so withdrawn into myself, and didn’t trust too many people? But I always trusted you, and steady reliable friendship like you gave me paved the way for me to grow and to heal. And to allow people in. You would be so proud, your mommy is letting people help her, even asking for some help. I promised you I would be OK, and I have people (and furry loved ones) looking out for me to make sure I am. You know I always keep my promises, right?
Thank you for all the years. For drying all the tears. For coming up most nights to help purr me to sleep. For following me from room to room, often pushing that bathroom door wide open because I never could remember to close it all the way. For being patient with me in times when I didn’t give you the attention you deserved. For being such a steady and reliable friend, waiting for me to come home each day, then running to the food bowl to show me it was empty of course! Thank you for holding on for so long. Even at the end, you gave me everything you had. The day you wore yourself down, pulling your failing back legs behind you to get to the room I was in, I knew. I knew that we both loved each other so much we would tire ourselves out helping end your race well (and I was tired and sore, but it didn’t matter, because I love you so). I knew that no impending end could keep us from the love we shared. I know you were a bit of a toot to other people a lot of the time, but you always just loved me. And although I only got to have you for part of my life, you had me for all of yours. I hope I was worthy.
Think of every time I would leave for an overnight of any length. I always told you I would come back for you. I promise you I will. But I have some work left to do. I have some races left to help others with. It is going to be a rough race for me for awhile, with you having already finished yours. It is a good thing over the years I have trained well for the rough patches, although this is my rockiest and most unfamiliar terrain so far. And where I didn’t train, I have a loving Father God who will just picks up and fills in for me, sometimes carrying me. And yes, I would guess, sometimes dragging me kicking and screaming. But my race must continue. There is a great victory for me still to win. I am so glad I got to be with you, and hold you when you won yours, and got your crown.
I was so scared for so long of losing you. And although I could not keep you here with me, I am so thankful for our long goodbye. For getting the chance to let you know what you meant to me. To be able to give you a grand finale worthy of all your love and devotion. My friend, you know I never cared when your body began to fail, and it took work to clean up after you. I never cared that your legs became weak and I had to help you move through the house. I only loved you more. We all have broken bodies here in this world I am still in. I am not threatened or put off by broken bodies, it is the soul within the body that matters. What a blessing that you are now free of this body that let you down, as sooner or later all earthly bodies will. What joy to be able to run again, be without pain, and be whole once more. Oh, how I wish I could see you now.
“For now, we see in a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.” (1 Corinthians, 13:12).
I miss you dear friend. And as the days turn into weeks I shall just miss you more. And although you are not physically here, you are with me and will be my best friend, loved more than words can say. Always.
PS – Is Buddy still licking hair and is Bennie still eating flowers?