They met mid-way across the Bridge enveloping one another in loving hugs.
“Koda,” Josie said softly. “What are you doing here? We agreed you would stay with Mama and help her cope with my passing.”
“I'm so sorry Josie,” Koda said as tears fell down his fur. “I think we were together so long our hearts began to beat as one. When you left my heart was like a band without a drummer unable to find it's rhythm. It began beating too fast. Mommy knew something was wrong and left me at the vet when suddenly my last heartbeat shocked my body, and I arrived here.”
Koda and Josie embraced again and then together they finished Koda's final journey. I was waiting for them having received a message that Koda was due. I hoped it was a mistake but when I saw them my hopes were dashed. Too many of our friends (Chase and Gucci, Jasper and Sophie Rae) from the same pack have passed within days of one another. It is as unimaginable now as it was when it first happened.
I swore Koda in, as I had done Josie. The same tears, maybe more, fell from the heavens. Scooby made Koda's wings green and orange to remind him of autumn at the barn. Hundreds of their friends gathered around the new angels trying to get the grieving duo to smile just once and hopefully bits of happiness would follow.
I knew my friends were in the best possible paws. I slowly walked away from the group. My sadness, as is often the case, gave way to burning anger at the all knowing, all seeing, deity known as the Big Guy.
I hiked up to the peak of the highest mountain, my tiny paws clenched with rage. I didn't know what I wanted to say. When I reached his front door, I decided to leave an expression of my disappointment by peeing my name in the snow.
When I got to the “Y”, the door opened. “Foley why are you peeing on my walkway?” the Big Guy asked.
“First, you summon my friend Josie here just before Christmas and if that wasn't bad enough her brother was called days later. Their mom was grieving Josie, and then you took Koda. It was cruel. She deserved better from you.”
The Big Guy stroked his beard. ‘You are right, Foley She did deserve better, so did those who lost their spouses or their babies this week or any week for that matter. But I can't stop time because someone is already suffering or it's the holidays. It is time that eventually brings everyone here. Now I never promised anyone an easy life. Bad times need to come to clear way for more good times. Humans are my greatest invention. No matter how much I knock them down, they keep getting back up. They are so resilient.
I didn't hear the rest. I was busy taking a dump on his back step because some days make you want to take a poop at the Lord's door. Thankfully he's forgiving.
Josie said they didn't want to establish roots in Doggyspace because they needed to be with their mom all the time. I informed them that trips to the mortal side were exhausting. For every minute there they would need a minute of rest here.
Koda smiled. “So we can only spend half the day with our mom?” he asked. I told him that was true. “Then we can each spend half a day with Mom and the other half sleeping?” Technically he was right, but they wouldn't be able to enjoy any Angel activities.
“We wouldn't be able to enjoy them anyway,” Josie said. “Not with Mama in pain.” They divided visiting times so their mama would never be alone. At least one of them would always be an unknown sound, a glimmer in the corner of her eye, something unexplainable that dashes across the barnyard at night.
I hope Mama Barbara can be comforted by knowing one of her angels will always be with her and that she is graced by the perseverance and resiliency the Big Guy promised.