Monday, March 9, 2015
Aran is our March 8, 2015 Pup of the Week
As I am greeting new arrivals at the Bridge I expect a few of their friends to arrive but when Aran crossed the River of Life there were dozens of pups waiting. Aran, who I last wrote about when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, had beaten the odds. The brain tumor did not grow. Aran thrived for several months. So many months that I stopped expecting her arrival.
Aran even found love. She became engaged to Wylie, who, like Aran, who was saved from the wild streets of Philadelphia, was a rescue dog. When she was planning her wedding she began to slow down, began to lose her balance, and seemed confused. She lost sight in one eye. Both Aran and her Mom knew the worst was occurring. The tumor was growing.
Wylie and Aran were quickly married and went on a lovely honeymoon in the Bahamas. Wylie had a wheelchair and he pushed Aran wherever she wished. For a week she was a Princess, the type that a girl off the streets of Philly could only dream about. There’s was a love for the ages, and like all such love, so deep, so sweet, it ended much too early.
Soon after Aran’s wedding her Mom made the most difficult decision and helped her cross the River of Life to the Bridge. She was worried that Aran would be alone but there was no need. There were so many dogs waiting that I had my minions put up tents so the angels could gather under them when the tears of sorrow caused by Aran’s passing went over us. I barely got the swearing in done when Aran was gathered up by Tommy Tunes, Molly and Daisy, Barnum, Hershey, Tupper and Max, Savonna, Izzy and Misha, Kitty Kimber, Cassie and many more. While I wanted to catch up with my old friend I knew she was in excellent paws. She was going to learn everything I could teach her and more.
Over the next few days I would see Aran swimming with Willie, playing with Smartie and Fella, and flying with Ladybug. I was hoping to see her but I knew she was happy.
Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in my favorite chair reading a book when there was a soft paw knock on my door. I opened it to find Aran. I gave her a hug and asked her to come in. I offered her some food but she assured me Tommy was keeping her well fed. I asked her if I could help her and she said she had one question: “When will it stop hurting?”
Oh boy. This was the most difficult question of all. “I’m sorry Aran but it never stops hurting. That is why we are given everything we could ever want here. It keeps us busy and helps us forget how sad we are. And someday your Mom will come here, and you will be happy, but there will be somebody she will miss, and that you will make sad because you feel for your Mom. Then that person will arrive here, and your Mom will be happy, but that person will miss someone, and you will all be sad for her.”
Aran thought about this for a while. “I thought this was supposed to be a happy place.”
“There is another place,” I said. “It is a place where no one is sad, because they aren’t missing anyone. But the reason they aren’t sad is that they have never loved anyone. They are alone. They never opened their hearts to anyone. So they have no one to be sad about. So you see sadness is God’s gift, it’s a reminder that you love and are loved.”
“So it’s good to be sad?” she asked.
“Sometimes,” I said smiling. “Being sad is the residue of being loved, and it connects you to that love. You can’t function being sad all the time. You can’t keep your sadness buried away either. When you aren’t with someone you love you feel sad to keep the love alive.”
Aran got off the chair, came over to me and gave me a kiss. “Do you feel sad?” she asked.
“Yes I do,” I said, “because I was loved. And so does my Mom and yours. So when you feel sad, or your Mom feels sad, remember, it’s just love.”
Aran heard a whistle. Her angel friends were here. I told her to go with them. “But is it all right I won’t be sad?” she said.
“It will be fine,” I said. “The sadness will find you.”
I then walked to my door to watch Aran flying with the angels like souls on both side of the River trying to keep the sadness of missing love at bay for a while longer.