"Hey there little brother, I thought I would stop by and check in on you and Mom. I wrote her a letter, so on the 26th I want you to leave it on the breakfast table she can read it with her coffee." Hershey lay the letter down and as quick as he appeared he was gone. I am sure he is busy with things at the Bridge, but I felt better just knowing that he had been there. I took the letter and hid it. I am quite good at hiding things, you know.
So this morning, I got up real early. I put the letter on the side of the table so Mom would be sure and find it. Then I went to wake her up. "Mom, Mom" No response, so I pounced on her. 140 pounds of big old Lab would surely do the trick. Sure enough, she sat bolt upright in the bed and shoved me off the bed. She started talking to me while she was getting dressed. "Today is Hershey's birthday, and we have a lot to do. We have to go get 15 balloons so we can release them later today." This had been a ritual since Hershey had decided it was time to go to the Bridge and we always released the balloons in the afternoon of his birthday. I just looked at her and woofed a little in agreement.
She walked into the kitchen, put the coffee on and sat down at the table. She looked a little surprised to see the letter there, but she reached over and picked it up. She caressed it gently before she opened it, then almost immediately the tears began to flow.
This is the 2nd birthday I have spent at the Bridge. The last one I spent with you and Smoochy was in 2008, just a month before I went to the Bridge. I want you to know I wouldn't trade those happy days spent with you and him for anything.
I look in on you everyday and I sometimes I even come down and visit. Sometimes I let you know I am with you and other times I just sit back and watch you and Smoochy and your relationship. I see you walk by the few earthly remains that you didn't release on the winds in North Carolina. I see you reach up and touch the urn and I see that tear that rolls down your cheek. I hear you whisper that we will be together someday. I can wait, Mom. So please don't be in any hurry. I saw those tears you shed, bawling like a baby, when you accidentally sucked up my collar and tags in the vaccuum at the car wash. I see the care you take when you clean and how you place that old hedgehog of mine back up on the shelf beside my picture. Sometimes in the middle of the night you will feel a brush against your hand and you think it's Smoochy, but its not, its me. I still enjoy a little bit of cuddle time when I can.
Fifteen years ago today, I was born for the sole purpose of being with you and Dad. You were so good to me and when Dad left us to go to Heaven, I was there for you. We spent many hours talking and laughing and missing Dad.
It was so hard to leave you that beautiful summer morning, but I knew I had to go, and thankfully so did you. You held my head in your hands, tears flowing unabashedly, and you helped me cross from this life to these rolling green fields at the Bridge. I couldn't have had a happier life or a more wonderful Mom.
I also want to tell you it's okay. It's okay to love that black dog as much as you did me. I know you had some reservations after setting me free. But I see how much Smoochy has wormed his silly little way into your heart. It's okay. Honestly! I know no matter how much you love Smoochy, that I still have this place in your heart. A place that belongs to only me.
I'll be watching at the Bridge for my balloons. Thats the signal that it is time for the party to start.
I Love You Mom
Hershey with Paco and His Tiger