I knew I was due for a rough spell. The last seven days have been comparatively easy.
It came today. My arm got caught between my bed and the wall while I was trying to get dressed. I cried in pain. I couldn't find my socks or put on my shoes or tie the laces. I screamed every step of the way.
And finally, once I was dressed and dripping with sweat from the effort, I gave voice to my real pain. "I failed Jolene as a mother." Tears fell.
I don't precisely blame myself for Jolene's death; but I have often wondered (long before she died) why God gave her me as a mother. I felt so ill-prepared to guide my very troubled girl.
I'm not getting into that today. Not really. Mom stepped in. She called my boss to let him know I'd be late. She fixed me a cup of tea and sat with me.
Then God gave me a moment of joy, through my cat.
While I lay on my bed sobbing, Talia watched me with wide blue eyes, obviously concerned. She followed me to the kitchen and kept me company while I drank sweet tea and ate a sandwich. Satisfied at last that her human was okay, she returned to play.
And the thought struck me as I watched her. Jolene now knows the answer to the question, Do animals go to heaven?
Anyone who has lost a beloved pet has asked that question. My feeling has always been that either way, we will be completely happy.
But now Jolene knows. Even now she may be hugging Andres (our 35-pound tom whom Jolene watched being born)--hugging that Talia never tolerates.
Thank God for Talia's unconditional love.