She was the perfect dog. Timmy nuzzled her face periodically as he played with his toy cars on the warm wooden floor of the living room. Penny looked up at Timmy with brown, adoring eyes. It was a friendship made in heaven. Surrounding them the smell of freshly baked cookies gently glided through the house.
After a while, Timmy headed into the kitchen and Penny padded along with him close to his side. As the little boy sat down at the table, the dog plopped at his feet. Timmy’s mom came over with a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk. It was a perfect day … or it would have been if his dad were there.
But Timmy’s dad would not be coming home.
“Mom are you going to heaven too?”
“Eventually Timmy … yes.”
Angeline sat down carefully across from her son. As Penny sniffed her hand, Angeline reached down and stroked her black and white shiny coat. Penny lifted brown eyes to her face and appeared to be expectantly waiting for an answer.
“I believe she is Timmy.”
“How do you get there mom?”
Timmy’s long gangly body stretched across the bed and tears streamed freely down his face. He heard his mom’s gentle knock on the door and sat up quickly swiping his cheeks.
Angeline entered and noticed the disheveled appearance of her son’s bedroom. She sat down on the bed next to him and placed her hand over his. She drew a deep breath in and slowly exhaled.
“She was a perfect dog Timmy.”
“She was such a blessing to our lives.”
“Yeah mom. I know.”
Angeline sat silently.
An hour later found the mother and teenage son still sitting together, not heeding the tears that cascaded. A box of tissues sat between them and pictures of Timmy and Penny were scattered across the bed.
“She loved to run with me.”
“She sure did.”
“Do you think she was tired mom?”
“Probably. She had lived a good long life.”
“Now she is in heaven?”
“Now she is in heaven.”
“So I’ll see her again?”
“You will see her again.”
Tim stood at the graveside with glazed eyes. The crowd had left. The service had been nice … as nice as a funeral service can be. The wind whipped through the surrounding trees and Tim could feel the chill seep through his clothes and down into his skin. His chest felt heavy and his head ached.
Slowly Tim turned away from the graveside and started toward his car. Someone was there waiting for him… Yashmea. Although Yashmea frequently dressed in a splendid robe of glistening white, Tim saw that today he had on a flannel plaid shirt with jeans and was holding something in His hands.
Yashmea set the warm cookies on the car hood and opened His arms wide. In a moment the friends were embracing and Tim’s tears spilled on the flannel shirt. Hours later found the two of them sitting on the couch at Tim’s apartment with a plate containing cookie crumbs between them and two empty water bottles on the coffee table.
“She was tired toward the end.”
Yashmea’s dancing brown eyes looked directly into Tim’s.
“She’s not tired anymore Tim.”
Tim smiled. For a time he was lost in his thoughts … about his mom … heaven …Yashmea. When he looked around Tim didn’t see Yashmea and for a moment the sadness enveloped him again.
Then a strong hand grasped his shoulder and Tim heard the words that would see him through the rest of his life:
“Let not your heart be troubled. I will never leave you or forsake you.”
Tim laid his head on the couch and slept.
From The Yashmea Trilogy:
In our book “Breathe” check out a similar scene of comfort as Malachi walks in the woods after his devastating loss … even before he becomes friends with Yashmea.
“Breathe” chapter 8 – pages 67-71