Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bridge

   We are joining Purr Prints of the Heart for Rainbow Remembrance Day. It is a wonderful way to honor the memory of those pets who have left their paw prints on our heart. This special day was founded in 2015 by Deborah Barnes of Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles as a tribute to her Ragdoll cast, Mr. Jazz.
   I originally shared this story several years ago but the feeling that I experienced is still as fresh as if it happened yesterday. The following is a true story of my visit from somewhere over the Rainbow Bridge.
   Whenever I think of the dogs and cats that have shaped my life, my first thought is always of our first puppy, Madison the German Shepherd. She left us in the spring of 1997 and no amount of time will heal that pain. It wasn’t hard to decide to honor her on Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day. As often happens when I start writing, I lost myself in her story. It started out happy and as I went through the years, it eventually came to the time she had to leave us.
   I ended up changing the original copy because it made me cry. We are talking an ugly sobbing kind of cry. As you know, I try to keep you laughing or at least, smiling when you visit Barking from the Bayou. As I was copying and pasting the revised post, the weirdest thing happened. That is when I had visitors from the Rainbow Bridge.
   Let me set the stage for you. It was around 11:00 p.m. and I was putting the finishing touches on my post. I had my coffee, my phone charging, the dogs are asleep, and the house was quiet. This is the time that I do my best work. Sure, it’d be great to tell you that I have posts written weeks in advance, but it would not be the truth. There are a few rant blogs that I have saved, but they will most likely never see the light of day.
   I’d decided to share the story of Madison and her best friend, Miss Gitty. The bond between our German Shepherd and this petite tabby was remarkable. I rescued Miss Gitty when I was eighteen and she was six weeks old.  We grew into adulthood together. She ruled the roost around our home when I got married and when the new puppy joined our family, she felt the need to teach Madison the rules. It didn’t take long before the pair became inseparable.
   They made an odd couple but the love they shared was very real. Humans could learn so much about judging others that are different from themselves by watching our pets. Anyway, the two enjoyed their lives together for fifteen years. Madison was no longer able to stand and the decision was made. It was a devastating decision as most of you know. Miss Gitty was lost without her best friend. Two weeks after Madison left us; Miss Gitty suffered a massive stroke. At least, that is what the veterinarian said. It was obvious to me that she had a broken heart. I was once again forced to make the hardest choice a pet parent ever has to make. Those were two of the darkest weeks in my life.  
   That was the story that I wrote, but as you can see it is very sad. Even after all these years, it still breaks my heart. I decided to change the story to one that was more uplifting about Madison’s life.
   *This is something that you need to know to understand the weirdness that occurred. When I began writing my book series, Miss Gitty became a central character. She is the wise mentor to not only the Guardian Angel Faith Fullilove but to all the other Returns. The second book introduces Madison into the story. In one chapter, the gang goes to New York to track down the bad guys. Miss Gitty recalls her days on the stage in the musical Cats. She sings the song ‘Memory’ and melts the hearts of The Returns.
   For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with show tunes. I had been listening to the soundtrack of Cats on my iPhone earlier on this particular day. It was about 11:30 p.m. when I was wiping my tears and erasing the sad portion of the post, that ‘Memory’ began playing on my iPhone. I almost jumped out of my chair. My husband turned around from his desk to see what happened. I had my hand over my mouth and couldn’t speak. He said, “You look like you’ve seen a ghost!” When I finally told him that my phone started playing the song without me even touching it, I completely lost it. Major big ugly crying!
   Now, I know there is probably a perfectly logical explanation for what happened. I don’t want to know about it. I felt then and I will always believe that Madison and Miss Gitty saw how their memories were making me sad. Somehow, they had a paw in sharing that special song with me at that exact moment. There is no question to me that I will someday see all my beloved pets again.
Have you ever experienced a visit from the Rainbow Bridge? 
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  1. thanks for sharing such sweet memories and your thoughts... we agree for the songs, that happens here too...

  2. We feel the presence of our lost loved ones quite often. Some may not believe, but we know they are with us. Sweet memories you have from a whole different time in life.

  3. What sweet and wonderful memories. We never quite get over the loss of our precious furkids.

  4. Furbulous. Thank you for sharing.
    ��nose nudges��

  5. Now I'm the one who needs a tissue! I felt I really got to know both Miss Gitty and Madison through your wonderful Returns books, so this is hitting home for me. I definitely think your sweet furangels sent you that song to let you know they're somehow still with you. The pain of losing our heart pets never leaves us, but the memories and the life we shared with them is so worth it. *Hugs*
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  6. What an amazing story!!! That song truly reaches into the depths of one's souls - it is one of Mom's favorites. We haven't known you long enough to know your Angels, but we thoroughly enjoyed reading about Miss Gitty and Madison. They truly are forever in our hearts.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  7. We enjoed this amazing story. We remember all of the furry creatures who touched our hearts and were gone too soon.

  8. What a truly heartwarming story of your first loves Madison and Miss Gitty and their love of each other. Simply beautiful...thank you for sharing it with us.
    Yes indeed my husband and I both had separate visits from the Rainbow Bridge from Milky-Way...the most gentle laid back mancat. He went from perfectly healthy to terribly sick in 10 days, no warning. I had two visits from him before he flew off completely the the RB. I was home alone..heard a faint noise looked into the foyer. I see a shadow of a cat tail flying high with his signature prance. When in the litter box we said he dug to China before doing his thing.
    Another time I'm home alone the house is quiet and I hear that digging and then the meticulous covering up. Toto the might mini Dachshund came back as Madi...our adorable diva cat. Yep their personalities are 100% alike.
    Hugs Cecilia

  9. We know our angels are with us and around us, and they leave signs for those who can see them. Wonderful memories. Purrs

  10. A very happy, sad story. Such friendship in life and sadness they are gone.

  11. What a beautiful story. I do believe they come back and watch over us. I regularly find several ginger furs on the bed. Yes it could be picked up from a cupboard or similar, but when I bought new bedding and the next morning there were two small patches of them exactly where Eric and Flynn used to sleep on the bed. I feel them with me all of the time.

  12. I think they are always here with us and once in a while they let us know
    Hazel & Mabel

  13. We agree with the Idaho Pugs...we know they are with us all the time. Every now and then I look out the corner of my eye and swear I see Dory...

    I can totally relate to the ugly crying...did the same thing while putting together my post for today...

  14. What a special story! Thanks for sharing with us. The ones that came before may be physically gone...but they live on in our hearts.

  15. What a wonderful thing to have happen. Sometimes I see my little Xena do things that make me wonder...she had no way of knowing to do them or to understand what I had just told her...did our Angel Lexi somehow prompt her?

  16. Oh yes, I have indeed experienced similar types of visits. After I lost Jazz, the inspiration for Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, I too went through deep throes of guttural pain. And then one day after crying, I felt his presence overcome my body and a strange peace washed over me. I knew at that point he would forever be in my heart and his memories could never be taken from me. That's when I finished writing his meow memoir, Purr Prints of the Heart - A Cat's Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond. Thank you so much for sharing your story today. Love and purrs from Deb, Mr. Jazz, and the Zee/Zoey gang.

  17. Thanks for sharing that story and your memories of your angels. TW feels Nicky jump in the bed many nights. She thinks it's me but turns to see an empty space. We also have photographic proof showing an orb plus the outline of a cat on the wall where I'm staring.

  18. Thank you for sharing the story of your beautiful angels. XO

  19. oh my Melissa! I soooo believe that Madison and Miss Gitty did NOT want to see you sad! I soooooo believe this!!! Now I am the one "ugly crying".........this was just beautiful, so beautiful! xoxo

  20. Such a special remembrance, Melissa. Love, hugs and purrs as you remember your beloved angels today, and always.

  21. Thanks for sharing your sweet memories. Beautiful tribute.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

  22. A special day to remember special pets. Thank you for sharing your own tribute.

  23. That story will always bring tears to my eyes and chills. But not just that; it always gives me hope that the Rainbow Bridge really exists. ♥
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  24. I have always believed and, yes, there have been times when I feel we have had a "visit" from one of our angels...

    All of our Bridge angels have a very special place in our hearts. ♥♥♥

    Thank you for sharing this.


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