In my dictionary, blessed means Hallowed: holy. favored by God! I wasn’t sure what to make of this. I didn’t feel blessed. This “gift” from God as Eva called it had never seemed like a gift until Eva told me that it was. Thinking about it made my head hurt, so I pushed it to the back of my mind until I could digest it.
If you are wondering what happened to Jose, well he led a very happy, spoiled life with Eva. He got the best food, the best treats, and was adored by his new Mami, two sisters and Aunty Patt. We all took turns walking him outside and he wore the latest fashions dictated by Chicago’s seasons. A coat, hat and boots for snow walking. A wardrobe of sweaters, hats, raincoat and rain boots for the other seasons. He was styling before it was stylish to dress your chihuahua. He even had a tiny sombrero. He was a happy boy. Jose was 10 when Eva brought him home. He lived 3 more happy years. The bad food, abuse and neglect he suffered before Eva rescued him had taken a toll on him. He got sick and his sides puffed out and he had trouble urinating.To the vet he went.
Veterinarian put him through a lot of test that he groused about, I would tell him hush, it was for his own good. Jose’s kidney’s were failing. This was the 60’s and not a lot could be done. He was sent home with pain medication. I already spent a lot of time there, and my mother didn’t understand why I wanted to be there because of an ailing chihuahua. My mother didn’t love animals as much as I did. She just thought I wanted to get away from home. She was partly right. Jose’s family and me, when I could be there, watched over Jose 24 hours, he was never alone.
I was there on a Saturday and Eva started screaming from the bedroom. We all ran in there to see what was wrong. Jose was breathing funny. He was trying to talk, he was trying to say he loved us all. He gasped for breath and passed away. Eva was screaming and Lupe was trying to calm her. I was watching Jose and I saw his spirit rise out of his body and disappear. He was smiling! I was astonished! I couldn’t believe I had seen that! I told Eva about him smiling! she just kept screaming. I thought I’d better go home and try to figure this out and give Eva some room.
That night I dreamed about Jose and he was running around playing with lots of dogs, cats, birds, and other animals in a huge grassy field with no end. There were colorful flowers everywhere, I could even smell the air and it smelled clean and fresh. Above and all around was the brightest light I had ever seen. Jose stopped playing and looked at me and said “please tell Mami that I love her so much, and I didn’t want to leave her, but this is where I am supposed to be now” ” God told me I belong here with him, I am home” Then he said, “mami is right, your gifts are God given.”
When I woke up I was crying, but I was happy to know that Jose was safe and happy. I told Lupe at school to tell Eva what Jose said. Lupe and I were growing up, starting high school and growing apart. Lupe was extremely bright. back in the age of I.Q test in schools, Lupe tested at genius, and I tested at average. I considered that really good.
Lupe went on to high school to take all the classes for kids who were super smart. In her Sophomore year she transfered to a school for kids like her. Imagine, a whole school full of geniuses! Wow! I couldn’t even imagine! I was so happy for her, but it ended our friendship. I’ve always regretted that, but we didn’t have anything to talk about anymore, and I missed her.
I really missed Lupe, but high school was new and scary. I was in a different world and I never fit, in grade school so why would I fit in high school? I didn’t actually. I never really fit in anywhere, except of course, with animals. One evening Lupe called me on the phone, and I was so excited that she wanted to talk to me again. she said that Eva asked her to call and give me an invitation to come over to their house on the week-end. Hmmm! wonder why.
When I arrived at Lupe’s apartment, Eva was the only one there. I was disappointed, I had hoped to speak to Lupe. Eva didn’t look well. She was red eyed and disheveled. Lupe had told her about my dream. She begged me to try to get in touch with Jose to set her mind at ease that he was alright and happy. I was willing but told her that I didn’t know how. I had never talked to a deceased animal before, only live ones. This was no dream.
Eva said she trusted that God had given me this gift for a reason. I was really flattered that she believed in me that much. I said, well what should we do. Eva said let’s try holding hands and thinking about Jose. Eva had a really cute picture of him in his sombrero, so we clasped hands and looked at the picture and thought about the happy times we had with him. I closed my eyes and there he was just like in my dream. he was laughing and running around and playing. I wasn’t sure what do so I called his name and he stopped and with a big smile he said “there you are, is Mami there too” I was astonished and said yes, she wants to be sure you are ok. Eva said, “do you see him?” “How dose he look?” I said said can’t you see him Eva? He’s right there! Eva seemed sad, But she said No, That is your gift, not mine. I talked to Jose and told Eva what he said, every detail of how handsome, healthy, and happy he was. When I was finished Eva and I were both in tears, but Eva was happy that she knew how well he was doing. She said she thought she could finally grieve.
I was 14. I am 62 now, and if you are wondering how I could remember all this in such detail after all these years, it was my first experience with these “gifts” as Eva called them. Like most teen girls I kept a diary and a dream diary. I wondered often if these “gift” were really that or maybe something not good for me.
Coming next: gifts or what?