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Choosing Tears

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    The Little Orange Boy (Choosing Tears) ~ Anne Kolaczyk The little orange boy stopped. Behind him, kitties were playing, chasing each other and wrestling in the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 20, 2010
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      The Little Orange Boy (Choosing Tears)
      ~ Anne Kolaczyk

      The little orange boy stopped. Behind him, kitties were playing, chasing
      each other and wrestling in the warm sunshine. It looked like so much fun,
      but in front of him, through the clear stillness of the pond's water, he
      could see his mommy. And she was crying.

      He pawed at the water, trying to get at her, and when that didn't work, he
      jumped into the shallow water. All that got him was wet and Mommy's image
      danced away in the ripples. "Mommy!" he cried.

      "Is something wrong?" The little orange boy turned around. A lady was
      standing at the edge of the pond, her eyes sad but filled with love. The
      little orange boy sighed and walked out of the water. "There's been a
      mistake," he said. "I'm not supposed to be here." He looked back at the
      water. It was starting to still again and his mommy's image was coming back.
      "I'm just a baby. Mommy said it had to be a mistake. She said I wasn't
      supposed to come here yet."

      The kind lady sighed and sat down on the grass. The little orange boy
      climbed into her lap. It wasn't Mommy's lap, but it was almost as good. When
      she started to pet him and scratch under his chin like he liked, he started
      to purr. He hadn't wanted to, but he couldn't help it. "I'm afraid there is
      no mistake. You are supposed to be here and your mommy knows it deep down in
      her heart," the lady said.

      The little orange boy sighed and laid his head on the lady's leg. "But she's
      so sad. It hurts me to see her cry. And daddy too."

      "But they knew right from the beginning this would happen."

      "That I was sick?" That surprised the little orange boy. No one had ever
      said anything and he had listened when they thought he was sleeping. All he
      had heard them talk about was how cute he was or how fast he was or how big
      he was getting.

      "No, not that you were sick," the lady said. "But you see, they chose
      tears."

      "No, they didn't," the little orange boy argued. "Who would choose to cry?"

      The lady gently brushed the top of his head with a kiss. It made him feel
      safe and loved and warm -- but he still cried about his mommy.

      "Let me tell you a story," the lady said.

      The little orange boy looked up and saw other animals gathering around.
      Cats--Big Boy and Snowball and Shamus and Abby and little Cleo and Robin.
      Merlin and Toby and Iggy and Zachary. Sweetie and Kamatte and Obie. Dogs
      too--Sally and Baby and Morgan and Rocky and Belle. Even a
      lizard named Clyde and some rats named Saffron and Becky and a hamster named
      Odo. They all lay down near the kind lady and looked up at her, waiting. She
      smiled at them and began:

      ******************************************
      A long long time ago, the Loving Ones went to the Angel in Charge. They were
      lonesome and asked the angel to help them. The angel took them to a wall of
      windows and let them look out the first window at all sorts of things--dolls
      and stuffed animals and cars and toys and sporting events.

      "Here are things you can love," the angel said. "They will keep you from
      being lonesome."

      "Oh, thank you," the Loving Ones said. "These are just what we need."

      "You have chosen Pleasure," the angel told them.

      But after a time the Loving Ones came back to the Angel in Charge.

      "Things are okay to love," they said. "But they don't care that we love
      them."

      The Angel in Charge led them over to the second window. It looked out at all
      sorts of wild animals. "Here are animals to love," he said. "They will know
      you love them."

      So the Loving Ones hurried out to care for the wild animals. "You have
      chosen Satisfaction," the angel said.

      Some of the Loving Ones worked at zoos and wild animal preserves, some just
      had bird feeders in their yards, but after a time they all came back to the
      Angel-in-Charge. "They know we love them," they told the angel.

      "But they don't love us back. We want to be loved in return."

      So the angel took them to the third window and showed them lots of people
      walking around, hurrying places. "Here are people for you to love," the
      angel told them.

      So the Loving Ones hurried off to find other people to love. "You have
      chosen Commitment," the angel said.

      But after a time a lot of Loving Ones came back to the Angel in Charge.
      "People were okay to love," they said. "But sometimes they stopped loving us
      and left. They broke our hearts."

      The angel just shook his head. "I cannot help you," he said. "You will have
      to be satisfied with the choices I gave you."

      As the Loving Ones were leaving, someone saw a window off to one side and
      hurried to look out. Through it, they could see puppies and kittens and dogs
      and cats and lizards and hamsters and ferrets. The other Loving Ones hurried
      over. "What about these?" they asked.

      But the angel just tried to shoo them away. "Those are Personal Empathy
      Trainers," he said. "But there's a problem with their system operations."

      "Would they know that we love them?" someone asked.

      "Yes," the angel said.

      "Would they love us back?" another asked.

      "Yes," the angel said.

      "Will they stop loving us?" someone else asked.

      "No," the angel admitted. "They will love you forever."

      "Then these are what we want," the Loving Ones said.

      But the angel was very upset. "You don't understand," he told them. "You
      will have to feed these animals."

      "That's all right," the Loving Ones said.

      "You will have to clean up after them and take care of them forever."

      "We don't care."

      The Loving Ones did not listen. They went down to where the Pets were and
      picked them up, seeing the love in their own hearts reflected in the
      animals' eyes.

      "They were not programmed right," the angel said. "We can't offer a
      warranty. We don't know how durable they are. Some of their systems
      malfunction very quickly, others last a long time."

      But the Loving Ones did not care. They were holding the warm little bodies
      and finding their hearts so filled with love that they thought they would
      burst. "We will take our chances," they said.

      "You do not understand." The angel tried one more time. "They are so
      dependent on you that even the most well-made of them is not designed to
      outlive you. You are destined to suffer their loss."

      The Loving Ones looked at the sweetness in their arms and nodded. "That is
      how it should be. It is a fair trade for the love they offer."

      The angel just watched them all go, shaking his head. "You have chosen
      Tears," he whispered.

      ******************************************

      "So it is," the kind lady told the kitties. "And so each mommy and daddy
      knows. When they take a baby into their heart, they know that one day it
      will leave them and they will cry."

      The little orange boy sat up. "So why do they take us in?" he asked.

      "Because even a moment of your love is worth years of pain later."

      "Oh." The little orange boy got off the lady's lap and went back to the edge
      of the pond. His mommy was still there, and still crying. "Will she ever
      stop crying?" he asked the kind lady.

      She nodded. "You see, the Angel felt sorry for the Loving Ones, knowing how
      much they would suffer. He couldn't take the tears away but he made them
      special."

      She dipped her hand into the pond and let the water trickle off her fingers.
      "He made them healing tears, formed from the special water here. Each tear
      holds bits of all the happy times of purring and petting and shared love.
      And the promise of love once again. As your mommy cries, she is healing.

      "It may take a long while, but the tears will help her feel better. In time
      she will be less sad and she will smile when she thinks of you. And then she
      will open her heart again to another little baby."

      "But then she will cry again one day," the little orange boy said.

      The lady just smiled at him as she got to her feet. "No, she will love
      again. That is all she will think about." She picked up Big Boy and Snowball
      and gave them hugs, then scratched Morgan's ear just how she liked.

      "Look," she said. "The butterflies have come. Shall we go over to play?" The
      other animals all ran ahead, but the little orange boy wasn't ready to leave
      his mommy. "Will I ever get to be with her again?"

      The kind lady nodded.

      "You'll be in the eyes of every kitty she looks at. You'll be in the purr of
      every cat she pets. And late at night, when she's fast asleep, your spirit
      will snuggle up close to her and you both will feel at peace. One day soon,
      you can even send her a rainbow to tell her you're safe and waiting here for
      when it's her turn to come."

      "I would like that," the little orange boy said and took one long look at
      his mommy. He saw her smile slightly through her tears and he knew she had
      remembered the time he almost fell into the bathtub.

      "I love you, Mommy," he whispered. "It's okay if you cry." He glanced over
      at the others, running and playing and laughing with the butterflies.

      "Uh, Mommy? I gotta go play now, okay? But I'll be around, I promise."

      Then he turned and raced after the others.
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