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I am a pain in the butt to my friends sometimes. I know it. They know it.
In this techno world we live in today, there are way too many easy scams out there. So when my friends forward e-mails to me, I nearly always question them with a quick Google or Snopes search.
This past weekend, however, I had to eat my words. And I was quite happy to do so. The e-mail I was received was a story about a 4-year-old girl who wrote a letter to God after her dog died.
The letter read:
"Dear God, Will you please take special care of our dog, Abbey? She died yesterday and is heaven. We miss her very much. We are happy that you let us have her as our dog even though she got sick. I hope that you will play with her. She liked to play with balls and swim before she got sick. I am sending some pictures of her so that when you see her in heaven you will know she is our special dog. But I really do miss her.
"Love, Meredith Claire
"P.S.: Mommy wrote the words after Mer told them to her."
The story went on to say that the girl put her letter in an envelope with pictures of the dog and addressed it to God/Heaven. Her mother put their return addresses and stamps and dropped it into the letterbox at the post office.
A few days later, the family returned home to find a package wrapped in gold paper on their front porch. It had a gold star card on the front and read "To: Mer" in an unfamiliar hand.
Inside, the girl found a book by Mr. Rogers, "When a Pet Dies." Taped to the inside front cover was the letter they had written to God, in its opened envelope, which was marked "Return to Sender: Insufficient address." On the opposite page, one of the pictures of the dog was taped under the words "For Meredith." On the back cover was a handwritten note on pink paper:
"I know that you will be happy to know that Abbey arrived safely and soundly in Heaven! Having the pictures you sent to me was such a big help. I recognized Abbey right away.
"You know, Meredith, she isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me - just like she stays in your heart - young and running and playing. Abbey loved being your dog, you know. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets! - so I can't keep your beautiful letter. I am sending it to you with the pictures so that you will have this book to keep and remember Abbey.
"One of my angels is taking care of this for me. I hope the little book helps. Thank you for the beautiful letter. Thank your mother for sending it. What a wonderful mother you have! I picked her especially for you.
"I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I am in heaven and wherever there is love.
"Love, God, and the special angel who wrote this after God told her the words."
What a wonderful story. How gratifying that it's also true.
Cary Clack, a columnist at the San Antonio Express-News, wrote a story published on Oct. 22, 2006, titled "Angel mails solace, affirms a girl's faith."
According to Clack, Meredith's mother, Joy Scrivener, contacted him about what had happened and he wrote a story about it. While she told him that she had considered asking at the post office about the package, she decided against it.
"I kind of like not knowing," she said. "I don't know who took the time to do it, but it was an angel. We all think about doing these things, but no one takes the time to do it."
How much effort did it take for that "angel" to brighten a little girl's day? I dare say not too much.
So why don't we do things like that more often? Is it because we get all wrapped up in ourselves and our families? Or are we just basically selfish?