Almost everyone has had some little buddy with fur or feathers or maybe even scales who has meant a great deal to them over the years. Sometimes, these are friends that never leave our hearts no matter how long ago they may have departed from our company and passed over the Rainbow Bridge.
I’ve had my share of these friends whom I will never forget. Over the years, I’ve cared for dogs and cats, birds and chipmunks – even a bat at one time! My closest friend was a little bird. A budgie named Chrystal. Yes, I know that crystal is not supposed to be spelled with the “h”, but Chrystal was special, and having a name that was spelled differently symbolically showed that she was so special – at least to me.
As a writer. I would have her sit with me at the computer and I would read her my stories. Some of them you could see she liked just by the expression on her face. Others, however, she apparently thought could be significantly improved upon, because I swear she would roll her eyes and look up at me in sheer disgust. My littlest buddy was my biggest critic.
Chystral was handicapped since she was six months old. After a massive stroke, she was left paralyzed on one side of her body. But, we got past that together. To make things easier for her, I placed her in a little hamster cage that was short in stature and didn’t make her feel deprived of perching on high.
She was happy with her colorful home and managed to ambulate around by using her beak as a third leg and pulling herself along the bars. Fed on a constant diet of love and attention, Chrystal never grieved over her loss, but looked forward to each new day, inspiring me with her courage.
We spent two wonderful years together, sharing a friendship that transcended the boundaries between species. We understood each other completely. Sometimes I would wish that a human could understand me half as well.
But, like all good things, our time was cut short. My little friend developed liver cancer and went back to heaven to wait for me there. Her death came as a crushing blow to my heart. But, as time went on I saw that Chrystal will never die. The lessons she taught me and the courage she inspired me with live on. And, they will always be … uniquely Chrystal.