Editor’s note: Yesterday morning, Tabby’s Place was rocked by the passing of longtime resident Beatrice.
Volunteer Larry, who perennially referred to Beatrice in his Texas drawl as “mah sweetheart,” was so kind as to pen the following tribute.
“Finding the words to write about Beatrice turned out to be one of the hardest things I have ever attempted.
“Selecting a picture was even harder.
“I have on file in my computer over 300 pictures that I have taken at Tabby’s Place over the years. As it turned out. I was only able to find one of Beatrice.
“I have written farewell articles on Erin, Chance, and Molly. I had photographs of them all. But I never took pictures of Beatrice, because she was always in the Lounge. I was sure that she would always be there.
“When I was asked to escort potential adopters around Tabby’s Place, I confess I somehow forgot to introduce them to Beatrice.
“She was the kitty that was always there.
“She was the kitty that we all loved.
“And she is the kitty that we will all miss.”
And miss her we shall, as first shock melts into tears today.
Yet we do not grieve — we must not grieve — as those without hope.
In one sense, Larry’s instinct to not need a photograph of Bea was spot-on. You don’t need a mirror to remember your own face. You don’t need a picture to remember a friend of the heart. And you won’t forget the face of a love you can’t finally lose.
The American author Sheldon Vanauken has written of his last meeting with his teacher and friend C.S. Lewis. At their parting, Lewis remarked, “At all events, we’ll certainly meet again, here — or there.”
Beatrice, we ache that your golden eyes will no longer rise to ours here. But there — oh, glorious there — we will see you again. “Missing” will melt and photographs will become redundant where faith becomes sight and life conquers death.
In the messy meantime, from here to there and always, we love you, shining Bea.