The Russell family included Mon and Dad, three children under the age of six years, and a 16-year-old orange mongrel cat named Sabrina.
The cat was part of the family long before the children were. The Russels often referred to Sabrina as their first-born. The three kids had never known a day without their cat and thought of Sabrina as an older sister, especially their middle child, four-year-old Lizzy.
But Sabrina was getting older and she was developing health issues often associated with old age. Then, she died unexpectedly. The children were understandably upset, especially Lizzy.
The day after Sabrina's death, a tearful Lizzy told her mother that she wanted to write a letter to God. Lizzy dictated what she wanted to say while her mom wrote the words. The letter read:
Will you please take care of our cat, Sabrina? She died yesterday and I think she must be in heaven. I hope that she is better now and that she isn't sick anymore. I am sending my favorite picture of her so that you can see what she looks like and you will know her when you see her. Love, Lizzy.
PS: Mommy wrote this letter for me. I told her what to say.
Mother and daughter looked through their family photo albums and chose the best photo of Sabrina to include with the letter. Lizzy placed the letter and photo in the envelope and licked the flap closed. Her mother then addressed it: "To God in Heaven" and added the family's return address on the upper left-hand corner.
Hand in hand, mother and daughter walked to the mailbox on the corner of their street. Too short to reach the opening, Lizzy's mom lifted her up and she dropped her letter through the slot.
Two Weeks Later
Two weeks later, little Lizzy was still upset by Sabrina's loss. The 4-year-old was being unusually quiet. She still cried whenever she thought about her feline friend.
The family planned a day trip to a local amusement park. It was a chance to have a good time and hopefully help Lizzy to smile again. Returning home, the tired children slouched out of the car. Then they spied a package wrapped in gold paper sitting on their front porch. Picking up the package, Mom saw that it was simply addressed: "To Lizzy." She handed the package to her daughter. Lizzy open the parcel to discover a book by Fred Rogers (of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" fame). The book was titled, "When a Pet Dies." Taped to the front cover of the book was the opened letter Lizzy had sent to God. On the back cover was a handwritten note on pink paper that read,
I wanted you to know that Sabrina has arrived safely in heaven. I recognized her right away. Having the picture you sent to me was a big help. She isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me, just like it stays in your heart — young and running and playing. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets, so I am sending back your letter along with Sabrina's photo. I am also giving you this book. One of my angels is taking care of this for me. Thank you for your beautiful letter. Thank your mother for helping you write it. What a wonderful mother you have; I picked her just for you. Signed,
God, and one of his special angels who wrote this letter after God told her the words.
Lizzy was greatly comforted by the letter and the gift. She wasn't surprised though. The little girl had faith that her letter was going to get to God.
Lizzy's mom considered making inquiries at the post office to find out who had sent the wonderful gift. She decided not to. She likes not knowing exactly who it was. After all, she know whoever it was, it was an angel.