6-year-old Raelynn Nast from Fort Smith, Arkansas, has always been a daddy’s girl.
Said her mother Lacey, “She was very proud of her dad. She always wanted to introduce her dad to everybody.”
And here she was, outside the chapel at McConnell’s Funeral Home.
Inside, lying in state, was her father Davey, who had just passed April 14th, after a short battle with colon cancer at the age of 41.
She was with her cousins, whilst the adults were inside.
But for a moment, she wasn’t in tears.
Everyone else was.
She spotted a jogger, Emily Beineman, turn the corner and run in her direction, with her dog, Blue.
When she passed the chapel, she called out to Emily.
Recounts Emily, “She was like, ‘May I pet your puppy?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, of course, as long as your parents don’t mind.’”
Of course, not knowing the circumstances.
With a shy smile, Raelynn told her the news.
“Oh, my parents aren’t out here.
My mom’s inside and my daddy died… we are at his funeral.”
In the instant Emily took to process this sadness, Blue….being the instinctual creature dogs are….walked over to the girl, sat and looked up at her.
Wrote Emily, ‘Before I could say a word- Blue walked up to this little girl & ever so gently sat down in front of her & the girl wrapped her arms around Blue’s neck & wouldn’t let go. This little girl’s friends & family were all surrounding us and as I looked around there wasn’t a dry eye to be found (except this little girl). I quickly dried my eyes (I was very thankful for tinted sunglasses) & sat & talked to this little girl for a few minutes.’
And then, feeling the moment, Raelynn asked Emily something that would be the very last time she would be able to ask anyone, “I want you to meet my Daddy! Can you please come meet him?”
Yeah, she wasn’t dressed for it, but she didn’t hesitate.
And then too feeling the moment, she took the little girls hand, and they both walked into the chapel….
….so Raelynn could introduce Emily, to her dad.
Said Lacey, “It’s one of those experiences I don’t think I could ever forget. I was just sitting there, visiting with some family, and in comes my daughter with a complete stranger.
She just said that Raelynn wanted her to meet her dad and asked me if that was OK.”
Lacey believes Davey arranged this somehow.
“I think this was his way of telling her that he’s still here, and he’s going to be looking down on her and guiding her through this process.”
Whether it was Davey, a guide or guardian…..so do i.
There’s nothing like the pain of losing a parent, but thanks to this dog’s healing power and a stranger’s kindness, Raelynn found another reason to smile again.
“She helped me feel better by her kindness.”
What a magical force, kindness, and we all possess it and are able to wield its awesome healing power.
What a magical force dogs are….but you already knew that as well.
The three have already met twice, since the funeral.
Where Raelynn can pet and squeeze and hold onto Blue….
….and she can relay to her new friend Emily yet another story about her daddy.