Sometimes the most cherished graces come in the form of other souls- ones who are placed in our lives to help us navigate all the winding pathways that will bring us closer to who we are meant to be. Heaven truly knows what It’s doing. The longer you are gone, the more aware of you I become. That sounds strange, I know.
Not too many days ago, I was pressed to think of my most cherished memory. Without even the slightest hesitation, I was escorted back to that day so many years ago, when I sat outside my favorite little white and green-shuttered house on Center Street, and talked with you until the watercolor twilight faded into a dark canvass of night, and you had coaxed every nervous tremble of my heart, until the only throbs left were those charting a new path for hope. It makes me think of a line from my favorite hymn: “Loud may the sound of hope ring ’til all doubt departs”. I will never forever cherish those hours.
I bought some daisies last month, on your birthday. It was a small thing, but I loved seeing them perched on my windowsill, quiet echos of you. I imagined them as dainty little pieces of your soul, keeping me company in my little haven. I think I will do that every year.
There was a lady I met a couple months back who so reminded me of you, Gram. Her hair was alabaster, too, and she even had it curled under like how you used to style yours. This stirred me so much that, while she and I were waiting, I gently clasped this woman’s hand and asked her if I could please tell her something. With a benevolent smile, she nodded and leaned down to meet my whispering. “You have hair just like my sweet Grandma used to have. (I reached up and touched her hair; I honestly couldn’t help myself.) She was so beautiful, just like you are. She isn’t here anymore, but something about you makes me think of her and I’m so grateful for any opportunity to be reminded of her.” She then squeezed my hand and with a still gentle smile she said, “How very sweet that is. She is where my husband is now.” My eyes welled and I continued on, but before I left, she hugged me close and whispered, “Goodbye, Sweetheart. You are so beautiful.” Gram. I cannot convey the sweetness of that experience and how keenly I felt your presence. I think that sweet lady, with her hair reminiscent of yours and her countenance so very similar, was a token from Heaven, reminding me that even though you are gone, I can still find you wherever I recognize anything good or beautiful. If you happen to have met her husband by now, perhaps you can relay this little story along to him. He might take heart in it.
Love you to the sky.