Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Things I know about feeeling a loved ones presence.

Today I write about loved ones lost and their presence. Sounds strange maybe but truly, if I have learned anything in the past 2 1/2 years it is this. Though our loved ones may not be sitting with us, drinking a cup of coffee physically, they are so very much with us. We simply need to open our hearts and minds to see them.
My daughter and her family came to visit for the past two weeks. Such a wonderful joy they were and we crammed a year into 14 days. there were moments that we were laughing and smiling and simply enjoying that I found myself needing to step away for a short time. Not because I do not enjoy the great times we share. I stepped away because I glanced up at a picture of Sheila {my wife who is in heaven}and myself also laughing and enjoying life. I looked at the picture and suddenly felt that tears might come. I quietly left and sat outside on our swing and thought of her.
I remembered our first walk in the soft gentle rain. A rain that turned into a downpour and made us run our butts off to the nearest shelter where we laughed and kissed and held one another as the lightening lit the sky. I smiled and I cried at that memory, realizing I could not remember the sound of her laughter. I tried so hard and cried harder as I found myself unable to hear that sound. I could feel her laughter inside of my heart but I could not hear her. I sat there wondering why she wasn't there with me. Why couldn't she have stayed longer and been here to see all the laughter, to hear the sounds of our children and their children enjoying what she taught us best to do. Enjoying life!
I remembered our first snow and how we ran outside and threw snowballs at one another. How I tackled her and kissed her in the snow. In response, she shoved a handful of snow down my back and we laughed so hard. We spent most of our life laughing because with her disease, often it was that or just collapse. I am sure we chose the right path to go.
I also remembered the many times I went to the hospital, only to find her curled in a ball, hurting so badly, but unwilling to take something for it because she was carrying our daughter. I curled up next to her and just held her tight to me. Her sacrifices and unconditional love were the essence of my strength. I sat on the swing and looked up at the clouds. I searched them as if I were going to find her face in one of them. And I again asked her why she couldn't have stayed longer. Did I do something to cause her to finally say "enough." Was my inability to cling tight to her and my mind being twisted by the Bipolar that had not even been labeled yet cause her to go to heaven? Did she know that I would have lifted her a million more times just to share our "Dance?"
Then as if to answer my heart, I heard her sweet voice. She told my heart she WAS with me. She told me she was watching from heaven and sitting beside me on the swing. I looked around and a butterfly flew by, flying a bit unsteady as Sheila walked when she was able to. I heard the loudest laughter coming from inside the house. I heard my oldest telling my youngest "You are soo much Mom! God sometimes it's like talking to her!" That is when it hit me. Sheila wasn't gone at all. She went to heaven yes, but her essence, her life and love for life was alive! Alive in the things that surrounded me. Alive in my daughters and their lives. She was perhaps more with us now than any other time in our lives. She could move freely, without the restraint of the wheelchair that was her constant companion. I looked around me and saw her in everything. She was in the movement of the trees that were blowing, the sound of the wind was her voice.It blew across my face and I knew it was her touch. The same touch that calmed me when I was angry with someone. The touch that said "I love you" without a word being spoken. The sweet touch that said "We have a date tonight, Good Looking. Don't be late" as she went towards our bedroom. She had and has been here all along. Sometimes I knew that as I could feel her near me. Now, she opened my eyes to see that I had her somewhere no one else could see nor touch. This is our place and ours alone.
To lose a loved one is devastating beyond words. I won't even try to say I know what a person is going through when they lose a loved one. Each of our hearts are too different to make that claim. I only know that they can only go away if we allow them to. They can only fade if we let them fade away. We CAN choose to see them in the things around us. The flowers and trees and water and mostly... in our children. Your loved one lives on in every single memory and sees all that you do and feels all that you feel. You need only to reach out and take their hand in yours. Whether their hand is a flower or a leaf or whatever you choose to see them in.
I still can not remember her voice and it causes me to cry here and now. I have a tape of her talking to me but can't bring myself to listen yet. One day perhaps. I guess time will tell. Just don't let go of the memories you have of your loved ones. Make as many as you can as they may be all you have of them someday. But remember, they are ALWAYS near by and always just a soft spoken "hello" away. Their presence can be felt just by thinking about them and personifying them in what you see or hear. It is truly "never goodbye... It is only see you later." Hugssss to you all and God bless you. By the way, I went back inside and laughed as loud and as hard as I could. smilesssss. Darrel

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