Sunday, June 2, 2013

There Is Comfort

Yesterday morning we woke up bright and early and went up the road to pick up two newly hatched ducklings. Sadly we were down to one last remaining duck. We saw a fox run across the field yesterday afternoon, so I imagine that he is the explanation to our missing duck issue.

But our friend had two ducks for sale so we scooped them up and to my children's delight, we will raise them and keep them and won't eat them. :)

As we were driving home, a box of ducks on my lap, I thought of my grandma. She would not have approved of our purchase. She once as a child saw a chicken have its head cut off and then the dying, headless chicken proceeded to chase my grandma around the yard. Needless to say, my grandma was never, ever found of birds. It made me smile though, remembering the headless chicken story she had told me so many times before. I don't think I'll be able to look in my yard and see all the birds that we raise without thinking (and smiling) of my grandma.

I guess that's the thing about the loss of someone you love, everything reminds you of them. After church today my husband took us to lunch and he mentioned jalapenos and I, of course, thought of my grandma again. I'm quite certain that she put jalapenos on everything she ate. Literally everything.

It's only been a few days since her passing and even though I know that I know that I know that she is better off, I would like to hear her voice one last time.

But her death has reminded me yet again how short our time is here on Earth. I am a firm believer that everything does indeed happen for a reason, even though there are some circumstances that we just don't understand. I wish my grandma could have seen my children more than she did and I hope and pray that my kids will remember her, but I wouldn't have wanted my grandma to spend anymore of her days in pain.

So there is comfort in knowing she is at peace. There is comfort knowing that every time I see a chicken or duck I'll smile and remember my grandma. There is comfort in rose bushes which are blooming. Roses were her favorite flower and as I was pulling weeds yesterday I saw the blooming flowers and thought of her.

Initially I was so sad that my grandma died alone in her apartment with no one by her side but as I listened last night as my mom shared a few stories with me, I found comfort in knowing that even though she died alone, she lived her remaining years right where she was suppose to be.

So I'll tell you a story. The story of how my grandma helped heal a family even after her death.

There were more than one Patti's who lived in the senior living complex where my grandmother resided. One of the Patti's was sick and not doing well (not my grandma) and when the manager heard that Patti had died she thought it was the one who had been sick and not my grandmother. She had spoke to my mom Barb on the phone but still didn't put two and two together. The manager then went on to call the daughter of the Patti that she thought had died. While on the phone the manager expressed her condolences and said that she had already talked to her sister Barb (my mom) and the woman explained that she did NOT have a sister named Barb. Immediately the manager realized her mistake, that she had just notified someone of a death that did not occur. She apologized and said she would go do a bed check just to make sure. The  manager ran upstairs to find the 'sick' Patti still alive and well, and realized that my grandma Patti was the one who passed. The manager called the daughter back and begged for her forgiveness, and the daughter said, "Just tell me, is my mom still alive?" The manager replied yes, and then the daughter went on to ask the manager to thank Barb. To thank Barb and to express her sorrow for the loss of Barb's mom. The woman said that she hadn't been very kind to her mom and that she hadn't been to see her very often even though she knew she was sick. And when for a few minutes she thought she had died, she was gripped with guilt. It was a huge relief when the manager called back to say that her mother had in fact not died. She realized her mistake and had vowed to go see her mother more often and to be kinder to her. The woman told her that our Patti (my grandma) had given her a second chance. Without her death, she may not have ever been willing to make amends with her own mother.

As I sat there listening to my mom tell me this story, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Tears were just streaming down my face. Not because I was sad, but because I was joyful. Joyful that my grandmother's death was able to bring a family back together. Joyful that a mother and daughter would be reunited.

There is comfort in the story my mom shared with me. While I don't think I'll ever stop missing my grandma, I am finding comfort in her absence.

There is comfort in roses, and comfort in healed relationships. There is comfort in knowing that my grandma is alive and well in Heaven.

I miss you grandma, but thank you for providing comfort to me even beyond the grave.

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