While I haven’t met all of the Guest Bloggers that have participated in the month of LOVE last year or this year, I hope to one day. However, I did meet today’s blogger Allison on her podcast channel. She interviewed me for her SnapDays series and it felt like we were old friends. So I was delighted when I asked if she’d share a LOVE story this month and she agreed. Since I never met either of my grandmas this Post #16 really touched my heart.
LOVE COMES IN MANY FORMS
In modern, Western culture, love saves us from loneliness and misery. It might ride into our lives on a white horse or arrive in the form of a Tinder swipe. It’s evidenced by the perfect gift or a diamond ring, and announced with a choir of angels confirming our completeness.
But love comes in many forms; it doesn’t always taste like chocolate or come in a box from Jared’s. Sometimes we don’t even recognize it. I used to complain to my mother that my father didn’t love me because he became more distant the older I got. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I recognized his efforts to house us in a safe city and put his daughters into a good school system represented his love for us and his concern for our future.
Here’s another love story. My mother’s mother was very old, and even though I never felt I fully knew her, I loved her, and knew she loved us. She was fiercely independent and well liked by her neighbors. I think she and I would’ve been great friends had we been closer in age- she struck me as a bit of a rebel, with a twinkle in her eye. I love rebels.
Grandma was probably close to her 100s, and I was in my late teens, by the time her poor health and inability to care for herself and her dilapidated house prompted her move into a nursing home. She didn’t want to go, and I felt terrible witnessing her lose control of her life. Her health quickly deteriorated after the move, and she would tell disturbingly fantastic stories, generated by hallucinations, that would make my usually strong mother cry.
One day we received the call to hurry to the nursing home, as my grandmother probably wouldn’t survive the day. The 45 minute drive was silent, with my mother painfully grief-stricken, and my sister understandably short-tempered.
We entered the nursing home and took the heartbreaking walk to my grandmother’s room. I watched my grandmother lying in the bed, listened to my mother sobbing and endured my sister’s anger- her way of dealing with pain- and I became overwhelmed. Unable to bear witness to the moment of my grandmother’s death. I retreated to the car.
As I sat alone, guilt enveloped me. I should be comforting my family. I should be with them as a show of respect. Would my sister think I took the easy way out? Would my grandmother be upset that I left? And yet… how can I time my return so that it’s after she has passed? Will there be a sign? Can you show me a sign?
A fluttering leaf. A distant flash of lightening. Were these signs? I finally worked up the courage to return to the room, and was relieved to learn I had missed the moment of death. I don’t remember speaking to my mother or sister at all. After the necessary administrative discussions were completed and paperwork was signed, we set out for the gloomy ride back home.
As we traveled along the interstate, I turned my face away from my mother and gazed, guilt-stricken, through passenger seat window. My mind obsessed over the gall of choosing to miss the moment of my grandmother’s death. How long was the gap between her death and my return to the room? Should I have stayed? How bad a person was I? What time did she die? What time?
An old style, powder blue vehicle slowly passed us on the passenger side. I was struck by its occupants. The man behind the wheel and the woman beside him had stark white hair and looked easily to be in their 90s. As the car passed, I saw the license plate: DTH309. I knew without a doubt this was a message for me. It was as clear as if a sign had posted posted saying “your grandmother died at 3:09 p.m. It’s ok you weren’t there. Stop angsting over this.” The awe of that moment has never left me.
I have told this story before, but never in the context of love. But what else but a loving force would have reached out at my lowest moment to put my anxiety to rest? Whether it was God, the Universe, a guardian angel or my grandmother herself, this loving gesture gave me the closure I needed. Weeks later, when the death certificate confirmed the death at 3:09, I felt a sense of closeness to my grandmother, and gratitude for the loving message that came exactly when I needed it.
Love comes in many forms.
@worldharmony (click here for her awesome podcasts)
Thank you Allison for sharing that special LOVE story. I’m sure your grandma is your special angel in heaven and so proud of you! You have and continue to spread LOVE and peace not just on social media but in your life all around you. I am honored to have been on your podcast and doubly honored to have your precious words grace this blog!