Adults cannot find the meaning of life; it has already been discovered by all of the children. Today, I traveled a road that I have not driven in many years. The back roads of DeKalb county have led me to some of my deepest blessings, blessings and experiences that have caused me to look deep within myself as I, too, walk an uncertain (and often tumultuous) path. My small son rode along with me this time. My fear was that if I did not make the trip today, I might be too late. The shop where I always stopped for my cranberry nut muffin has long since closed. There was the elusive stop sign that woke me from one last reverie. I knew we were nearly there as we came to the turn in the road; this was where I had pulled aside in a rain storm, having been caught on my way to the car in a spontaneous downpour. Her mama, though, had a towel waiting for me as I arrived at the farmhouse, which always smelled of lavender. Her mama was one of my deepest sources of comfort even in the early days, when I was sent by the State to support her. In the early days, when hope was fresh and there were still so many avenues which might lead to…an answer of some sort, or at least more hope. In the early days, when there wasn’t reason to entertain thoughts of years down the road, because we didn’t know. Perhaps we didn’t want to know. In those early days, I saw in that family the truest, most raw sense of living life as it was given. Yes, there was hope, but there was also concern, and, above all, there was a love so deep, I know I fell in.
And so today, when there is not much time left at all, I held her hand for what might possibly be one last time. On my knees at the strength and valor of this extraordinary family, I have been given the gift of knowing a true angel. We didn’t stay long. My son, at four, knew. “It’s okay, Mama. Now she is going to be with God.” I am pretty sure I hadn’t said a word.
“Do you want my George?” I am not sure if I nodded or reached for a tissue, but he offered up his little blue elephant. He shared with me what comforted him, and in that moment, my grief was softened by the animal on my shoulder, and by the true love of a tiny boy.
Please know, the sweetest of angels, what a vastly more beautiful place our world is because of the years that you have been here, and because of the meaning that you have given us, and because of the lessons that you will continue to teach as you stretch your wings to those who have been blessed to know you.