My trip to Northern Michigan proved to be a tonic for my grieving heart. There is nothing like being surrounded with positive, loving people to gently coax you out of mourning...if only for a short time. The sadness comes in smaller waves now, rocking me back and forth in a sea of tears but not threatening to drown me. I can resurface more quickly than before.
One of the moments that helped me was a conversation I had with my mentor and one of my closest friends, Bill. Bill has such a beautiful, accepting way about him. He doesn't have to say much before you feel comfortable opening up the vault.
I had only sporadically spoken of my father's passing, in vocal words not written ones, to people who had not been present with me throughout the ordeal. But in the quiet calm of the woods of Northern Michigan, afternoon sunlight spilling through the floor to ceiling windows and my friend seated opposite me on the couch, the story poured forth.
I played for him the beautiful rendition of "O Loving God" that my son sang at my dad's funeral, knowing, of course, that as a singer, he would greatly appreciate the magnitude of this moment. I also shared with him some conversations I had with friends and family members after the burial service. I was welling up with tears during this part of the conversation, when all of a sudden, my gaze travelled up to the wall across from us.
"Is that a heart?" I asked Bill.
He followed my eyes up over his left shoulder. "Looks like one to me."
"I have to get my camera," I told Bill as I dried my eyes and scrambled out of my seat to take a photo before the reflection on the wall changed shape.
For there, right before me, as I was speaking of my father and words I felt he had spoken to me through a friend, was a shining reminder of his love. Bill had no idea about the hearts & crosses symbols my family had been receiving, and he sat trusting and listening as I told him.
What an incredible continuation of my father's outreaching grasp on my heart. Of course, perfect timing. Of course, theatrical. Of course, glowing. Just like he has always been.
Moving forward, I know I only have to ask and he will be there...
mention his name and he will come...
say a prayer and desire of his help, and he will move Heaven and Earth to send me a sign.
So great is a father's love for his child.