This week nearing Thanksgiving, thoughts of passed people, pets, and unexplainable occurrences tiptoe into my consciousness. Quiet trickles of images, sweetness, perfect scenarios, and moments of happiness drop in… people who showed appreciation for my talents, pets who loved unconditionally, and divine experiences that gave me a glimpse of spirit. They all circle around me now. I embrace them all.
During what turned out to be the last weeks of my mother’s life, one afternoon I rested at the end of her bed and in silence, she simply reached down and stroked my head. No words necessary. What had often been a tumultuous relationship with years of distance and silence, we had finally reached a place silent acceptance, forgiveness, and love. Tomorrow would be her 102nd birthday.
Ragtime Rags, a doberman/lab filled my life with constant companionship for thirteen years. While young, she preferred to run ahead while I reigned a spirited horse behind her — over fields, ravines, and open space. During later life, she enjoyed our condo/air conditioned lifestyle and daily walks to the local park. In the city, strangers would cross the street when we approached. They did not notice her alert face, shiny coat, and wagging tail. Never did she pull on the leash, yet always alert kept one step ahead by my side. When she left this life, I buried her in the country, a place where I returned in 2000. Her resting place is only two miles away from Swallowtail Cottage. Her headstone resides with me.
Cinnamon was a golden retriever who resided with clients of mine. I was asked to sit with her when the couple went out. For a few years, she and I enjoyed romps on the property, as her “parents” were too fragile to go for walks on uneven terrain. While I enjoyed their pool, Cinnamon, who had a scary encounter with water as a puppy, gazed at me from the solid edge. I walked to the steps, invited her in, and with the aid of a tennis ball, she joined me in the water. I cradled her under her belly as she paddled about, then I returned her to the steps. Soaking wet, she exited, shook, and from the look on her face, I could tell we had crossed a threshold. Later reports stated that she often confidently sat on the top step of the pool, cooling her belly.
I blogged about Miss Kitty when she left this life in 2011. Although I hosted numerous felines throughout my adult life, Miss Kitty was my true love. She had been a barn cat for her first four years, and when we met, she wanted out. We were like Velcro for eleven years. Her presence is still very much here, as she has a tool box, and keeps the icemaker going. As a spirit Kitty, she is an easy keeper. Her ashes reside on the printer in my office, one of her favorite napping spots. When I become ash, we will be sprinkled together somewhere in a beautiful garden.
The Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC is an ethereal place. I attended regular services there after my mother died in 1995. Arriving early, I sat in the front row, in order to take communion following the choir and before the masses who sat behind me. One bright, breezy Sunday, this position allowed me to notice an unusual light play. And by play I do not mean theatre. During this sermon, I noticed that the sunlight coming through one magnificent set of stained glass ebbed and flowed according to the cadence of the sermon. Yes, that is what occurred. This was no artificial manipulation by theatre crew.
Another time while in deep mourning for my mother, I knelt in the Cathedral’s small chapel reserved for loss. Not in prayer, but simply present among the tiers of glowing red votives, suddenly I felt my chest open up as if fingers were painlessly revealing my heart — no other sensation felt until I flinched and returned to reality. Never has this happened again. I often wonder what would have happened if I had stayed in that moment. Would the divine have had a message for me?
Whatever the meaning, Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and remembrance. I welcome the trickle of happy yet somewhat bittersweet thoughts that visit now.
Are you experiencing similar thoughts this time of year? If so, please add to the comments section of this post.
Happy and safe Thanksgiving to all and may you too remember love this holiday.
Copyright © 2019 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved