I am going to get real today, realer than most of you folks that visit our site have ever seen me get. I am a writer by nature, however things like this seem to flow out without effort – I don’t think it has anything to do with my writing skills. I think it has to do with my heart and what needs to come out at times. Like it or not.
Shala is at a funeral today. Our Sister-in-law’s Mother passed away on Sunday, finally giving in to this demon we call cancer. This kind of hits home more than most as some of you know my Brother passed away a few years back at the age of 32 of cancer as well. I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about him and just everything we missed out on with him being gone. The things I wish I could show him, the things I wish he could show me.
Last night, since I was home alone I was spending some time outside trying to pass the time since my bride was gone. I know for some people it is a party when their better half leaves town – but for me it is BooooOOORING. So I try to pass the time doing something productive at least, but most of the time it is spent thinking and waiting.
Back on task though… last night I was out back hand-watering our backyard hoping to get it to green up a bit. With everything going on, I couldn’t help but think about the family involved and all the emotions and things they must have been dealing with at the moment. I remembered the feelings, the phone calls, the looks of desperation and the tears when my Brother passed and we were going through the same thing. You can’t really explain to someone the feelings and emotions unless they have been through it themselves, and if that is the case… you don’t really have to explain a thing. There is a silent understanding.
We have this nozzle that we use, just like everyone else to hand water and I had that on and it is one of those that you can choose what type of spray it makes. Sorta like those showerheads that you can choose “massage” or “pulsate” or whatever. So as I watered I was trying to find the most efficient way to cover every inch with the same amount. The way our dry yards are – you can see the color of the soil change almost as you are painting the yard.
You see, my Brother was an auto body man – painting cars for a living. So a few summers I got the pleasure of working side by side with him painting cars of unfortunate folks (don’t worry, he always went back and sanded out my mistakes and fixed them). As most of us probably do, when painting with spray pain we kinda shake the can at the object we are painting. It is a weird erratic thing to do, but when painting seems ok to do. That was the first thing my Brother made sure to break me of – he couldn’t stand to see his own blood looking like a n00b at the one talent he excelled at more than anything. It just wouldn’t be right.
So as I “painted” my grass last night I caught my self doing the same erratic shake that I was criticized for years ago. I smiled as I slowed my shake to a constant drag and coverage hawg that it should have been from the get go. As I hit my stride I couldn’t help but think about more and more of the stuff me and my Brother shared. Or didn’t share.
I am a firm believer that when something happens or a memory flashes through regarding someone who has passed that for an instant God is looking right at you and giving you that nod or wink that you needed. Or better yet, the person you are thinking of just for a minute of our hectic lives says…
“Hey… remember me. Good. Have a great day.”
As I sat in the backyard watering I looked up and just wondered if the afterlife was really as we envision. If heaven was everything we plan it to be… and more. And for a split second I thought… God… give me a sign that everything is the way it seems and that my Brother is indeed enjoying the glories we read and speak of.
I sat and waited only to shake myself and say… what more do you need. You are doing something as trivial as watering some grass and you spent 30 minutes doing it in a way that reminded you of your Brother. You drug it out in a way so you could spend some extra time remembering, feeling and living the way you think your Brother might want.
What more of a sign do you need?
Sometimes we get so caught up in needed things to inspire and reassure us… only to miss those very things.
I miss my Brother. I miss my Dad. Grandmother… hell, I miss a lot of people that have come and gone. I probably think about my Brother the most though… and in these times like this week when tragedy has hit another family and shook their world the way my family’s shook a few years back, you can’t help to hope that watering the grass is your sign.
My heart goes out to the Meador Family. My heart goes out to all of you that have lost a loved one due to this demon we call cancer. I only hope that some of you are spared the intensity of the disease and the effects it can have on a family. Also anyone else that has lost a loved one for whatever reason, my heart hurts for you. Grab onto what you can and milk it for what it is worth. Positivity is just as contagious as negativity.
What a beautiful post. I’m so sorry for your losses and it’s very unfortunate that so many of us HAVE been touched by cancer. I lost my father to cancer and my mother has had two scares. I myself, suffered a ruputred brain aneursym a year and a half ago and could have easily lost my life in an instant. For some reason God decided I needed to stick around awhile, so I’m making the most of my life. Breathing in each breath…waking up each day like it is a gift.
I now, only remember my father in good times when he was in good health…and I’m so glad. I know he’s smiling down on me, his #3 daughter.
God bless and “paint” your garden as often as you like.
What a beautiful thoughtful post. It is awsome that you are able to connect with your lost loved one in this way. Very inspiring.
@Heidi – Thank you. Seems as if you can throw a stone and hit 10 people that have been touched by cancer. Sad but true. Glad you have your Father’s memories.
@deb – Thanks deb.
I’m terrible when it comes to loss. I mean, I just don’t know what to say or even if I should say something at all. I feel very sad for the person and want to say something to comfort them but I guess I’m afraid that I wouldn’t say the right thing. I haven’t had to deal with the loss of a loved one yet. Maybe that’s why I find it so hard. Lord help me when the time comes, I just don’t see me dealing well at all, on any level.
That’s really nice. I’ve found myself really wracked with regret since Mom passed just 4 months ago. She left us at a pivotal time when we had so much happening – really positive, big-ticket life changes – and there’s so much of my day-to-day stuff I wish I could share with her. Several times, I’ve almost picked up the phone, only to catch myself and feel silly for forgetting that she’s gone if even just for a moment.
Mom’s motto was “leave a place better than you found it” and she always did. She always cleaned and cooked and just did whatever she could when we’d go visit relatives and sure enough, their homes were better when we left than they had been when we arrived. Even when we went camping, the campsite was litter-free when we pulled away the following day. I was really happy that the pastor was able to incorporate that message into her funeral service. That was something we’d heard Mom say many times before, but I hadn’t really thought of it in quite some time. But since her funeral, I’ve thought of that often – the world is a better place for Mom having been in it and I hope that the same can be said for me someday.
Anyway, I hope you’re right in that those little flashes when I’m reminded so intensely of her are indeed a sign that Mom is in a better place and that, even if I can’t know it for sure, she is sharing in our lives still. And I hope the same goes for your brother.
@Angie – I haven’t met anyone that is really all that good at loss. It isn’t easy, that is for sure.
@Rob O. – Welcome Rob, glad you stopped by. I assume you found us on MWT? I’m glad that others enjoyed the story as it was the point, hopefully to help others cope a bit with their losses.