Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Handwritten Note--its power even in this internet age...

When my dad lay dying in May of 2002 I remember having to get a little notebook to write stuff down in so I could keep everything straight. I titled it "my brain" because I remember feeling so overwhelmed that I simply could not think of what had to be taken care of. In so many respects, that time was a blur. I remember that the Lilly of the Valley's were blooming next to the house on the day of his funeral and that somehow I thought he would have like that.

My mom got so many flowers when he died that we couldn't help but joke that the dining room smelled like a flower shop or a funeral home. Call it gallows humor if you will. That's what I remember.

But in that blur, one memory stands out. I'd worked several years for an outstanding man who was a Senior Executive in the government. His name was Marty and I remember seeing an envelope on my desk the day I came back to work after my sad journey to Minnesota. This dear man had written me the most beautiful note. He wrote of parents and children and love and blessings and peace. When I saw him shortly thereafter he gave me the biggest hug. I will never forget the power of that note. Maybe because I didn't expect it. Or maybe because it spoke to me in such a personal and eloquent way. He brought me such peace and joy. And I'll never forget it.

Fast forward 8 years to last year at Christmastime, and then it was my beautiful mom who lay dying. I remember some of that same disorientation I felt with my dad's death. She died on Christmas Day, and as we've headed in Christmas 2011, I've been feeling strong moments of sadness about mom. Sad that I can't talk to her, sad that she is missing seeing my boys grow up. Feelings that Christmas will never be the same. Feelings that I can't even describe.

But then the other day our dear neighbors, Mary Elizabeth and Joe who are very spiritual and loving stopped by to drop some gifts off for St. Nicolas Day.  When I opened a card they had addressed just to me, I could not speak. Tears rolled down my face. The power of the written word comforted me yet again. After reading it, somehow my anxiety is less and my connection to my mom stronger than ever right now. God bless you dear neighbors. Thank you for helping me enter into this Christmas season with more joy than pain right now. -Monica

It reads: Dear Monica, A candle is offered in memory of your mother at the Franciscan Monastery gardens--its light will shine there from Christmas until New Year's Eve--a reminder that your mother's light will continue to shine in your life--may her memory bring you only peace and joy. Joe and Mary Elizabeth


Amy said...

Love you Pepper! Hang in there this holiday season. xoxoxo

Erin said...

Thinking of you so much, Monica. Sending you love and strength~~