I know it sounds crazy but sometimes crying just feels good. I sit at the computer with the headphones on listening to songs by Luther Vandross (Buy Me a Rose) or Diamond Rio (One More Day) and tears pour from my eyes. My heart gets touched as my mind thinks about what has not only touched me so deeply in life but what has touched the heart of everyone that surrounds me.
Yesterday I went to my aunt's house. I didn't realize until she answered the door, that I maybe had not seen her for about ten years. Where had the time gone? What I saw standing there was my grandmother who had passed away when I was about 16 years old. I don't know. Maybe I was younger. I was so taken back by seeing her standing there. I had only heard how she was doing and everyone said fine and I just went on my way in life assuming she would stay well-preserved forever.
I really had a difficult time holding back my tears....and then as she spoke of my uncle who died six months prior...her tears began to flow....and then mine did too. I really didn't think this would happen. Why didn't I think that? Did I think "I" was stronger...or that "she" would be stronger. But she "was" stronger....alot stronger than I ever knew her to be.
She's going to be 93-years-old and she is mentally totally together. She uses a walker. She cleans her own house....does all the chores herself. She has two senior citizen children who are choosing to make life somewhat difficult for her right now by arguing in front of her. She was married to my uncle since she was a teenager and now, for the first time in her 93 years of life, she would be on her own. My uncle loved her more than life itself....but he was a very demanding individual. He did everything for her. Everything. He treated her like a queen. And now....to see her alone was very heartbreaking. I was actually upset that I had let this much time pass by without talking to her even a little bit. I mean, we all have a little bit of time. A little bit isn't much but it is something; especially when you are alone.
She told me my uncle always protected her and then walked me into the bedroom they shared and showed me the urn that carried his ashes and told me what he had talked to her about his last days. She acted as if he was right there in the room listening to her. She had beautiful pictures of the two of them all over the room. The most beautiful was her in her wedding dress on their wedding day. It must have been such a glorious day for the two of them. Pictures hung on the walls of my uncle in his army uniform that he wore in World War II. She was so proud of him. As she talked, she seemed so strong. The tears had dissipated and she started mentioning some of the funny things he had said and she laughed.
We returned to the kitchen and talked a bit longer....laughed and reminisced about years gone by. I told her a couple of jokes that made her laugh so hard and it felt good to see that our visit was going to close with a smile, a laugh, and a hug of love.
I told her I was so proud of her and that she was such a role model for me, my children, and all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the family as someday we may all be faced with the same scenario that she is now facing.
She smiled and repeated that my uncle just always protected her. I told her about seeing the change that came over her when we were conversing in the bedroom and that I believe he is still protecting her.
She smiled and hugged me again. She said, "Do you think so?" And I returned with, "I think so."
As I drove home after the visit, I cried a hard cry. A very hard cry. I think I needed to do that to forgive myself for the time I missed with my aunt and that I plan not to miss in the future. My life is spread thin, but not too thin to be able to give a little bit of time. It may be in writing her a quick letter to let her know I'm thinking of her....it may be a quick visit....whatever it is, it is something to let someone know they are thought of and someone does care that they still exist. Big amounts of magic can happen in a person's heart with just a little bit of time.