Sometimes I remember things so vividly. Have you seen a movie scene where the character looks upon a bench or bed or chair and sees their memories play out before them? Or what about the movie Ghost where Goldberg’s character can sense and feel Swayze’s there with her? My dreams are sometimes that clear. And after that, I miss the people or feelings I’ve remembered so deeply. I long for them momentarily. And then I smile.
Tonight I was thinking about my Grandma Foote. She passed away when I was 16 and I never asked her so many things. Grandpa lived for a few years after her and the memories actually started with him. He had one of my senior pictures on the window sill next to his chair. Once when we were visiting, he didn’t seem to know who I was. He touched the picture and said, “Mary is so beautiful, isn’t she?” He thought the picture was of his lost wife. And he believed her so beautiful.
If you knew Grandpa, you’d know what a rare, poignant moment this was. He was a farmer and truck driver. He had a saw hanging in the house that he and a friend had won in a two-man lumberjack competition of some sort. He hosted a chicken BBQ picnic every summer, but he didn’t like chicken. He was a proud man, but one with a jolly laugh and a twinkle in his eyes. I’m pretty sure he was a mischievous little boy back in the day.
And this man mistook a picture of me for one of his wife. It chokes me up every time I remember it. And makes me wish I knew Grandma better.
What I do remember about her is that she was comfortable and strong. I remember her hugs. That’s what struck me tonight. I remembered a time where she hugged me as I stood in front of her. I’d gotten picked on by some cousin and was upset. She held me tightly then released me with her hands on my shoulders and told me something reassuring. Then she hugged me again and sent me off to play. I even remember giggling as I ran off.
See why I get a little sad after those recollections come back to me? She was a woman full of love. Obviously Grandpa thought so too. But, do you also see why I end up smiling? I think of this little moments as hellos from heaven. For some reason I needed to feel Grandma’s hug tonight. I needed to see the love in Grandpa’s face when he thought of how beautiful his wife was. I don’t honestly know why they sent me this message today, but I’ll take it!
Even though I momentarily feel a little sorrow over memories from long ago, I’m so happy I have them to sift through time and again. I hope you find the moments to let in your hellos from the past. I hope you can feel wrapped in the warmth those little reminders that we’re cared for can bring. I hope the sadness you feel, missing the loved ones you’ve lost, turns to smiles too.