It’s the evening of a warm summer’s day (even in Western Washington!). It’s finally dark and the kiddos are down. It’s been an ok, not great sort of day.
At the moment there is the most delicious breeze coming through the open window behind me. It’s so delicious that, even though I should be putting away laundry or enjoying a manly Russel Crowe movie with the man whom I love, I just had to pause a bit to soak it in.
I sat and felt the breeze on my back, felt it cool me and somehow my sensory memory took me back six years ago to the summer my Mama died. She sat in her chair, and I sat in mine. Carolyn was tucked into her crib and for that night at least I had the wisdom to JUST SIT with Mom.
She breathed deep and sighed and said, “Oh Val, that breeze feels soo good.” I think she said it more than once. She was in so much pain all the time but just in that moment the delicious coolness of the evening was all she could focus on and she sat in that moment and breathed it deeply. We talked long that night about things she remembered from summers of her childhood. Softball games at the church, taking Ken and Kathy to see Mary Poppins. I remember knowing that she was downloading her memories into mine whether I was ready for her to be in a place of letting go or not. She talked about how cliché it is when people talk about really seeing things in blazing clearness as a result of terminal cancer, but how true she was finding it in moments like those. I listened and rocked in the glider beside her and, Thank God… Thank you Abba that I know tonight that I just sat with her in that space until she drifted off to sleep.
I didn’t know then how a breeze could be so delicious and deep and pregnant with the holy. How it could refresh you and make you ache in the beauty of being alive. How it could take you back to the very memories that make you who you are. To me it was just a breeze. I didn’t know it could contain so much more.
Tonight I do.