Tonight the rain is pouring down on the deck outside my home’s office window. There’s a guest in the living room talking to my husband as I sit here and write. Rick has just had a total knee replacement— his right knee. He was down in the dumps when I came home from work, but this visitor seems to be perking him up. I’m glad for the diversion—for his sake as well as my own. It gives me time to write about the cozy feeling I have right now.
There’s nothing like a good downpour to produce a true appreciation of home. The house is bright and warm, the dogs are curled up on our bed and the camaraderie of two men talking in the next room is producing a feeling of contentment. It seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve felt such comfort and peace.
On my desk sits a letter from my daughter’s boarding school. Elizabeth died almost eighteen years ago while attending this school. She loved it there; she said it was like going to camp only she had to study. For eighteen years her friends and teachers continue to donate to the school in her memory. This letter informs me of the “thoughtful gifts in memory of Elizabeth.”
What could bring a mother more peace than to know that a daughter lost is still loved and remembered? It’s a comfort that her vibrant spirit, living so fully inside me, is still touching those who knew and loved her. She’s smiling inside my heart right now and that’s a wonderful gift of her love.
As time goes by, the cutting pain becomes less for me. I know everyone grieves differently, but now that the panic-producing pain is replaced by familiar pain, I can enjoy her smile and even smile back.
There is a song that says, “Let your love rain down on me.” I hope all of you, who are newly grieving, can know that there does come a time when your child’s love, raining down on you, can be comfortable again.
Mary York said:
Betsy, the image, “her vibrant spirit, living so fully inside me, is still touching those who knew and loved her” fills my heart and spirit with hope. My son died a little over a year ago and a scholarship at his alma mater brings notes that reflect that in me. So I now I will incorporate your image of him “smiling inside my heart” when I receive these notes knowing that his spirit lives on helping others and my pain will, one day, become familiar. Thank you.
Betsy Anderson said:
Thank you for writing, Mary. I’m so glad there is a scholarship at your son’s alma mater. It’s certainly true that “in giving, we receive.”
Carol Henderson said:
It’s raining here too now Betsy–and fiercely windy. I love the image of our children’s love raining down on us. Thank you.