Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Believe; Wind Chimes, Sunrises, and Rainbows

     Have you ever seen a rainbow? During that period when the rain hasn't quite yet stopped, when the sun comes out?  It is God's promise to his people, that he will never again destroy the world.  I have seen many rainbows over the years.  I was in a youth organization called The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls.  It's main symbol was the rainbow.  The rainbow was always special to me because of my membership in this special  fraternal youth organization.  My mother and I would always look for the rainbows in the sky after the rain. It was one of our special things we did together.  This was an organization that my mother and I got to participate in together.  It was a special time for us, and for all the young girls to whom she became both a mentor and friend.
  My father, daughter and I, went to Tennessee on a mini vacation. To have some family bonding time, and to pass the days until my broken leg healed.  On the way to Tennessee, it started raining.  On the way to Gatlinburg, we saw ten rainbows.  Yes,  I said ten different rainbows.  I have never seen more than three at one time in my thirty eight years on this earth, let alone ten.  Many of these rainbows were the brightest, widest, and longest I have ever seen.  But I get ahead of myself.
   Now I don't know how you feel about those from heaven, or from beyond, or from wherever they come sending signs, or contacting you, but I believe.  I believe those rainbows were sent from or on behalf of my mother, and I will tell you why.
   After my now husband and I, began dating, he met my grandfather.  My grandfather was in the hospital , and I took my now husband to meet him.  My grandfather passed away a short while later.  My "Pawpaw", as I called him, was always giving out some form advice or another.  Well of course, advice towards my boyfriend was no exception.  He told me,"If you can't be the tablecloth darling, don't be the dishrag!"  Okay, I will give you that my Pawpaw was a fiesty old character, but I remembered his advice.  On my first Christmas visit to his mother's house for our first family Christmas together, I became overcome with emotion.  I excused myself, and stepped out on the porch.  It was a very quiet night, having snowed earlier in the day.  There was no wind, but it was bitter cold.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I had a good cry because I was so happy, and then something happened that stopped me in my tracks.  I looked up to the sky, on this cold, windless night, and spoke to my grandfather.  I said, "Look Pawpaw, I'm not the dishrag anymore!"  Immediately the wind chimes hanging on the porch in front of me started clanging back and forth.  Mind you not all the wind chimes on the porch, just the one set in front of me.  There was still no wind, and I was not pushing or blowing on them.  It was not snowing or raining either.There is not a doubt in my mind that was my Pawpaw saying to me,"I see baby girl, I see!"   I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, in my heart of hearts, that it was my Pawpaw. There is no other logical explanation to explain it away.  Call me crazy if you will, but I believe.
   My mother died unexpectedly last fall.  The night she died I came home around two in the morning, after calling all the appropriate people, and making arrangements of where she was to be sent.  I was sobbing in my husbands arms on the couch, when I suddenly heard, we both heard my daughter giggling in her sleep.  She repeated the giggling several times.  I dreaded telling my baby the next morning, that her beloved Gran Gran had went to be with Jesus.  When I woke her the next morning, she told me that she had a dream about Granny.  She said Granny was with the angels.  I then told her what had happened.  There is not a doubt in my mind that my mother came to tell my daughter she was with the angels now, that she was going to be okay.
  My mother dying last November, left me with big shoes to fill.  I was running around like crazy.  The whole family went to the funeral home to pick out the casket, discuss the obituary, and to attend to all the other minor details that the death of a person entails.  She passed away a day and fourteen minutes before Thanksgiving.  My husband cooked the Thanksgiving dinner  that my mother and I had discussed on the phone, for my grieving and broken family.  Then the next day I went with my father to help him pick out her dress, jewelry, her makeup, and his clothes for the wake and funeral. We also stopped at the florist to order the casket spray and little pillows from her loved ones.  It was a tough day.  I then had one of my best friends go with me to the cemetery, to take care of business, and then back to the funeral home to honor her last request of me. 
   A few weeks before she unexpectedly passed away, she asked me if when something happened to her, I would do her makeup.  My mother was one of those beautiful women, who did not go anywhere without her makeup done, her hair fixed, or without all of her jewelry.  She said since she taught me how to put on makeup, that I was the only one she trusted not to make her look like a clown.  Of course I agreed to this request.  Assuming and telling her that it was going to be a long while before I would need to honor it.  Little did I know, that a few short weeks was all.  So my friend and I go to the funeral home armed with her bag of makeup, her favorite picture of her recent self, her underwear, dress, her new lucky WVU socks, that she never got to wear, and her perfume.  Call me morbid, call me crazy, call me strong, I did my mother's makeup.  Just the way she taught me.  My friend was one of her 'girls' from our youth group as well, and we all joked that mom was up in heaven laughing at us.  We carried on, remembering her and funny things she had done.  It was like old times at the youth group slumber parties, that we always had at our house. About halfway through her makeup, another youth group girl that was one of my momma's 'girls', stopped by and joined the party at the funeral home.  She brought her husband, who is in medical school, so we did not bother him a bit.  We laughed and had a good time together remembering her, and celebrating her, just like she would have wanted.
   So the morning of the wake, I was awoken at sunrise to this bright, brilliant light, streaming through my window.  Now normally morning sunlight does not just come streaming through my window.  And normally I don't just 'get up' at sunrise. I sleep through anything most of the time.  Something told me to get up.  So I got up, and looked outside.  I do not have the words to describe what I saw.  It was a sky filled with the most beautiful shades of purple and yellow, my mother's favorite colors.  I grabbed the camera, and threw my husband's shoes on, and ran outside.  I started snapping.  I was awestruck.  A sense of such peace and joy filled me.  At that moment I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt it was my mother sending this to me.  This beautiful sunrise between me and her.  It was her way of letting me know she was proud of me for leading my broken family through this most difficult time.  That I was doing good.  The purple and yellow clouds surrounded my house, and lasted almost forty minutes. Again, it was loud and clear to me.  I believe.  I know she is in heaven rejoicing, and she wanted me to know!  I had also had a conversation with her the last day my baby and I spent at her house with her putting up the Christmas tree, less than a week before she passed away.  She mentioned something about dying soon, that she was ready, and I told her that she was being silly, but if she should ever pass away, that she had better keep in touch! 
   There were almost four hundred people at her service.  My mother was a very well loved individual.  The next morning I again woke at sunrise, and there was another purple and yellow sunrise, although in more muted shades than the day before, and that magnificent display.  I was again flooded with a sense of peace.  I truly believe that it was my momma sending me peace to help me get through those two days.  These sunrises helped me get through a few of the most difficult days of my life.  I believe that I had a little help from above.
   So back to the rainbows.  We had seen ten rainbows over the course of two hours.  My daughter said we were in rainbow alley.  I got chills after the first rainbow.  It took my breath away. It had all seven colors, bright as a neon sign.  I also got that cool, flooding sense of peace that my mother sends me.  It was the biggest, brightest, and widest rainbow I have ever seen.  Then there were more.  There were bright rainbows, double rainbows, and glimpses of rainbows peeking out from the clouds.  I told my father that I thought it was my mother telling us she was approving of our bonding trip!  He wholeheartedly agreed, and we both leaked a little.  He stopped at Starbucks for coffee, and the rainbows had all but faded when he returned to the car.  I told him again, it was definitely mom.  As we drove out of the parking lot onto the main  road, I'll be doggoned, there was another one right smack dab in front of us.  Loud and clear mom, loud and clear.
  Just a couple of weeks ago, I smelled my mother in my living room.  It was her unmistakable scent.  That was all it was.  Just a whiff of her perfume.  I found that a little odd.  It made me wonder though.  Was it just my imagination?  Some spilled koolaid on the floor? I do not know.
   In closing, I will tell you, I believe. People in my family have had similar experiences. They do not think I am crazy. Does it run in our family? Yes.  Does it happen to everybody? No.  I can only say that it has happened to me, and has happened in my family to other people as well. I cannot speak for them, but I can say that I am glad to have had these experiences with my loved ones.  So call me crazy if you will, or believe with me if you dare!  Just thought I would share.

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