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Weezie plays Wordle

My favorite time of day to play Wordle is first thing in the morning when I’m still resting in bed. The world is quiet, except for a few birds and sometimes soft rain.

One morning, I picked up my phone to unlock it. The first thing that appeared was an ad for a card game called “OuiSi.” Oh! How cute! I thought. OuiSi = “Yes” in French, “Yes” in Spanish. OuiSi, pronounced Wee See. Oh! Weezie! My mother’s nickname!

Her birthname was Eloise, but everyone called her “Weezie.”

I felt this was a sign from her just like the one on the way back from her memorial several years ago. I was riding in a car with my cousin and sister to my cousin’s house where my sister and I would spend the night before heading home.

Shortly after the memorial, I had asked my mom for a sign that she was still around.

During the long ride downstate, I’d forgotten about it. We chatted for a bit, then rode in silence. Suddenly, I noticed a sign way up in the air on the side of the road: “Weesies Brothers“! I gasped quietly. There it was! My sign!

I decided not to share with the others, nor had I mentioned my request for a sign from my mom as I wasn’t sure they believe as I do that our loved ones who have passed are still around in spirit.

I basked in the feeling that came over me as we continued down the highway.

So, back to Wordle! “Mom,” I said in my mind. “Wanna play Wordle with me?” I swiped the screen, found the blank page, then waited for a starting word to come to me. It came. “ROYAL” I typed it in, hit Enter, and each letter turned green! It was the first time (and so far the only time) that I got Wordle on the first try!

Thanks, Mom! Thanks for playing with me! Let do it again sometime!

A Mother’s Day “card”

My daughter was born at home in the company of her father, two friends, and two midwives. Two cardinals appeared outside the window just as I had my last contraction. I held this amazing, slippery and warm, wide-eyed baby in my arms amid soft candlelight while Billie Holliday crooned in the background.

Yesterday was my first Mother’s Day without her. She passed away at age 42 after long battles with cancer.

Mother’s Day is no different from any other day except for the name we’ve assigned it on the calendar. I was aware of its razor-like significance with my new identity: a mother who had lost a child. My only child.

I knew I had a choice. I could spiral downward watching everyone else receive flowers and cards from their dutiful children. Or I could spend the day recalling memories of my daughter and our lives together, and feeling grateful that I got to be her mom.

I believe our spirits live on after death in the other realm that we are blind to with our physical eyes. Shortly after her death, I was showered with signs that she was still around me. I sensed her presence. This Mother’s Day, I requested–without desperation–a sign from my daughter.

Later that morning, while my husband and I watched a recording of American Idol, I felt a deep love for her as one of the contestants sang Bob Dylan’s, “Make You Feel My Love.” It moved me to tears.

Then, while another contestant crooned “Lilac Wine,” my husband suddenly cried: “Pause it! Quick! Come here!” He was staring out the window waving me over. There on the branches of our lilac tree were two cardinals.

The best ever Mother’s Day “card” from my daughter.

Let Your Breath Be Your Pace

I have to fashion a bridge across the deep dark crevice of emotional pain that threatens to swallow me whole. I ask you now Spirit Guides and loved ones who’ve gone beyond to help me thread together this passageway that I may walk it slowly with ease and without incident. Can you help in this difficult path I see before me? Your Love is my Love is Me.

Dear One, fear not. It is your Nature to cling, to hop to the next stone of worry across what you feel is a burning lava at your feet. Allow yourself to let go. This is not yours to control. It must follow its own path and evolve without your input.

Yes, of course, you may indeed take action on your own behalf but no guarantees are given. There is probability, there is potential, there is free Will. You ask if this will be a lengthy process. You seek a Yes or a No. However, the Way of Nature is flow and undulation. Does a wave reach the shore in the same manner each time it is thrown forward? There is no “yes or no” when all the little droplets of water that make up the wave have each a mind of their own.

You feel a tsunami is upon you with all that is happening at the same time, and yet you can only breathe one breath at a time. Let your breath be the pace that you adhere to. Let the forces be at work here. You will come out the other side – renewed, whole, invigorated.

Keep your thoughts on the sea of infinite possibilities and allow, allow, allow the Unknown. These trials are for you, to shape you, to grow, to push against for strength and endurance. Only diamonds become diamonds by the pressure they endure.

You will rise, shining in the Glory of the Love you emit and Spread to the World. Fear not, for the Love of Spirit is within you and around you always.

Dream vs. Reality

My dad passed away at age 92 on September 16, 2013.

On September 28, 2016, I wrote this in my dream journal:

The other night, I dreamt I ran into Dad. In the dream, I had just gotten out of class or something — I was exiting a building with a lot of people. I almost walked right past him, but glanced back to see him standing against the doorway, waiting for me.

“Dad! When did you get here?!” I asked.

He looked professorial in his gray suit and tie. His crewcut reminded me how he looked in his forties. I asked if he was hungry. He said yes.

The dream continued someplace else…maybe my place. I was making a BLT. He was no longer in my purview. I ate my sandwich and forgot, or neglected, to make something for him.

Then he reappeared. I felt terribly guilty for not making him some food and only thinking of myself. I asked if he was still hungry. His answer was unclear, and then the dream ended.

Earlier that day, I’d been thinking about Dad. I had thought about how his love and affection had dissipated around the time I reached puberty. His pulling away felt sudden. I was 13.

I’d always thought it had something to do with me, with my age, that he was uncomfortable with it. But this day–before the dream–I had realized that his emotional waning happened to coincide with his planning a divorce from my mom. It had nothing to do with my age or the changes I was experiencing. Separation and divorce were likely first and foremost on his mind.

As in the dream, I had only thought of myself and my needs. I hadn’t considered what was going on for him at the time.

Healing Me Softly With His Song

A local dairy farm, Maple Valley Creamery, sells ice cream cones out of a small wooden hut. Each week, they give away free cones to specific names. One week it was for anyone who shared a name with someone in The Brady Bunch. My name is Jan, so my husband and I decided to take the 40 minute drive to get my free ice cream!

I had been worried about my daughter who has been going through months of chemo. She hadn’t been feeling well of late. I decided that a ride in the countryside to get an ice cream was what I needed.

We drove along winding, tree-lined roads that follow the river, past farm fields and past the Hadley Mall to the Hadley Scoop, as the colorful hut is called. We walked up to the window. I ordered one scoop of strawberry shortcake ice cream on a gluten-free cone. They use fresh strawberries!

Behind the hut was a seating area complete with fenced in cows, goats, and sheep for petting. We found a small picnic table in the middle and got settled, licking our creamy treats. We faced the music. There was a guy singing and playing guitar for tips on a six inch riser. He sang a Chris Stapleton song I was unfamiliar with, but the ambiance he created was soothing.

I heard lyrics about Jesus and angels. My ears perked up. I waited for the refrain, as my heart opened up and my daughter slipped in.

Don’t go looking for the reasons
Don’t go asking Jesus why
We’re not meant to know the answers
They belong to the by and by.

Angels come down from the heavens
Just to help us on our way.

Tears flooded my eyes. I tried to hold them back while silently licking my ice cream. One or two escaped. I felt singled out. This song, this message, was meant for me in this moment, I thought. He was healing me softly with his song.