Around 1990, 3 yrs. after my mom died, a strange thing happened. The very day I got word one of her friends died, my mom’s treasured mantle clock fell off my mantle.
Just fell off. Big brick mantle. Big brick hearth. Not pretty. The wood casing had cracked open, exposing clock pieces lying in disaster mode on the carpet. After the initial shock, I decided that must be Mom’s way of letting me know… “she’s here...”
That’s the way my mind works, and those who have read Saving Gracie will understand this concept more clearly.
I’ve often wondered how Mom would feel knowing I’ve now published two books. I listen…or I think I listen, but so far haven’t heard/received any messages.
Last night I found out a high school friend’s husband had died and the funeral would be today, March 25th. I hadn’t seen my friend in over ten years, but the two of us had gone all through school together and she’s just one of those people you feel like you’ve known f-o-r-e-v-e-r. The service was pretty far south, still in range, but would be a good 30-35 minute drive. Should I go?
Now, backing up a few steps, I’ll say I’ve been in a bit of a rut getting back to writing.
I’ve rolled around in all the Eeyore-ness I can come up with and finally, just yesterday, put my big girl pants on and decided to kick some ass (writing, that is). First thing this morning I got to my office and started pounding the keys. The service was at 2:00 and I knew, by some chance, if I decided to go I’d have to be dressed and out of here by 1:15 at the latest.
I’m typing away, happy to have words actually produced on the computer screen. I don’t know how long I sat there (time warps happen a lot when the creative flow is actually flowing), but a loud crash from the kitchen brought me back to Earth.
On the tile floor lay my near-full recycle bag which I had hung from a long pegboard hook about 4 feet off the ground. Strange… I picked up the mess and looked at the clock. 12:40.
Thirty-five minutes later I had changed clothes and was heading out Beltway 8 South to the funeral. Did it matter? Would my friend even know I was there? I probably wouldn’t know another soul, but off I went. I pulled in the parking lot of the funeral home and checked my clock. 1:57
Hang with me here…I’m winding up. Several things happened, well, they didn’t happen, I just noticed them. The first was a huge spray at the head of the casket covered with bluebonnets (one of my mom’s all-time favorite flowers).
Then, my friend’s dad, a retired minister, stood and spoke about memories and roses. The one quote I found after my mom’s death that brought me such comfort.
By this time I had straightened a bit in my seat, my antennae up. Next came the reading of the 23rd Psalm, Mom’s favorite verse, and also read at her service. I’m at high-alert status.
“Now for a song, the minister said.” In the Garden started to play…also played at Mom’s service. I was getting it now. I felt very strongly my mom was with me…sitting right beside me, if I had to guess.
I was quite teary-eyed by this time when the minister announced there would be a final song.
I said softly, “Well, there’s only one song left” And...
started to play...
My heart felt like it was going to bust right through my chest. I put my hand on the pew beside me just in case Mom wanted to put hers on top of mine.
My thoughts flew back to the scene in Saving Gracie where Grace sat on the beach and her mom, in spirit form, sat beside her.
Mom always had a soft voice and I guess, in this case, she needed to rattle some pots & pans, for lack of a better phrase, to get my attention.
I knew no one at that funeral but my high school friend. After the service it felt so good to give her a big hug and it seemed to mean a lot I had made the trip. She said, “Oh Terry, I haven’t seen you in so long, but it seems just like yesterday.”
I’m obviously back at the computer and ready to proceed with book #3, feeling my mom is smiling over me.
And one last note… my friend’s husband’s last name…
…Mom’s maiden name. Isn’t that cool?