Just a thought… You don’t get over it, but you cope. [Carol Burnett]
Here we go: the week that has our daughter’s death date on Friday and then Mother’s Day on Sunday. To say that May carries with it an extra heaviness is an understatement, but we will, to quote a song title from our favourite Beatles album (Abbey Road), “Carry That Weight.”
Oh, by the way, we did hear from the town of Sidney: they have no plans to put a bench near those ponds at Iroquois Park, as there are other places that are higher up the list for benches. That’s all right. I’ve written back with a special plea, so we shall see. I visited “our” pond last Thursday and found this bench-shaped rock.
It’s a nice place to sit and listen to Lauren singing “Dream a Little Dream” on my phone. And that’s just what I do when I’m there with the ducks quacking quietly and the human-made waterfall flowing nearby.
We’ll find other ways and other places in which to spend time with our girl. It’s not as if she’s not with us every moment anyway.
Thank you to Joanne for sending me a People.com article about Carol Burnett, who at the age of 85 is embarking on a new TV show on Netflix! She reflected on the 2002 death of her daughter Carrie at age 38 of cancer and how it threatened to take Carol out, too. She had to get out of bed, though, to complete a play she was writing and she said a prayer to Carrie to help her. Here’s how the rest of the story goes:
Burnett says that at the time of the play, she suddenly felt Carrie’s presence all around her.
I got on a plane and said a little prayer to Carrie, and said, I’ve got to do this alone. Don’t leave me alone. Give me a sign that you’re with me.’
When Burnett got off the plane and checked into her hotel, she saw there was a beautiful bouquet of birds of paradise flowers waiting for her.
That was Carrie’s favorite flower, she says. She had one tattooed on her right shoulder. Then at dinner the maître d’ gave us a bottle of Champagne, and the label said Louise.’ That was Carrie’s middle name. Then it rained on opening night. Carrie and I were nuts for the rain.
I love reading these affirmations of signs from those we love. When I told you a few weeks back about the tearful walk I took and then the flower and the Beatles song that I heard a snippet of during that sad time, I left off one detail that I thought was just too much to believe.
As Rob and I got closer to the house, we were about to turn into the driveway when I could hear, wafting from a house a few doors down (or perhaps it was a crew working on a nearby site, but I somehow doubt it), the final few lines of one of the biggest movie themes of all time. It was Whitney Houston’s voice singing and the song was “I Will Always Love You.” Even with hearing aids made necessary by years of headphones and high volume editing, Rob didn’t hear the love song’s strains, so I didn’t point them out to him. But I carried it with me inside the house.
We have all the proof we need that our loved ones are around us and if they’re not what we want – an actual conversation, kiss or embrace – we still have to find some way to be grateful. A few lines of a song played over a store’s PA, a dime on the ground or a special bird (in Rob’s case, an eagle) flying over as friends sing “Happy Birthday,” they’re all just little nudges or “Godwinks,” as one reader calls them, to remind us that those we love are as close as our heartbeat and as constant as our breath. Have a gentle Monday.