Well, it finally fell out!!! After weeks and weeks of it hanging by a thread!
And it’s our last night with Grandpa on Bowen… Coincidence? I think not.
Terri and Jeanne truly outdid themselves tonight. True to form, their finale literally took my breath away…
It was a quiet morning. Grandpa was in rare form all week-singing, hiking, skipping stone after stone, attending Bowen’s Canada Day celebration, foraging through the woods. So today, we decided to take it easy.
Eventually we made our way to Killarney Lake where the magnificence of Bowen’s rain forrest cast its’ wondrous spell. Upon our return home, I forced myself to begin the preparations for our pending leave-taking. Sifting through our things, I was drawn to the pictures of Terri and Jeanne that I’m taking home. One held my gaze, calling to me…
The labyrinth… Jeanne had walked that labyrinth. She had taken our mother to walk that labyrinth. And here was Terri, walking that labyrinth. Anya, Jeanne’s best friend and I, were just talking about it yesterday, when she had us over for lunch.
So I journeyed to Xenia Centre . And I too walked the labyrinth. And Jeanne and Terri walked it with me. Memories swirled one after another. Joyous memories. Painful memories. I laughed. I cried.
When I returned home I noticed the goodies Miss M and I had left out for the deer that morning after skyping with Aunty Cole. Miss M had asked to “feed the deer Aunty Cole’s way”. When I asked what she meant she told me that on her last visit to Bowen with Mamãe, she and Aunty Cole had placed carrots on the tree stump next to the trampoline. So that’s exactly what we did.
Grandpa, Miss M and I gathered at the kitchen table. Just as we were getting ready to prep for dinner, I jumped out of my seat yelling, (or as Miss M likes to say, ‘freaking out’), “Oh my God!”
While marveling at Nana Canada and Mamãe’s uncanny abilities, (a mother and daughter deer pranced right in front of me on my walk to Terri’s old house yesterday!) Grandpa and I were moved to play a few videos for Miss M. The first was her at about 10 months old, dancing in the living room on Bowen.
“Where is Nana?”
I quickly found one that showed Jeanne and Miss M, swaying together to the music, fully entranced with each other. Then Grandpa showed us a few from the Bronx when Miss M was just born-Nana Canada holding her lovingly in her arms, singing her a Beatles song, then one with Nana Nana taking a turn, me and Jeanne playing paparazzi in the background.
But it was the video of Terri and Miss M skyping with Grandpa that broke open our hearts…
Here was Mamãe in the flesh… Laughing. Planning Granspa’s next visit. Literally telling Miss M how much she loved her. And then Mamãe started tickling her. And Miss M asked me if she could act like a baby, cuddling next to me. So we did just that. Then she asked to go on the floor and have me tickle her like Mamãe did. So we did just that. And that’s when the tooth came out…
And all of a sudden I remembered the night Terri and I went to see the Long Island Medium. At the end Theresa kept asking Terri about Miss M’s tooth. Had she lost one? Was one loose? Terri said no several times but Theresa kept coming back to that and told us to pay attention to that.
As I lay with Miss M after saying prayers, I swear I ‘heard’ Terri say, “That’s what she meant, Aunty. That it would be you, along with Papai and Grandpa and Aunty Cole that would keep me “alive” for my daughter…”
And this is how I am learning to go on without Terri and Jeanne… By living and loving fully. By being present and open to what the universe has to offer. By savoring the gifts they left me.
And I invite you to do the same…