Yesterday was the perfect Michigan “Indian Summer” day. The leaves are changing color, crunching on the ground as I walked through them. The sun was glistening off the river, and the highs were in the 70’s! It was glorious!
After having Raymond’s truck and camper on Craigslist for 3 months, with little interest, I decided I needed someone to sell it for me. A guy. Someone, who knows about cars. I talked to Karen and asked her if her son might want to make some money, selling the camper and he said yes. He has a friend who lives right on the highway in town and we took it over there to park it.
Just as we were putting up the “for sale” signs, a man stopped. I introduced myself and he said his name was Ray! I took that as a positive sign. The camper is going to sell. Funny how the universe gives us signs like that.
On the way home, I asked Karen if she wanted to see Raymond’s headstone (which finally came in from the VA). She, of course, said yes. I had put a little angel statue there, in place of his headstone and when the headstone came in I had moved the statue right next to it.
While cleaning my bead/meditation room, I came across four jars labeled: Mom, Dad, Buffy and Annie. In these jars were trimmings of hair from his mother, father and two beloved dogs. I was at a loss wondering what I should do with the hair, which meant so much to Raymond. My sister Debbie told me, “Well you have to do a ceremony and burn it or burry it.”
Robin (my other sister) came out last weekend and we took it to his grave, I dug a little hole and did a ceremony, emptying the hair, one bottle at a time, telling Raymond that he was now buried next to his parents with is loving doggies by his side. Robin and I left in tears, but happy, knowing we did the right thing.
So, yesterday, Karen and I pulled up to his grave. We walked through the crunching leaves and I noticed the most amazing thing! On the angel statue, next to his headstone, was a beautiful yellow rose. Someone had come to visit Raymond’s grave. It meant so much to me to see that someone else is missing Raymond and is thinking of him. I burst into tears. Someone else went to visit his grave! I am not alone mourning his loss. I was astonished how one little yellow rose could open my eyes and make me understand that I am not the only one grieving and missing him. Somehow, that rose transformed me.
I don’t know who left the rose, but I do know that Raymond was loved and is missed by many. One of his favorite songs to sing was “The Rose” by Bette Midler. The last verse is:
When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose.
My transformation, is symbolic of these lyrics. It is “my springtime.” I have gone through the long bitter “winter” (this past summer) and I am finally feeling the sunshine return to my life. I am sprouting, slowly, but I am pushing my way through the hard cold dirt, of loss and grief, and finding myself happier. My memories of Raymond are becoming less about when he was sick and I was so tense taking care of him. Now I am remembering the Raymond who was loud, funny and opinionated. The Raymond who complemented me all the time. He made me feel so pretty, so safe and so loved. The Raymond who laughed at me every time I caught a fish. The Raymond who played three chords on his guitar and sang every song with enthusiasm!
I am appreciating his foresight in taking care of me; by signing the trailer over to my name. I feel secure and at home, in this little trailer he so lovingly fixed up. He knew that my life would go on. I am beginning to realize that I probably do have a long life ahead of me and soon, (maybe with the help of an angel named Raymond) I just might bloom into a rose.