Sometimes when you least expect it, you get sage advice from the unlikeliest places, in this case — from two people dear to me — who have been long dead. My sweet maternal grandmother who died when I was but eleven, and my much-beloved mom, who died when I was forty-nine.
I am still taming the house that Ron and I purchased in Ohio. Much of what remains to be tamed are the papers and pictures, files, and notebooks which this writer has no heart to destroy. Imagine my surprise when I discovered an envelope containing a letter from my Nana with my mother’s handwriting on the outside about a week ago. My mother had just written two words which were underlined: Mom’s letter. Hmmm.
The letter was not even written to my mom, but to my dear aunt. It contained sage advice after the death of my grandfather.
I have decided to go on living as nearly as we had always done — so I hung the flag yesterday, and tho I didn’t accept the S—–‘s dinner invitation they called for me at 8 p.m. and we went up to L—–‘s house to watch fire works . . .
Nana’s letter spoke of much that I have been navigating these past months since Ron’s death — financial decisions, legal matters, endless letters to write. But her letter ended,
A pastor wrote this morning “how he wished he might exchange his faith for daddy’s.”
I am light hearted much of the time, knowing how supremely happy he is.
Way back in the dark ages, a year after my high school graduation, I gave my parents a blank book for their wedding anniversary. I had copied into it some favorite poetry and had shared some youthful attempts at poetry as well. There were also quite a few blank pages. These are the same parents who I wrote about just recently here:
I’ve also written before about a letter my Dad wrote to my mother about his own future death (decades before the said event), which ended:
In that blank book, my mother wrote a Valentine to my dear father six years after his death. This is what she wrote:
Feb. 14, 2000, A Valentine for my Joe
The light of stars enfolding us
(We always loved their glory)
Created to delight His own
who marvel at the story.
For neither life, nor death, nor powers
Shall separate or sever
The love from God in Christ our King
In whom we live forever
I love you, Ron, and always will. I pray that the Lord will allow me the blessing of watching the little ones grow up. I will trust in the Lord. I share my parents’ and grandparents’ faith and know that you are in God’s hands, as am I.
One day, my beloved, we will stand hand in hand before the Throne.