Now - Soul Stories
My mother always said that flowers are to a gardener what paint is to a painter. They are both beautiful ways to share the story in your soul.
When she was young, she read somewhere that “a garden and a child – the similarities between the two are striking. Both require an investment of time and patience. Both call for a special caretaker to consider their needs and look out for their futures and both will blossom when tended with a mothers love.”
I know that I took this to heart all my life. It was the first “secret” that I had with my mother and one that we pinkie swore never to share with another person. Yet here I am sharing it with anybody that wants to come and visit me.
And visit they do – they are young and old, and everything in between. Each brings something to share with their loved ones- whether they are in physical attendance or not. They come with flowers, books, pictures, cards and many other memorial / commemorative items. They bring dolls to share in the tea parties, they bring clothes to go in the dress up closets and most importantly they bring those they love in their hearts.
Then – Messages
I’ve always watched Olivia and today is no different. She is serene, soulful and so beautiful sitting in the tea party garden that we just finished creating. It’s easy to see her familiar tears are again making their way down her peachy cream complexion. I can see her lips moving and I can imagine what they are saying, even though I cannot hear the words. I used to be able to know her thoughts as if they were my own, but lately I haven’t been able to. I’m not sure why but I suspect she has found a way to shut me out; either that or I have lost my talent or will to try? I love her too much to be angry with her for anything and as usual, am left to my own thoughts while I wait for an invitation to join her.
I remember the first time she really needed me. It was Christmas Eve when she was 2 ½. She was so excited – as young as she was; she knew Christmas was a special time. She was wearing her new red flannel pyjamas you know, the ones with the zip up the front and the bum flap on the back. She was just adorable with those little loose blond flowing curls.
She was allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve and the time couldn’t move fast enough for her. She sat patiently waiting on the black leather ottoman – for what seemed like an eternity. Mind you – 5 minutes is an eternity for 2 year old.
Her little green eyes just about exploded and a not so little scream escaped her throat when she saw the box. “It’s my talking phone, it’s my talking phone” she screamed and sure enough when she quickly ripped off the wrapping paper it was. She spent the next half hour trying to go through as many of the messages as she could and eventually recorded her own for Santa. That was the only way that they could get the phone out of her little hands and not bring it to bed with her. She then set out the cookies and milk for Santa for when he arrived later that night and toddled off to bed.
Christmas morning came bright and early – well not too early, as she has never been an early riser. I don’t think her little feet even touched the ground as she made it down the stairs and made it to the tree in what I am sure is record time.
Olivia, having regained a tiny bit of composure – well as much as a child can have, saw her telephone and thought she would continue to play with that until her parents arrived and gave the ok for gift opening.
She put in the little tape and was sorting through her stocking when she heard the familiar voices of mom & dad saying “good morning and Merry Christmas”.
It took her a minute to realize that it wasn’t them coming down the stairs, but their voices on the tape. She began to look around for them with the tape still running and heard “we love you, but we don’t love each other any more and we’re going away for a while to get a few things sorted out. You’ll be staying with Grandma but we’ll call you all the time and be back before you know it”.
Just then Grandma came down the stairs with a look of worry that only got worse when she heard what she was listening to “I’m so sorry you had to listen to that, I wanted to tell you myself after a big plate of pancakes”.
Two things happened in that moment – part of Olivia died and my relationship with her was truly born. We’ve been inseparable ever since.