Thursday, December 24, 2015

Will They Follow?

For those of you who have read my posts in the past, I have an affinity for wind chimes. It's actually a love that was handed down from my mom, both of us finding peace in a symphony of their songs. The more the merrier. On my Nana's deathbed, she promised my mom to speak to her, to us, in our wind chimes. She hasn't disappointed us. There have been times when I've been sitting at my desk writing with the window open, and despite the lack of wind, the chimes have sung. It's nothing short of magical. And while he never got the chance to say it in words, there have been times when it's clear that Nana isn't the only one who's talking.

I lost my son, Gabriel, just five months before Nana passed. I was in my sixth month of pregnancy when his heart just stopped beating. Losing the two of them so close together was a terrible blow to my heart and spirit. Although Gabriel's passing was considered a stillbirth, I didn't get the chance to hold him. While losing Nana was heartbreaking, she had lived a long, happy life. Gabriel didn't even have the chance to get started. I never got to nurture and cuddle him, never got to see him grow up. It's a wound to the heart that will never fully heal, but time has lessened its sting.

My mom and I are currently in the process of moving. The house we're in is the one my grandparents built in the mid 1960's. A week from today, we will be making our transition to a new home, and it will be the first time a Jorgensen hasn't lived here in over forty years. This house has been my residence on and off for more than 10 years, but I've been in it all my life. It will be bittersweet to say goodbye, as it has blessed us with so many great times, and yet it is time for us to move on.

With the move just a week away, my mom and I are up to our ears in packing. Today's goal was to pack up all the wind chimes and garden d├ęcor, including stepping stones and ceramic figurines. Mother Nature could not have given us a better, albeit abnormal, day to work in the garden in late December. After filling a whole box of wind chimes, I started gathering the stepping stones to hand off to my mom. Most of them were pretty easy to pull up, but I came upon several that were literally held to the Earth by ivy. No matter how much I manipulated it, the vines would not let it go.

"They must be meant to stay here," my mom said to me.

"Apparently so," I replied decisively. But my brain was far from settled.

As I glanced around our courtyard, I started to think about what is meant to stay behind in a house, and what is meant to move forward. Every home will contain some unpleasant memories and/or events, and when we move on, I believe we will spiritually be able to leave those memories behind. But on the same token, there are so many amazing things that happen in a house, not just the things we can pack into boxes, but that we carry in our hearts. All of those things will come with us next week as we settle into our new home.

I looked at the huge box full of wind chimes and the tote full of the ceramic garden pieces. They have a new yard and garden to bless with their physical beauty. While our wind chimes are all beautiful in their own rights, it's the songs they play that make them each special. And more importantly, at least for me, it's those very special songs they sing that are the most precious. Just as the Earth is holding tight some of our stones, I began to wonder if the spirits that have sung for us at this home might not want to leave, either. When we leave for the last time, will they follow?

After packing for several hours, my mom and I were each in need of a break. I went to my room and got lost in thought.
Several years ago, I was in the lobby of OSU Hospital after being discharged from a long stay. As I waited for my ride to arrive, I glanced over to the window of the gift shop, and something caught my eye. I saw the tips of angel wings. I saw chimes beneath them. I got out of my wheelchair and found my way into the store to the place where the wind chime was displayed. I literally had to crawl into the window display, as there was only one of that chime in stock. I was in love with it!  Nine years after he died, I finally found a chime that seemed perfect for Gabriel. 
I hung it as soon as I got home. These past few years, I've gotten such great joy from watching it dance in the courtyard, in both rain and shine. And while you may find it impossible to imagine, there have been occasions when I've been down or just missing my son more than usual, and that chime will be the one that sings. Somehow, my baby boy finds a way to talk to his mama from the place his spirit resides. Somehow...
Returning to the present, I started to think about God, and my relationship with Him. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, God finds me. I never have to go far, because He is alive within me. I can say the same about my Nana and my son; ESPECIALLY my son. My Nana lives on in everyone who loved her. When it comes to Gabriel, I carried him WITHIN me from the very start, so I will never have to seek him out. As for the wind chimes, our angels will sing for us in their new home. And that will make our new home feel like Home Sweet Home for my mom and I.
Merry Christmas!