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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Soaring Hearts

I began my Tuesday in the usual manner, picking up a client, (who is more like a friend) and then heading out together to run errands and maybe dig up some fun. It was a blue-domed day with wispy white clouds …a perfect jigsaw puzzle sky.

We chatted as we headed to our first appointment, or I should say that I chatted while she remained silent and somewhat somber looking. Being the consummate cheerleader I asked “What’s shaking lady?” to which she replied, “Momma died two years ago today.” I watched as her lower lip quivered, cuing the tears. “I’m sorry.” I said, handing her a napkin from the glove box, and then turning down the radio.

I remember her mother, a ferociously private woman, devoted to the care of her developmentally disabled daughter, and her duties as a nurse. I used to enjoy the challenge of engaging her in conversation, always hungry for the reward of watching her face light up as she spoke about the things that she loved: her God, her family, and her work. You never would have guessed that she was engaged in the battle of her life against breast cancer. I have no memory of her ever mentioning it or complaining about feeling ill. She was an incredibly brave woman.

“We have to do something to honor her memory.” I said, hoping for some inspiration, a Band-Aid to put on my friend’s wounded heart. “We can do balloons.” She suggested, with a hint of a smile. So balloons it was. We drove to the Dollar Store and picked up two beautiful heart shaped balloons; she insisted I get one for my mom too. We then drove to the beach, where the sky is wide open and the dependable gulf breeze could carry our hearts high up to heaven.

Standing on the pier in silence, she held onto the balloons which were now dancing in the wind, straining against their leashes like two eager pups ready for a romp in the park.

Speaking softly, as though not wanting to disturb the other occupants of heaven, she began, “Hi mom, I really miss you. I know that you’re in heaven so I’m sending you a balloon so you’ll remember how much I love you. God, I love you too; please take care of my Momma.” Her face softened; she had made contact. I then took my turn, now made easy by my friend’s willingness to go first.

Unwinding the strings from her hand she released the balloons. Our two hearts soared up higher and higher, as though answering a call to go home. Squinting into the sky we waited, smiling…until they magically disappeared from our view forever.


Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes, Leah. What a lovely thing to do. You never really get over loosing your mom, do you? It's been almost fifteen years for me, and there are still times it feels like it happened yesterday.

Leah Griffith said...

Ah Karen, that is for certain. The world becomes a different place once your mom leaves the planet. Thank you for your sweet post.

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Leah, this made me feel so grateful to still have my mother here on earth.
Your post today was truly touching. Thank you for sharing this sweet story.

Leah Griffith said...

Hi Martha! Yeah, this was a tender moment. I love them but at the same time they leave a subtle shadow of sadness on my soul. Such is life.
It's great to see you Martha. Thanks for taking the time to stop in and read.

sparklemezen said...

That was a beautiful gesture. She found compassion and trust within you.You were meant to be with her..

Leah Griffith said...

Hi Sparklemezen, you are right. She and I have such a spiritual connection...she gives to me as much or more than I give to her.
Thank you for your thoughtful post. I'm going to head over to your place and see what's cookin;)

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

This brought tears to my eyes, remembering a friend of mine who died from brain cancer. Everyone had released balloons already, but I thought her six-year-old daughter might want to write a letter to her mom. We tied it to a big bunch of balloons. Clouds had moved in and covered the sky, but just when her balloons got near them, a crack opened up in the clouds, letting sunlight through. Her letter slipped upwards through the crack. What a special moment.


Leah Griffith said...

Aw Debbie, that gave me goosebumps. Isn't it just like God to part some clouds for a little girl. I love that you thought of that for her.

Shreya said...

Nice post, simply loved it. Thanks for sharing :)

Bongo said...

That just made me cry...beautiful....As always...XOXOXOXO

Jan said...

Beautiful experience for you and she. Thank you so much for sharing the light with us.<3

Leah Griffith said...

Shreya, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts:)

Leah Griffith said...

Hi Bongo, I glad that you enjoyed this. Some days you just never know what life has in store.

Leah Griffith said...

Hello Jan, Thanks for your thoughtful post. I'm glad that you stopped in.

Roy Durham said...

here are some more balloon just sailing to the heavens god bless and remembered <3 <3 <3

Julia said...

Oh, dear Leah.

You are a heart opener.

I'm sitting here in my bedroom, a cup of hot tea next to me, tears rolling down my cheeks...your words have a way of getting deep deep inside, connecting me to that sacred space.

Thank you, beautiful one.

Leah Griffith said...

And you my dear Julia, have a way of making me blush.
Believe it or not I cried when I wrote it. Next time I need to flag my post with a "tissues necessary" warning.
Thank you for your loving words. You really are very sweet.

Leah Griffith said...

Roy, You are the absolute sweetest <3<3<3

SK Delph said...

First let me congratulate you on your 100th post.

You know I lost my mother last year. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. You've been throughout your blog that one stop inspiration. I've always appreciated your insight and ability to reach out and touch with words. It's mighty. Love you

Anna L. Walls said...

Aw, how sweet

Leah Griffith said...

S.K. I am so sorry to hear about your mother. It's been over 12 years for me and I still can't completely digest it.
I'm so happy that my words have found a place in your heart to touch and to send my love. You're amazing you know.

Leah Griffith said...

Anna! It's great to see you here. Thanks for your post;) You're busy as usual...I can't believe what you achieve.

Jayne said...

Oh Leah--so touching and beautiful. You have an enormous and amazing heart and that sweet girl will remember your kindness and compassion for the rest of her life. You make a difference.

You do good work. ;)

Alia said...

Such a beautiful, heart-felt post, Leah. Sending you love today.

Leah Griffith said...

Jayne, you always sweep in with such timing and grace, blessing me with your kind words. I am blessed with my work. She gives so much to me;)
BTW, I forgot to mention how much I loved the Frolic's music this week. Paul Simon is such a gifted poet and musician.

Leah Griffith said...

Alia, thank you for stopping by and sending your love...sending some right back. What a mushy bunch we are heh? LOL!

Suze said...

Leah, this was just lovely.

'Being the consummate cheerleader' -- and I particularly love that.

Below, I've copied and pasted my response to your comment on my post so you don't have to truck back to view it.

'I know you probably already know these stories a million times over but I'll add another one, Pirsig's 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' was passed on 123 times before it was signed and became a modern classic.

Passes, unless you have people actually reading and giving you a consensus of fairly specific feedback, are absolutely meaningless. As meaningless as a bunch of goths passing on your ballgown. It's subjectivity in the extreme tempered with a general wariness in these revolutionary times and all the number 80 means is that you are driven, determined and most certainly have what it takes to see this thing through. You've my admiration and can consider me a comrade in arms!

(I shall post this to your blog just to make sure you see it.)

Tipping my hat.'

Leah Griffith said...

Suze, Thank you for visiting and taking the time to leave me such a thoughtful and inspiring reply. I've read it twice already and will return to it when I feel my spirit beginning to sag.
I'm so glad that I found your blog.
See you soon!

Pocket Perspectives said...

Oh, this is such a lovely post....and the love of mothers is such a precious thing. The song...Somewhere out there...I used to sing it to my daughter when I was pregnant with her..I was an "older mother" so would wish loving thoughts for her health and a full term pregnancy for her, inside of me...and how we were waiting, "somewhere out there," for her to come out. She's 24 now...and loves the song too...and maybe someday, when I'm no longer here in my body, I hope that she'll hear that song and feel the fullness and depth of my ongoing love for I hope that your friend experienced today. (my daughter is the one who moved to her own apartment yesterday...wide open spaces.... : ) )

Leah Griffith said...

Pocket, that song has melted my heart time and time again. I love the thought of you singing it to your unborn child, and now she is out there. Motherhood is like having bits and pieces of yourself strewn feel every joy and pain that your child feels...the desperation can sometimes be choking. But in the end we relinquish our fears to a power greater than ourselves lest we become a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution.
Thanks for you sweet post. You got me thinking once again today.

Brooke said...

chills, chills, chills. I second Julia. You are a heart opener. whew. just love your story and what a beautiful person you are. I love your sweetness, your precious energy. Thank you for being you!

Leah Griffith said...

Brooke, you always make me smile. You've got such a generous spirit.
Thank you for being you!!
I sent you my email addy;)

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