Today is the fifth anniversary of the passing of my grandmother, my beloved “Meme”. Meme was one of the most important people in my life, and continues to be, even in the absence of her physical body. It has been beautiful to feel my relationship with her continue even after her death, and to learn more about her from talking with my Pepe and the rest of the family. What has struck me most though, especially in the past year, is how she herself has made her presence known in a number of ways that have moved and reassured me in a way I’m not certain I can communicate in words. I feel her with me often, and especially so today.
In the past couple days I have re-entered what I like to call “the flow”, or a state of being that periodically arises in which I feel more alive, more open, and more attuned to the interconnectedness of life. In other words, these times (which can last hours, days, weeks, and when I’m lucky, even months) are characterized by a rapid succession of synchronistic events that expand my awareness and focus, and leave me feeling as though I’ve been propelled forward into a new phase of life. I am usually left feeling a strong sense of clarity, purpose, and faith in the universe. It is easier during these times for me to let go and trust that I am on the right path and things are happening as they should.
So I didn’t feel particularly surprised when I found myself sitting at a stranger’s kitchen table this morning, and she asked me if I wanted to choose an angel tarot card to get some guidance for my day. I had gone to this woman’s house for a massage, and remembered while I was there that it had been five years since the day that a sudden heart attack took my Meme from our family, without opportunity for anyone (save for my Pepe who was with her, thank goodness for that) to say goodbye. The realization came to me suddenly, and I felt a bit strange about it as the woman and her house reminded me of my grandmother in many ways, or maybe it was the memory of my Meme that created an opening for me to see what this woman and I have in common, and for me to feel that connection with her. Whatever it was, the massage ended and the woman offered me some tea and a tarot card, and I felt like they were both offers I should accept. As I shuffled the deck I could feel my Meme’s presence, and I held the hope for connection with her as I pulled my card: “Heart Chakra”. As I looked it over, the woman kindly offered to go down the street and get us some pumpkin bread, which I gratefully accepted. When she left, I opened the tarot book to the Heart Chakra description and began to read. The card told me to open and follow my heart; that the answer to my question lies within my heart, and a few other things that touched me as I have been struggling with a heart issue over the past week. But then I got to the part with the additional meanings of the card, and there it was: The Heart Chakra card also signifies that a loved one who died of a heart condition is saying “Hello, I love you”. And that’s where I broke. I was thankful that the woman had taken the time to go get us some pastries so that I could sob in private, and I mostly got myself together by the time she returned. I did share with her the experience I just had, and we ate breakfast and chatted about our lives – she told me of how her best friend died of a sudden heart attack. We found several parallels in our lives, and some of the comments she made, unbeknownst to her, offered me insight and reassurance about some other things in my life I had been questioning.
When I entered this interaction, I was not feeling fully open to receiving the gift of her massage. I was feeling bad about being late, still a little guarded from a previous misunderstanding we’d had about scheduling, and judgmental of her quirkiness. Thankfully, Meme showed up in time to remind me to stay open, receptive, and loving, and gifted me with the opportunity to make a new friend. I’m not sure what role this woman may have in my life – I’m supposed to help her organize her house now, and she did express a need for a new friend with whom to enjoy tea and tarot. And with Meme not being able to hang out with me anymore, I do have a space for an older, wiser grandmother-ey friend. So I guess I’ll just see what happens. But in a period where I have become conscious of the ways I sometimes judge people and keep them at arms length, it was nice to experience a softening, and a shift into how I want to receive people. My Meme, being one of the most caring, loving people I’ve ever known, is apparently not done with showing me how to follow her example.
So Meme, thank you for showing up. Thank you for letting me know that every time I think of you, you are actually there, and for reaffirming my faith that even though you are no longer in this realm, you are still with me, guiding and loving me through difficult times in my life. Thank you for saying “Hello, I love you”. I love you more.