Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Comforting Signs

Yesterday my husband and I went to visit our son's grave site.  We stopped at our local grocery store to buy some flowers.  As we were walking across the parking lot to the store we noticed this license plate.  The first three numbers, 330, are the same as for our son's birthday, March 30th!  When we arrived at the cemetery we noticed a Red Tailed Hawk feather a few feet away from Graham's grave stone. We knew there was special symbolism associated with this feather.  As we were driving through the cemetery on our way home this song came on our car radio, The Police - I'll Be Watching You. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH_YbBHVF4g  This is a special song to me.  I have it on my iTunes play list of songs for my son.  Graham was letting us know he was (is) with us.  Love never ends.  Notice the signs.  Blessings to us all. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Memorial Bench

When my son was a senior in high school he took a Biology class. Part of the Biology class requirement was to grow something in their school lab. Graham took some seeds from a Fuji apple that he ate and planted them. Surprisingly, they did well. He had four apple trees growing. They looked like little twigs. When the school year was over he brought them home. This was in June of 2004. The following year we bought a home and moved in April of 2005. We were so happy to stop moving after years in the military and to have a home of our own. One of the first things Graham did was to plant his apple trees in our back yard (they were still small enough that they had been in plant pots up to then). 

On September 22, 2007, our world changed in an instant when we learned our dear Graham had passed in a tragic accidental fall. He had just started his senior year of college. The first spring after Graham died (2008) was the first year that his apple trees had some blossoms on them. We went out and took a picture of one of his trees. I was crying and talking to Graham and saying, do you see your beautiful trees? When we downloaded the picture there was this beautiful rainbow beside his tree! This special picture is the picture we used on the back of my book, A Mother's Tears.

Graham's apple trees have grown so much. A couple of months ago I had the thought that it would be so special to have a memorial bench to sit on under this special tree. We ordered this outdoor bench and are so happy with it. We also wanted to have this be a lovely landscaped area. I was really hoping that it would be completed by tomorrow for Graham's angelversary. I never know when the landscaping people will show up. It's been in various stages for the past month or so. Friday they were here planting the last plants! I just knew that Graham would help to see it done by tomorrow. We are so grateful for the gift of his beautiful apple trees.

I also had this poem come to me. Thank you, Graham. You live in our hearts forever.

Memorial Bench

We now have a memorial bench to sit upon,
In our back garden lawn,
Under one of your apple trees,
That you planted and grew from seeds.

LOVE NEVER ENDS is engraved on the plaque,
That is on the bench’s back,
In your loving memory,
Of life, love, and legacy.

There could be no more perfect place,
For a reflective resting space,
Among the scented blooms and leaves,
Your love permeates the air we breathe.

We love you son and feel you near,
Love does not ever disappear,
You are in our hearts forever,
Loved, cherished, and remembered.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Family Heritage Sign

The men in my husband's family have a tradition of carrying a coin in their pocket. I would like to share this meaningful experience from last night and why it's such a significant sign for us.

My husband's maternal grandfather always carried a silver dollar in his pants pocket. He passed a few months before my husband was born. The 1922 "Peace" dollar in the picture with this post is the last one he carried. When my husband graduated from high school his maternal grandmother gave him a 1964 silver Kennedy half dollar in a key chain holder as a gift. Ever since then my husband has always carried a 1964 Kennedy half dollar in his pocket. When this coin was lost he replaced it from the coin collection he inherited from his dad with another 1964 silver Kennedy half dollar. My father-in-law always carried a silver dollar in his pants pocket, the 1885 "Morgan" dollar in the picture. After my husband's father died my husband took our son to a coin shop in the town where my father-in-law lived and bought him a commemorative "Standing Liberty" silver dollar coin, the 1993 coin shown in the picture, which was based on the old "Standing Liberty" half dollar. Later, my husband found the 1942 "Standing Liberty" half dollar in the picture in his dad's coin collection and gave it to Graham so he would have a coin he could carry in his pocket as a substitute for the collectible dollar coin. Graham always carried it in his pants pocket. A family tradition honored. When Graham passed it was in his jeans pocket. I keep it in a special box that was his.

Last night my husband and I were with my parents, three of my brothers, and my daughter and her family for a special family get together and celebration. At some point my dad went out and picked up his mail. When he was opening up the mail there was a solicitation that included a half dollar! I knew that was Graham letting us know that he was with his family too. I was amazed at the personal significance of this. It brings tears just writing about it. Notice the little miracles and gifts we are given. Love is the greatest gift of all. It transcends space and time. I am so very grateful.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Time Moves Differently

I have been wanting to have a lovely antique watch image to post with a message about time. The concept of time takes on a whole other perspective when you have a devastating loss. I had just mentioned this to my husband the other day. Yesterday when I was at a Scottish games event with my family I found this watch pendant at the booth of a family friend of ours; this was the only watch she had. I was so surprised to see the angel wings on it! It is perfect for what I had in mind. My husband took this photo of the watch and we included a line from my poem, "If Only," with it. I believe our son, Graham, led me to find this.

Here is the full poem:

If Only

If only dreams could come true,
I would still be with you,
We would never count the days,
Because you would not have passed away.

Each morning when I rise,
There would be no thought that you died,
Every day I would awake with joy,
Happy with life and my wonderful boy.

Sometimes dreams come to an end,
I’ll not see my son in this life again,
He’s the last thought when I go to bed at night,
And my first thought with the morning light.

If only you were not really dead,
And would be coming home instead,
I’d like to pretend you’ve just been away for awhile,
Separated by nothing more than miles.

Time moves differently now that you are gone,
It’s so hard to keep moving on,
You are remembered and loved more than I can say,
And I miss you every single day.

Copyright © C.A. Stevenson 2010