Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reflections on a Beautiful Soul

If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever." ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

My Nana was an old soul, a kindred spirit, very in tune with the earth and very wise about the world.  She taught me about life by showing me how to embrace nature. Today, would have been her 93rd birthday.  Her body left this world 7 years ago but her soul remains and it has kept watch of me and my family since.

Throughout the years, my Nana and I,  used to pick four leaf clovers.  Honoring her Native American heritage, when she found a feather she would stick it behind her ear. We would sit for hours in the backyard (even when I was a teenager) and pick literally 100’s of four leaf clovers. No one could understand how we always found them let alone so many. These memories I will always cherish.

I went with a friend to Woodstock, NY when I was pregnant with my oldest son, Mikey (Her "angel in a basket") and they were selling necklaces with real four leaf clovers in them. I bought her one and gave it to her and we sat and chatted for hours about them and our special tradition at every visit. After she passed away, I wore the necklace and oddly the four leaf clover started to fade slowly and then disintegrated, yet all the fluids remained in the necklace.  I think she just took it with her.
My Nana is always with me and she has ways of letting me know she is present. Every holiday, whether it is a birthday, anniversary, major holiday or family event; I always find a four leaf clover.  Last year I couldn't find any for a few months and I was becoming really disappointed because I always found them before and I was worried about the underlying message.  Was she still with me?  Did she move on?  Then one day I found 5 in my parents front lawn. I was so excited, there was one for every missed event -- My birthday, one for each of my boys birthdays, my anniversary and mothers day. On my way into the house to wrap them, I lost one. But I wasn't disappointed because I knew she was there for me. 

Another reminder that she is watching over me is an interesting story.  Four years ago, while preparing for Mikey’s birthday party and hanging up decorations in the back yard at my parent’s house; I found a feather. (Remember, she used to wear them in her hair?) I taped it to the chimney and told everyone that my Nana was there. (It hung there for over three years through many storms just held by a tiny piece of scotch tape until my parents replaced the chimney.)  Each year for the boys' birthday parties a new feather had been found below the one hanging on the chimney.  This was the first birthday party since the chimney replacement that no one mentioned the feather nor did anyone find one.  And although I didn't tell my parents, I found the original feather at the party.  Wilted from years of fighting against storms, I found it while bringing up the cakes from down in the basement, hiding slightly out of sight under the stairs where it must have picked up residence.

I share these memories as a way to honor the amazing woman who this world lost 7 years ago.  The woman who was admired and loved by all those she met.  She was a beautiful old soul and she will forever live on in my memory and in the stories we share.

Happy Birthday, Nana.  I love you.


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