There is a sadness in my soul. As I set out solo on a mid-morning walk my mind is mired down with thoughts of my Ma, her recent passing and the dismantling of her home as we sifted through the treasures of her life.
Among her orderly possessions I found all the Mother's Day cards my brother Stephen and I had given her through the years and another bundle neatly labeled "Grandma Mayme" of cards Mariah had mailed to her in the past six.
Tucked in with a Purple Heart medal, military commendations and awards given to her husband, who was missing in action, were little gifts Stephen and I had made for her when we were children. There was a round pencil holder made of corrugated cardboard, a little raft of Popsicle sticks glued together, a woven loop potholder and a small pink plaster of Paris bunny -- all typical gifts from the grade schoolers we were.
Numerous handmade cards, including one I fashioned of polka dot gift wrap and a paper napkin "flower" dabbed with lipstick, were safely snuggled in the fragrance of her cedar chest. In the simple script of my hand the card contained the verse, "May angles (angels) of heaven keep watch over you. Not only at Christmas, but all the year through."
Well, Ma, I know angels of heaven are keeping watch over you now. And so my thoughts meander through the memories of my life and hers and how her death will alter me forever.
Lost in thought I slip silently along the most recently cut path, now dubbed Grandma Mayme's Trail, leading from the open grassy area into the woods. Heading northward I wind onto Bunchberry Trail and continue until it meets up with the path that runs along the creek that bisects my land.
As always, my pace slows as I approach the hill that hides me from wildlife that may be lounging in the water or lingering at its edge. With caution I inch my eyes over the ground and peek -- and there to my great surprise is a pair of snow-white trumpeter swans floating on the ebony liquid.
My heart is gladdened and for at least these precious moments as I absorb the beauty before me, the sadness in my soul is lifted.
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