Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rainbows and snowflakes

This is an ever so special repost especially at this time of year.
 

 
Years ago I was with my 52 year old best friend Rose. She was in her final days, dying of cancer, wishing she could survive long enough to celebrate one more Thanksgiving and Christmas, her favorite times of the year.

On a cold, dreary November day, with no chance of any precipitation in the weather forecast, we dunked donuts at her kitchen table. Then she laid down to rest.

I walked around her home gazing at her decorative wall groupings. She'd loved having friends over and hosting Home Interior Parties. As I looked at the displays, I remembered us young. I walked past her Grandfather clock, and as it chimed, I realized how fast time was ticking for Rose...me...US.

I sat on the sofa in reflective prayer, questioning, wondering, pleading. And then, two miracles happened. A ray of sunshine pierced the heavy cloud cover, shone through her window, and refracted off her crystal chandelier, splaying rainbows all around the dining room.

I rushed to wake her. "I have a surprise for you. Come see." I helped her shuffle, step by step to the dining room. It took a few minutes, and I hoped and prayed that sunbeam would stay till she could see the glorious colors. She smiled and laughed weakly as those rainbows bounced all over her nightgown. She tried to capture them in her hands, a smile on her face. Then the cloud cover and gloom returned, as the rainbows disappeared.

I helped Rose inch her way to the couch in the living room, dragging fifty feet of oxygen hose behind her. As we sat, lost in our own thoughts, her oxygen tank pumping overtime, I parted the drapes behind the sofa and gazed out the picture window. I could not believe my eyes. Huge, hamster-size snowflakes were drifting to the ground covering the yard in  a blanket of soft white. I helped Rose reposition herself so she could see out, which required major effort on her part. But oh what a reward. Silent tears rolled down our cheeks.

I talked to her about the snowfalls when our kids were young and we were neighbors. I reminisced about sledding, building forts and igloos in the backyard, our dogs romping in the snow. "This is your gift," I told her. We sat in silent reverence for fifteen minutes, then I helped get her back to bed.

Rose passed away before Thanksgiving, and she did not celebrate another Christmas, but together she and I witnessed her last snowfall. For this gift from on high, I am forever thankful.

 Above those wintry, frustrating snow clouds, past the rainbows, I realized as Rose slept, there was hope... hope everlasting.  

 

8 comments:

Sioux said...

Linda--What a moving story... a story that should be published in an anthology... or, your memoir.

Bookie said...

Yes, very beautiful.Did you see snow this morning? It snowed here hard for hours this morning...but melted. Have to admit it was pretty as we got on the road in the dark and snowflakes dancing in headlights are pretty when they aren't in a threatening storm. Sorry the season reminds you of sad things too.

Val said...

I thought of your story this morning around 9:30, when the mini blizzard was swirling outside my front window. It's so seldom that we see snow this early.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Last things are hard. This will be my first Christmas without my Dad. The holiday season is the hardest.

Susan said...

Oh, that was a sad post, Linda. I know how much you loved your dear friend. So glad you shared rainbows and snowflakes before she slipped to the other side of life. That was beautifully written. Susan

Connie said...

Beautifully written, Linda. This is a wonderful memory too.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

I remember this beautiful post, Linda. Thank you for sharing it again.

Tammy said...

How sad but how beautiful at the same time!