My close-as-a-sister friend Stephanie passed away almost nine years ago. I miss her all the time. I've had reminders.. dreams.. so forth pop up here and there a few times.. two very vivid dreams I am convinced were visitations. One was basically to let me know she was okay. The other was because I was in a state of distress over her being in an unmarked grave. (don't EVEN get me started on her husband NOT putting a marker on her grave). At any rate. It's been a few years... and low and behold.. she just, in a way, popped in on me. And I am in tears... joyful, thankful tears.. and missing her.
My eldest daughter, who is 21, came up and hugged me. We were standing there, arms around each other, and she pulled back and said, "Well, that was weird".
Me: "What?" Listening as I walked back into the kitchen to check the dinner I was cooking.
Her: "You know how sometimes you get a strange smell out of nowhere.. just like.. a quick whiff.. and it takes you back to a place or time?"
"Me: "Yes!! Where did it take you?
Her: *looks at me seriously* "Back to Stephanie's wedding."
I consider. She was only two months shy of turning seven at her wedding. I was seven months pregnant with Robyn. I look up on the counter at the crunchy snacks I just made.. and I laugh and say that "Well, it makes sense. If Steph was here, she'd be sitting her butt up to this counter, eating these crunchy things I just made, and chattering excitedly about U2's upcoming album and tour."
Amy looks at me. Moves her hands to indicate the earbuds she has on. "Mom, I'm listening to their new album now."
I walked into the den, where my hubby is watching a movie. I told him what happened. Him: "That was Steph." I'm glad he gets it. Enough people think you're weird when you mention anything remotely like this. To be honest I'm surprised I even blog about it.. but I have.. this is like, the third time. I 'have' to share it though. I do. I can't NOT share it.
So I am getting overwhelmed with emotions and I start crying.. and Amy looks wounded and is going, "I'm sorry Momma, I didn't mean to make you cry." And goes to hug me. And I'm hugging her back, and thanking her. She didn't have to share that with me, but I am so profoundly grateful that she did. Stephanie popped in to say hello, more or less. As I'm hugging my daughter and crying, I blurt out, "She didn't forget me. She still loves me. My buddy still loves me." Why would I come out with that? I don't know. But I DO know that my beloved friend is still around.
What a precious gift. I never saw it coming. I am so thankful.
Today, the Church celebrates Exaltation of the Holy Cross. What does this have to do with this? I don't know. But mass was awesome today, confession was awesome, to say the least. I knew in advance what I was going to say, then had this rush of emotion and things I didn't plan to say came out of nowhere and pouring out of me... which was painful and beautiful and freeing.. and now this.. no.. I just don't believe in coincidences any more. I used to. God knows the whole story and sees the big picture. Me? I just have to have faith. ♥ Here I am Lord. Thy Holy will be done!
Stephanie: This November 18th will be the 9th anniversary of your passing. It was a Friday, at your moms house. I have missed you so badly.. you know this. Missing you, and praying for you. Love you Heifer Girl. My U2 buddy. My sister in crime. I can't wait to see you again one day. ♥