There are many emotions that happen immediately after a loved one has passed.
As time goes by, when life starts to get semi normal again, you will have another emotion that creeps up on you and catches you off guard. It’s a moment most likely to happen when you are at a milestone event in your life or your kids. You will be watching the event unfold and all of a sudden you have a random thought “I wish “they” (a loved one who has passed) was here to see this, and then you start to tear up. The funny thing is, the reason you even thought of them in that moment, is BECAUSE they are there with you enjoying the moment. That is their way of letting you know they are there. I recently experienced this type of moment again with my mom whom passed in 2012.
A little background: After my mother passed, a year and a half later, I was
talking with a friend, (who has fully accepted her gift from God that allows her to speak with our loved ones who have passed) and she knew I was sad and missed my mom. She sensed my mom was with her and she said "Your mom is here and I hear a tune with the lyrics "Don't sit under the apple tree (with anyone but me)."" Neither one of us had ever heard it before. So she googled and found it was a 1942 song of the same title by The Andrews Sisters. Ever since she told me that, I have randomly heard the song and since it's not a regular oldie but goodie, I immediately think of my mom. I recognize she is with me and enjoying the moment that is present.
This past week one of my daughters had her final show choir concert of her freshman year, and if you recall, being a freshman has quite the challenges. So the emotional ending of this year was upon us. The room was set with spotlights shining down on the stage and 4 angled lights in the ceiling pointing at the stage. I proceeded to watch the show from what was a new seat to me, the balcony. This view provided the best set up for enjoying the events to come.
As my oldest performed her choir’s final set of songs, I was enjoying the "friendship" theme. I listened intently even though I have heard these songs for 9 months now, that being said, not once before had I noticed the lyrics "Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me" as the girls sang and danced around on stage. However, as I was engulfed in the story this time I heard those words so distinctly as if they jumped out and seemed to be written in the air above the audience below. The delicate gleam of the ceiling lights shining down created a light as if coming from heaven and I felt my eyes drawn to it and sensed my mom’s presence. She was with me watching her granddaughter; I could feel the warmth and love as tears rolled down my cheeks.
As the night continued through the other choir’s performances, there was another song that I did not realize the impact of the lyrics till that night. It was the final song of the evening from the choir that consisted primarily of high school seniors. So being their final show of high school, their set provided an overwhelming amount of emotions emanating from them and the whole audience. This was most evident by the amazingly talented high school senior who is clothed in a long feather lined white dress and with her committed to the character this year -dyed white hair, to represent the ghost of many who entered their "Hotel California" but could never leave choir theme.
As the fog drifted through the crowd and the stark lighting settled in, she started the touching journey through the song "Stairway to Heaven" with an arrangement that pulled you into the emotion these seniors and students were exuding. As the final last notes needed to be hit in a room of 1000 people, the silence was so powerful you could hear a pin drop. The audience waited, holding their breath as we watched her finish one amazing lyrical note to "Stairway", then pause -longer than normal- to gather her emotions to be able to hit the next note "to", then a more powerful pause came (and tears from her) and ultimate silence had everyone hanging on and passing her wishes of strength and love as they wanted her to be able to hit that final note to "Heaven".
As the tears fell from everyone in the house and the heavenly scene with "Stairway to Heaven" as the emotional peak, I felt I had transcended to heaven and again knew my mom was present to witness this moment and provide me the comfort to know she is not missing a single moment in my life or my kids.
If that emotional journey wasn't enough, the next day my youngest daughter was singing with a group of friends. This group of 9 girls had consisted of her friends that all had performed in the school talent show in different capacities. Shortly after that they came together as a group to perform the song Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, reminiscent of the 1940s USO tours, at the school spring auction event and their second stop on their "tour" was a quite fitting local air show.
As older WWII planes were present, the highlight of the day was the WWII B17 in the background. As we waited for the girls to sing, the parent in charge of the outing was playing music off an iPad that he had ready. As I stood there on the tarmac watching the girls run around in their outfits, with planes and hangers all around on a beautiful California day, one of the songs from the playlist begins to play and it’s “Don’t sit under the apple tree” by The Andrews Sisters. Of course, catching me off guard, I start to cry. I felt my mom’s presence in a moment I would have loved her to be present at… but I guess she already was. While I am composing myself another song plays. Then as I am talking to my oldest daughter I notice the song play again. I get choked up. Then by the 3rd time it played in 5 minutes, I thought to myself “Mom your killing me, I can’t break down completely here!” After the 3rd time “Don’t sit under the apple tree” played, the parent in charge came up to me and said, “I had 10 songs ready to go and for some reason it will only play these 2.” I then giggled, because I knew it was my mom. I was so thrilled she could experience a moment that just took me back to another time. Admiring and touring the WWII planes gives you much respect for our veterans and allows you to truly appreciate the innovative technology and luxuries we now have.
The next week my youngest daughter’s 5th grade class held their field day where they play relay games with their fellow classmates at a park. As parents we ran the games and enjoyed the grilled food and I felt my mom watching and enjoying the laughter. It was a peaceful, fun, easygoing day. The next day was my babies promotion from 5th grade. Through the ceremony and the lunch at a very empty restaurant, I again could feel my mom’s presence even without a physical song or sound to let me know she was there. As I stared at my daughter across from me in the booth she was working on figuring out her lock that goes to her locker in junior high, I knew my mom was sitting beside her, hugging her. As to let her granddaughter know she is ready for junior high and that grandma "Oma" will be with her as she starts this new adventure.
A loving week of milestones that I was thrilled to enjoy with mom.
Though a loved one may be passed, they are still present in spirit to watch over us, protects us, guide us, and comfort us as we complete our course work here on earth. The reason we miss them so much is the overwhelming unconditional feeling of love they provide us when they visit us. They are in spirit form and spirit knows only love, it’s the missing piece we strive for here on earth. So know when we are missing them the most- that is when they are with us.
The moments we experience God or a loving spirit are when we are reminded of the love that we came from. This glimpse of unconditional love is just like a phone call from home that brings comfort and a feeling helps us to recharge so that we can continue this life on earth that seems so challenging to continue sometimes.
We can connect to our loved ones by focusing on finding time to quiet the mind, be in nature, and listening to our inner self. They will give signs they are present, are you ready to hear them?
Much Love and Awareness.