Sometimes the strangest things-a sight, sound, even an odor—will evoke a memory. I have been having those lately—some happy, some sad, and all of them full of love.
My trips to see my daughters have been wrought with memories of the morning we found out Nora had died. It is hard not to think about that trip on that awful morning when I’m on the same road. There are points along the road that remind me of the painful phone calls from Lindsey, asking how soon we would be at the hospital. These points bring back some painful memories, and then tears. Hopefully, as I make more trips to see my daughters, those memories will not evoke as many tears.
Recently I was ironing my red ‘Proud to be an Educator’ tee-shirt for a sing along at our state capital. As I was ironing the scent of the shirt was familiar. It hit me—this was the same scent that I smelled as I ironed each of the many seams on Nora’s Dr. Seuss quilt. That was a happy memory—as so much love was put into each piece of that quilt. As I sewed it I was imagining my little granddaughter laying and playing on it. It was exciting for me to do this for my daughter and her daughter! A happy memory.
Last weekend I stopped at Target on my way to my grandniece’s 1st birthday party. I still needed to get a gift. I went to the book section and found two adorable books for my grandniece, hit the wrapping paper section on the way out for a card, tissue paper, and a gift bag. After paying I went back to my car and wrapped the presents before leaving the parking lot. As I was writing the card my mind had a vision of my husband, Bob, kissing Nora’s forehead in the hospital while Lindsey held her so proudly, but so profoundly sad. This was a sad moment that tore at my heartstrings. In that small gesture my husband showed so much love that my heart ached. Lindsey, holding her daughter and asking ‘isn’t she beautiful?’ Yes, Nora was a beautiful little girl, and she was surrounded by family that loved her overwhelmingly. A very sad moment filled with so much love. I couldn’t help it, that memory made the tears flow. Thank goodness I had at least 15 minutes of travel time before reaching the party to compose myself.
I know that there will be times when something just clicks, whether it is a sound, a song, a smell, or a picture, and it will remind me of Nora. Hopefully, as time goes on, those memories will be less and less painful. I also hope, they will never end.
Just recently I went on a “Hopes and Hearts” walk in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, in honor of Nora. I was amazed at the number of people in attendance. At the end of the morning the names of the babies being honored were read. With all the hundreds of people in attendance, not a word was spoken during this 20 minutes. At the end of the announcing of the names, we released balloons that had been inscribed by each individual there. Mine was ‘Dear Nora, I will love you forever, Grandma’. It felt good to write ‘Grandma’ on Nora’s balloon. When the balloons were released I watched my balloon ascend into the sky, wondering if Nora’s spirit would see it, and know how much she was loved and missed.