A Special Gift - A Cherished memory

2006 was a difficult year. The man I had regarded as step-father and grandfather to my children, my mother's companion for close to 20 years, since the death of my father, died in early January. In helping my mother settle his affairs, and in frequent visits to keep her company, I had noticed my mother's health declining. She was diagnosed with a highly aggressive cancer that June, and passed away in mid-July.

My mother and I had become considerably closer in those brief months prior to her death. We shared many interests: recipes, mornings over a cup of coffee, foraging in antique/collectible shops, bird-watching, and, especially, crossword puzzles. I still feel sad when I reflect on her seeing her tiny, thin body in her final days.

After her death, when I returned to my own home, a few hours away, I had a most unusual experience. I will always consider it one of the greatest blessings of my life. I had not been able to sleep well one night, so went downstairs to our den. I read, or watched TV, but eventually fell asleep on a couch that sits beneath a row of windows. A large wooded area lies behind my house.

When I awoke, that sunny and breezy morning, I looked at the wall opposite the couch. On the white wall were shadows of the window panes, and branches and leaves blowing in the breeze from the trees outside, along with dappled sunlight. As clouds and the sun moved across the sky, the images changed. I lay on the couch marvelling at the beauty of these constantly changing black-and-white images. It was so peaceful to gaze upon. A thought had just crossed my mind about the beautiful artistry of God, of the marvelous things He does with such simplicity, when an image began to form on the wall. I looked and said, maybe audibly, "Oh my God, that's MOM!" I could not believe the detail in that image-it looked like a very well done charcoal sketch of my mother's face. She was smiling, and somewhat younger than at the time of her death. I marvelled at the detail-her nose was her nose, her eyes definitely hers, and her smile was her smile, even to the crow's feet around her eyes. Again, the image was unmistakenably my mother, and a beautiful one at that.

I don't share this story with many people. Sometimes I am sorry for whom I have shared this, as it seems it is met with skepticism, in some. So I keep it in my heart as my special gift from my mother, and I will cherish it's memory always.

Karen D.