Some may accuse me of looking for signs when there is nothing there, but I do not believe in coincidences. I believe the Universe (or God) has ways of showing us how connected we are to every living thing around us. In doing so, She reminds us that we are Children of God – beloved and cherished…every hair on our head is known and counted, and we are invited to embrace what is good, holy and full of life.
In January of last year, our mom died suddenly of a heart attack in her home. It was a shock to the family. In fact, she was succeeded by her mother, for whom we had just celebrated her 100 birthday as an extended family just 2 months prior. This in and of itself was a gift from the Universe – that we could gather and reconnect for a joyous occasion first, rather than find ourselves reunited only for mom’s funeral.
My newest nephew was also born in October of last year, the same month my 100-year-old grandmother made her transition to the other side to join her husband and daughter, just one month shy of her 101’s birthday. What an awesome “Circle of Life” to have Huxley Brown Fuqua come into the world, as Bronisław “Blanche” Trybala Schneider passed on.
My mom loved travel – it was her “dance” as I shared in my eulogy. So, as a group of siblings, we agreed to go on a cruise to celebrate her life. As it turns out, we timed the cruise to also celebrate my 18-year-old nephew’s high school graduation and transition to Penn State University, as well as my 46th birthday. My brother and his family weren’t able to attend due to work and the obligations of young children, but my sister, brother-in-law and two nephews and niece had a phenomenal cruise aboard the NCL Breakway, docking in Bermuda. We sailed the day after my nephew’s graduation, which I was able to attend in State College, PA. And we were able to visit some close friends of my mom in New Jersey before sailing. All in all, a pretty special event.
If all of this wasn’t enough of a wonderful connection and “Circle of Life…” I talked with my sister today. My mom loved plants, and had an overflowing collection of Christmas and Easter Cacti and Orchids. None of her kids got her “green thumb” so we gifted them to her close friends in New Jersey, including Carol Webster – her dearest and closest friend. Well, the weekend that we gathered for Andrew’s graduation and then set sail to celebrate mom’s “dance,” Carol noted that mom’s Christmas Cactus bloomed…for the first time since she passed. (For the non-gardners… Christmas Cacti generally bloom once a year...and even then, are VERY difficult to finesse into bloom. I had one for years and it never bloomed…until I left it to a friend who had a green thumb. Some of us have the gift…
In this case, not only did Carol have the gift, but I believe Mom looked down and held that cactus until our celebratory cruise to let us know that she and Mee-maw were smiling down on us. I also think this was her way of smiling down on Carol Webster, thanking her for her many years of friendship…especially during the trying times of mom’s denial and battle with untreated alcoholism. I know it was hard for Carol at times (as it was for all of us…) to be around mom’s disease. So, I’m grateful mom closed the circle and sent Carol this special blessing.
I love you mom. I will always be your little boy…
PS: Now, would you please find a way to shake up your stubborn German-blooded brother, and bring healing to that relationship you left here on Earth. He is in so much pain – and I know he grieves your passing while the two of you were not speaking to one another…a hateful sibling fight that should have ended here on earth. Please mom…bless him with forgiveness and healing. I know you understand now what you and he should have done while you had the time on earth…be an Angel for us, and touch his heart.