Because Mike was so much in the forefront of my thoughts, everything I heard or experienced seemed to be tied to him.... a discussion on the radio with this quote from scripture, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." True. Our new farm manager's recent suggestion that we name an especially lively cria "Carpe Diem" (Seize the Day), which was the name of my brother's farm and one of his mottoes. (It was also mentioned in the end of a great book I just finished yesterday, ironically).
My Mom and I talked about how Mike loved nature, and it was easy to feel him close on such a beautiful, warm day. He could catch a snake or turtle like no other when he was young, and he loved all animals. Last year on this day we had an alpaca cria born through a very tough, vet-assisted breech birth. The cria wasn't breathing at first, and I swear I felt the presence of my brother breathe life back into that baby.
When I was walking down to the garden last night, I pondered about how Mike has shown himself to me a few times since his death, once when I saw him walking in to my Dad's 80th birthday party and another time through our dog Munchie when he was playing especially fiercely. I know, that's really weird but it made me laugh at the time, which I think was his point! I kid you not, at just that moment when I was reminiscing, a tree that had been hanging precariously since the ice storm fell loudly and startled both the horses and myself. Yeah, Mike, we know you're there! (Mike had a quiet, gentle side, but as a second degree blackbelt he also had those passionate bursts of energy and a great sense of humor!)
Although I have only "seen" Mike a few times since he left us, I have felt his presence with me on countless occasions. As I planted seeds last night, I felt him watching over my shoulder. I thought about how my Dad's mother's grave had a plaque that with this poem,
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
the song of the birds for mirth
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
than anywhere else on earth.
I know that Mike is with God, and God is with me, so we are still together. I feel him especially strongly when I'm with my sweet niece, Lauren, or anytime our family is gathered together.
I thought of Mike when I read a recent letter to our congregation from our minister. In talking about current times, he asked that people "strive to be kinder than necessary. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle." Grieving the sudden loss of a family member was one of the hardest things I've experienced, yet everyday I probably cross paths with someone who is going through that or something else equally as difficult. I need to work on being more kind.
This has been a hodge-podge of my thoughts, I shall now move on, count my many blessings and Seize the Day!Pin It Now!