Do not be afraid, we are with you
I had wanted to include this story with my previous post, but I felt like it needed its own spotlight.
It was late afternoon a few weeks ago and Lucy was being crabby about going down for a nap. It had been a long, dreary day already, so I decided to take her for a drive. A drive in the car never fails to induce a nap. I drove around my neighborhood a couple times thinking about where I could go. Right near my house is Holy Sepulchre Cemetery where some relatives and friends of my family are buried. It had been a long time since I had driven through and visited them.
I called my mom and my aunt Clare to help me remember how to find the gravesite where some of their family was buried. Clare told me the particular road to turn down and then said to look for the Celtic cross. I found the road and saw a sea of Celtic crosses. I laughed. Was she joking? Look for the Celtic cross where half of Ireland is buried.
I felt like giving up, but then I saw it, the headstone marked Quinn.
Buried there are the following: my maternal great grandparents, Kathryn (my namesake) and Edward. My maternal grandparents Jeanne (my middle namesake) and Bob. My great aunt and uncle Clare and Weston. My mom’s cousin’s husband Jim. My cousins Jeanne Kathryn and Benjamin. And the most recent being my uncle Robert, my mom’s brother. The 5th anniversary of his death was May 18th. I wrote about him a few years ago after his sudden heart attack. It’s still so hard to believe he is gone.
Lucy was asleep, so I got out of the car alone. I stood there, thinking of memories about the ones I was lucky enough to know, wondering what life would be like if they were still with us. I must have looked like a crazy person, but I began talking out loud. I think it made me feel better. I guess people do that, right? It may be silly, but I had this feeling I was being heard. I talked about how in my immediate family there were 10 kids and about the babies in my extended family. I thanked them for watching over Lucy when she had her scare and for watching over the twins when they were in the hospital for their first month.
As I was speaking, a light breeze came through and it thundered! I turned around and looked above in the direction it thundered. The sun was breaking through the clouds, the rays shined down on the graves. It had been rainy off and on, but it had not thundered the ENTIRE day up until that point and it did not thunder THE REST of the evening after that moment. Now that’s weird. And it wasn’t a prolonged series of thunder, it was a brief boom that lingered for a few seconds.
I am iffy about my belief in signs from beyond the grave, mostly because I haven’t experienced many. I think with what happened with Lucy, I have become more open to signs from above. Well, THIS was a sign. I have no doubt that this was a sign. They were answering me. Side note, Kathryn Quinn, my great grandmother, was born October 29th. That is the day Lucy was discharged from Children’s Hospital.
I stood there overcome with emotion, tears welled up in my eyes. I thanked them all for the sign and I reached out to touch the stone. I hoped that with a touch of the stone I could somehow impart to them how much I missed them all. There are other family members and friends of our family buried in this cemetery. I didn’t have time to drive around and find them all, but I made sure to say hello as I drove out. I think everyone was giving me a shout out.
I drove away that evening in peace knowing that those we have lost can always be found, we just need to listen closely with our hearts open.