You know how sometimes you have these moments that mean nothing to anyone else, but mean everything to you? I had that happen to me today. I haven’t gone for a walk in over a month, at least. This morning, Jay, Zach and I went to mass for the first time in a month or so. A portion of the Raleigh Greenway runs behind our church. Since I used to work near where our church is located, I used to walk that greenway almost daily for three years. It decreased a bit when I changed jobs in 2012, but I was still there at least once or twice a week. I haven’t walked there in a good year-and-a-half, but today, I really felt like I should do it. As I was walking, I came across this written on the ground:
To add some context, my grandpa used to always say, “I love you more.” It’s actually written on his tombstone. Friday (March 11) marks his 85th birthday. Ever since he died, I’ve come across that phrase more than ever. But honestly, I’ve been struggling lately, and I needed to see that today.
I’ve thought long and hard about sharing this next story ever since it happened two months ago. After seeing that today, I decided that I will share. The below account was written right after it happened, so it is my initial reaction, and all details are true to immediate memory.
Back on January 5, Zachary woke up around 7 a.m. He was playing and talking to himself in his crib, so we let him be so we could get a few extra zzzzz’s in. Around 7:20, I knew I had to get up to shower, so I turned on the video monitor for his room to check on him. He was laying on his back in his crib, smiling and giggling and just chattering away. Sometimes he will do that, but be talking to his trains or his teddy bear. This time, he was just looking and talking, directing it to something outside of his crib. I didn’t think too much of it, thinking he was just being silly.
Until he paused, sat up slightly, and said, “More?” while doing the sign language motion for it. (They teach him sign language at school, so he will simultaneously sign and say “more” when he wants something. He uses it to indicate when he wants something in general.) In all our mornings of hearing him and checking the monitor, neither Jay or I have ever heard or seen him do that. After he asked for more, he laid back down and resumed giggling.
I immediately had this weird feeling. When we went in there to say good morning, we said, “Hey Zach, who were you talking to?” Then, I felt an urging to take a picture of me and my grandpa in there. Zach’s a big fan of looking at pictures of his family and pointing to someone when you ask who they are (ie. “Who is Aunt Christie?”). Well, he looked at the picture and exclaimed, “MOMMY!!” We pointed to my grandpa and asked, “Who’s this?” Zachary Louis declared, “That’s him.”
Chills. Tears. Love.
If you have followed my blog for a little while, then you may remember some of my other posts involving special moments with Grandpa. I had a faith before he even died that he would always be there for us, letting us know that he loved it. These little moments are a reminder that we are never alone, and the bonds of family are never broken, no matter what.