The thing that strikes me even all these years later is the whole heartedness with which Gram loved. Wendy and I were just two of many grandchildren, and she seemed able to find and love the essence of each one of us. Today, Wendy is an artist in New York City. She creates her works of art on massive canvasses and has a huge following. She shows all over the world. She celebrates.
I have become a quiet yogi, healer and creator/facilitator of memorial services for the LIGHT program. Sometimes I still can't convey what it is I'm thinking until I'm digging in the sand. I still pray, relish moments of silence, and am the go to person for friends and family seeking help with obituaries or eulogies.
I have come in recent years to compare God's love to Gram's love; and this is the thought that likely sparked the cerebral wildfire that woke my husband. I believe we are given a shining example of how to love. If we are each loved equally by a fair, doting diety who appreciates and celebrates our differences, then what gives us the right to love any differently? I don't remember my Gram ever going to church or even talking about God. Surely, the woman who laughed at my crab eulogies would gaffaw long and hard over the parallel I am drawing. For years in my dreams, Gram was not dead, but lost in the various places I came to work. She became the face of the lonely, the sick, the mentally ravaged. I would wake from these dreams upset and seeking meaning. Today I think I understand that I was being asked to have the compassion for each of those people that I would have had for her. For years as I worked out my feelings about the angry and punitive God I learned about in Sunday school, her face became an acceptable representation of how love should look. Her example has stuck with me, and I strive daily to live the faith, love and compassion of a woman who respects the need for both funerals and celebrations.