Thursday, December 6, 2012

Moments of Comfort

Today at lunch I went to the Advent service at  church. During the season of Advent, we have short church services on Thursday at lunchtime. I look forward to them each year.

Today's service was a little different. It incorporated several moments of silence. For me, personally, the first one was great. I chatted with God (I really do talk to God like he is my friend. It's not that I'm trying to diminish His power or greatness in anyway. I fully acknowledge it and appreciate it and am in awe of it. But I talk to God as much as I talk to my friends and family. He's someone I feel comfortable with and who brings me peace and He knows my heart and all of my thoughts so I think it's okay) and felt so at peace. 

During the second moment of silence, we were asked to look at an image. It was a painting with abstract looking angels, and to be honest, it wasn't doing much for me. I sat there, looking, waiting for something, but no dice. And then someone's digital watch started beeping. I smiled immediately.

My grandfather died over the summer. It wasn't unexpected, but it was hard for all of us and I miss him often. I've had other family members die before and I miss them terribly, but I was so much more involved in this death that it still resonates with me (sometimes in a scary way, truthfully) daily. When my grandmother on the other side of the family died my freshman year of college, it was sudden and unexpected. My mom and I hit the road immediately and attended her funeral. My mom and her three sisters sorted out the details of her house, will, belongings, etc., and I was pretty much allowed to be what I was - a sad grandchild.

When my grandfather died over the summer, it was a little different. He was taken to a rehab center early in the year and though it was never said explicitly, we all sort of knew he would die there. Because he was there for a long time and I visited him often, because I'm older, and because of my relationship with my grandmother, I was very involved in the whole process - so much so that I was holding his hand when he died.

Even when my grandfather was really bad and unable to talk, he refused to take off his watch. He would get upset with the rehab facility attendants if they tried to remove it. The watch would beep at certain times throughout the day - I think initially they were reminders for him to take his medicine. He refused to take off that watch and he was buried in that watch. At the visitation, we even heard the beeps from his watch - it was a bittersweet moment that made us all cry and laugh.

So when I heard those beeps today, I smiled. I smiled because the moment didn't have to be about the painting, but it was a moment of a silence that meant something. I know it's easy to call it a coincidence, but part of me thinks it's more. Part of me thinks God (or Big, my grandfather, or both of them in cahoots) sends you little signs like that to let you know people are okay, things are okay and to make you smile. 

That's the second one of those moments I've had in less than year. Shortly after Christmas last year, my mom and I had to put my baby boy, my puppy, Tucker, down. I know I've written about it here before, but when we went to the vet, it was pouring. Terrential downpour style  And when we left after putting him down, the sun came through the clouds so brightly. I've never seen such a quick turnaround from awful weather to beautiful weather. And at that moment, I felt God (and Tuck!) were telling me Tuck was okay, that we did the right thing and that they were watching over us.

I thank God for moments like that, moments of comfort that give us peace.


  1. Thanks for sharing your stories, Linds. I agree with you that God and our loves ones are talking to us when things like this happen. When my grandmother died it was during autumn, and we stayed at her house because we were from out of town. Throughout the house there were dead leaves everywhere. I'm a symbolic person so I kept thinking it meant something. I kept wondering until finally, the next day at the burial site, the priest told a story about a little girl who observed to him, "Even the trees are dead in the cemetery!" The priest told her, "They're not dead, they're shedding their leaves, just like people shed their old bodies when they die and go on to new life." Suddenly I got the message! I'm so glad these things happen to you too.

    Love you, Allison

  2. AE! What an incredible story. I love moments like that - so full of peace! Thanks for reading. :) Miss you and love you!