On a beautiful August afternoon, I went to visit my Grandmother at the nursing home. The birds seemed to have a different energy around them as they sang gloriously in the trees where I parked, as if they were an entourage of angels celebrating life! It was the Blessed Mother’s Assumption and Grandma seemed to be preparing to go home. Her daughter (my Mom) had passed over 21 years ago, as well as her husbands and family and she seemed as if she was preparing for over the past month. She asked me to hug her and then held my left hand ever so tightly, then asked for me to put her ” Poppuchies” (slippers in Slovak) on her feet, demanding that I do it NOW! Then, she requested a hat for her head, NOW! Though lying in the bed, she wanted to be “ready” and asked to be seated in her reclining chair overlooking the hills NOW! And then I knew, the entourage was here for her and she, as always a punctual woman throughout her 96 years, was awaiting their arrival. Grandma transitioned that evening, but the family “joke” is that she thought that her love and devotion to the rosary, the Blessed Mother, and Jesus, her best friend, would have gotten her home on the Blessed Mother’s Assumption, but for the first time in her entire life, she was late! In my flower garden, the birds had planted a corn stalk and a sunflower. Sunflowers are one of many signs from my mom. The corn tassel turned PINK for one day – Grandma having a fun with sending signs that she is ALIVE, for LOVE JUST IS.
“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
Yellow, one of the three primary colors in an artists’ palette, it is often used as the color of sunshine, optimism, enlightenment of creativity and symbolizes spring. It communicates our third chakra’s empowerment and is the center of our very being. Being a Pilates and Yoga Instructor and Creative Coach, this is where all our emotional health and wellness, confidence and ability to believe in one self centers from. As a pianist, it resonates to the letter “E” of the scale and uses sight and fire to create confidence within as music can sooth the soul.
It’s luminosity has actually changed the yellow hues of our planetary sun into a brilliant diamond of crystal prisms of dazzling white light. Yellow was my Mom’s favorite color, and ironically it symbolizes that angels are in our presence.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
In memory of Connie A. Mitchell Marchell whose anniversary will be this Easter, and ironically she passed on Easter 22 years ago. Who many have called an earth angel, whose unconditional love, generosity, pure, open heart and sparkling smile radiated God’s Love, Joy and Peace and touched everyone on her Yellow Brick Road Pathway. She would oftentimes say to me that “Sometimes God allows our hearts to be broken so that He can beautify our souls.” Sunflowers are one of the many things which remind me of her essence and presence in my life. I do believe that these flowers cry tears of joy, too.
“All in good time and measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.”
“For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 15:17
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence and anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”
This is an inside miracle regarding the year my Dad transitioned home to be a guide and teacher on the other side. My rose bush that year grew back its original grafting to behold the most fragrant and bright pink roses! As a Graduate from Cornell’s Agriculture School, Dad was considered a Master Gardner, with roses and vegetables and the most lush green grass utilizing his understanding of chemistry and creating his own soil. Not to mention he was happiest in his garden and all of his seedlings started under growing lamps then transferred out to be placed under old tanning beds which formed little greenhouses to protect them in the spring brought forth a bounty of beauty of which he cherished. He was astounded when I told him about the rose, as the original grafts are not likely to grow back once they have gone wild. That July when he went home to be with my beloved Mom, he left me his most beloved companion, an English Black Labrador Retriever named Chert (Slovak for devil) together with an overflowing of love from his garden. My rose bush has never bloomed since that time. (This is a personal account referencing Chapter 10: Tomatoes, Sunflowers and Roses in my upcoming book entitled My Father’s Greatest Gift).
John had a heart of gold and would do anything for you.
His loves were his beloved wife, Connie and her father, his son and
daughter, his brother and parents, in-laws, family, neighbors and
friends. But his most special gift was that of loving wildlife and
gardening, and did he ever grow amazing tomatoes whose “stalks”
stretched alongside the backyard garage to almost the rooftop! The
sunflowers had enormous flowers of which all the birds would flock to
for a feast! His lawn was the lushest and greenest in the neighborhood.
And I had heard from many that when Connie was alive, the rose
garden’s beauty and fragrance had a surreal appeal. You might say
he was blessed with a “green thumb” as many referred to him as a
Master Gardener. One could also note that it was his education and
training at Cornell’s Agricultural Program. A neighboring retired
veterinarian would often comment that it was the Japanese Quail
droppings. I personally say that is was his complete and selfless love
of planting, watering, nurturing and talking to the many plants, trees
and flowers that he gave his unconditional love to. I know that for a
fact because the minute I met John, I could see immediately through
his outer gruffness when he smiled at me with a twinkle in his eye
and spoke to me with words filled with an altruistic appreciation for
Dogheads like me. There seemed to be a release in his demeanor
the day that we met, as if to say that he had found a fresh start and
relief to his tired and grieving heart. I loved him from the start. He
gave me discipline, to make me a better person-I mean Doghead! He
showed me many wonderful places and exciting people to expand my
horizons. My most favorite times with him were being co-pilot when
we went for drives and sleeping on his pillow on his couch.
It was in his brokenness that God healed his spirit thought the
love of his children, the kindness and many homemade-meals from
his mother-in-law, family and friends and the many adventures that
both he and I had throughout his life. I was there to see two weddings
as he became a father to yet another son and daughter that brought
in many new family members. This brought much change for him
to deal with at first, and though reluctant and stubborn, he seemed
to adapt graciously until he had a sense of pure knowing about
Now with two new families through marriage our lives are
really getting busier! More toys and treats for me! John is adjusting
well to all of the visits from his growing family with invitations to
visit and many activities. He seems to be softening up on the inside
as well as the outside, too. He laughs more and is excited about his
garden preparations for this year with many little plants started in the
sun room alongside the living room. He is quite a horticulturist with
his special lights, mixtures of soils and deliveries of unique seeds
and tiny plants.
As the weather began to get a bit warmer (and muddier), John
made greenhouse covers alongside the back garage to keep the tiny
transplanted plants warm and protected from any early spring frost.
He made them from recycled tanning bed covers. So his homemade
greenhouses kept the tiny plants warm and healthy as the weather
began to get warmer.