Friday, July 23, 2010

The Blue Hoodie Miracle

I apologize.  I promised not to beat you over the head with Mom's death.  However, I had not planned on miraculous things happening.  I did not count on... this.
But, I think you will appreciate this story, if I can tell it right.

Over July 4th weekend, Army Sister, Lily and I planned to go home to Michigan.  Have a "Sisters' Weekend".  Sort through Mom's things.  Attend Mom's family reunion with Dad.

Only, at the last minute, Lily couldn't come.

Going through Mom's clothes was hard.  Maybe I mentioned it.
We missed Mom.  And now we missed Lily, too.
After trying on one of Mom's jackets, I burst into tears.  There was no way I could ever wear it without crying.  Ever.  All it would take is one kind, "That's a nice jacket. Where'd you get it?" and I'd be worthless.
Army Sister and I realized that we could not keep any of Mom's clothes.  It would be too hard.

The packing went quickly after that.
Mom wanted any clothes we didn't keep to be donated to a charity where she often volunteered. We packed up nine boxes of clothes.

Eventually, Army Sister decided to keep some pairs of socks.
I managed to wrap my head around taking a pair of jeans.  For some reason, they were impersonal enough.

And as I emptied Mom's coat closet, I found some sweatshirt jackets.
A pink one hugged me as I removed it from its hanger.
"I will wrap my arms around you in the winter," it told me.  "I'll never have to leave the house.  No one will see you if you need to cry.  Please... take me home with you."

There were two other jackets like it.
I asked Army Sister if she wanted one.
"No," she said.  "I don't think so."
"Do you think Lily would want one?"
"I don't know."
"I'm going to take this pink one for myself.  Is that okay?"
"Sure."

We moved the nine boxes over to Barnless Brother's house where Sister and I were sleeping for the weekend.  We stacked them in the bedroom where my things were.

I cried every night.
"I'm sorry, Mom.  I just can't take anything.  I don't want to give all your clothes away, but it makes me so sad.  I'm so sorry."

The night before I drove back to Michigan, I could not sleep.
I kept thinking of those sweatshirt jackets.
There was a blue one with a hood.  I almost thought I knew which box it was in.
But I definitely knew it had to go to Lily.
I don't know why.  But I knew.

Turns out I didn't know which box it was in.
It was at the bottom of the ninth box I pawed through.
At one o'clock in the morning.

I hung it on a hanger, hugged it, cried on it.
The next day, I took it to Wisconsin along with a crocheted shawl we thought Lily had made for Mom and some scarves we figured she could wear on her chemo-bald head.

On Lily's birthday, I wrote a note to explain why she was receiving each of the items in the box.
I wasn't sure how much I should say about the blue hoodie.  It seemed important to me, but would it mean anything to Lily?
::shrug::
I typed almost the same thing you just read... only without all the weeping.

I signed the note:
I don't know how you feel about the blue jacket.
But I think it wanted you.
I hope that's okay.

***

She called me Monday.
The box had arrived.

She hadn't made the shawl.  But she was happy to have it.
The scarves were perfect.  Just right for wearing in the summer.

And the blue hooded jacket?
"Did you know," she asked me, "that I bought that jacket for Mom?"
"You did?"
"I did.  It's the most perfect thing you could have sent.  I couldn't think of anything of Mom's I could've wanted, but this is good.  This is perfect."
"I didn't know.  I had no idea."

It had called me from the bottom of that box.
It woke me up.  It wouldn't let me sleep.
I had no idea.
How do you explain that?
Was it Mom?  Was she telling me what to do?

All I know is I sent my sister a hug.  And it fit perfectly.

14 comments:

Shanna said...

That is such an awesome story. I have had moments when stuff like that has happened to me, not quite as awe inspiring but still. Hopefully Lily will get comfort from the jacket and feel that your mom is holding her in her arms when she wears it.
Weeping is a good thing, by the way. I would be worried for you if you weren't able to weep. I have known that to happen to people and it never is a good thing.
Take care and keep up with the miraculous happens. Hugs to you from me to add to the pink jacket hugs from your mom. ;)

The Gray Monk said...

Sometimes we just know or are guided to exactly the right thing for someone else.

Thumper said...

No doubt it was your Mom guiding you to get hoodie for your sister. And she probably made sure you had to dig through all those boxes before finding it, just to mess with you. At least that's what I would do ;)

Andy said...

Beautiful, Roses! It was worth the wait until Friday.

Amie Sugat said...

Wow, beautiful. it made me cry!

Teresa said...

Lovely lovely - I'm so glad it called to you.

Dani said...

That made me cry but in a good way. (Wipes at eyes) I need to stop wearing so much eye makeup.

Chicka said...

We are far more intuitive than we give ourselves credit for. And when grieving, and when those we grieve for visit us, there's no denying it.

And the intuition is so accurate it's scary sometimes. Don't be afraid of it. Mom's helping you through these times.

Lemon Stand said...

Thank you. I needed to read this today and hope it brought you as much peace as it brought me.

Roses said...

Thank you, everyone.
Really, each and every one of you.

Your comment is like a hug.
I cherish it.
Thank you for it.

Angus Mhor said...

I like that.

Mrs. Who said...

Your Mom was speaking to you...whether through some unknown metaphysical aspect or through memories that you didn't know you had, she spoke to you.

I need some tissues now.

Cellar Door said...

Of course your mom told you to give it to her!

Richmond said...

Those are some of life's finest moments... {{hugs}}