JuJuBee needed a ride to school this morning. She's doing clinical rotations for her CNA certification at a local nursing home. It's on a bus line, but she had to be there an hour before the Saturday buses begin to run. She and I were treated to a sunrise spectacular all the way there.
I have a confession to make. While generally not a fast-food fan, I LOVE the Egg McMuffin. Since there was a Mickey D's right on my way home from dropping JuJu off, (and since, for once, I was on no particular deadline and I feel that sometimes good deeds like getting out of bed into the icy November predawn should be rewarded) I headed toward the drive-through. Chatting with the woman who had taken my order, she joked about a grammatical error she'd made in our transaction. I quipped, "If our Mamas knew how we'd turned out...!" She laughed, and said, "Mine knows." I said, "Mine forgets." She smiled and said, "My mother died of Alzheimer's disease a few years ago. I was hard, but sometimes she said the most amazing, funny things! You have to really enjoy those moments, you know?" "We do. We laugh a lot right now."
I drove away with a smile on my face and tears on my cheeks. Isn't it amazing how, in one moment, you can connect all the way to the bottom of your soul with a total stranger?
When I was a child, my Grandma had a window covered by glass shelves. The shelves were full of African violets of all colors, and they seemed to be always blooming. When she died, my Mom took some, and I know I had a couple of them. It seemed we could not make them bloom the way she did. Actually, it came to feel as if it were she who was still making them bloom. The last time I remember seeing one of them bloom was the day I brought Citygirl home from the hospital, tiny and new: The first granddaughter of my grandmother's only daughter.
I don't remember when the last of violets died of the neglect busy young mothers are guilty of. But I have proudly kept a Christmas cactus alive since last year, and this past week it celebrated Babygirl's return from the hospital by putting forth one lavish bloom.
Like random connections to the hearts of strangers, God sends us re-connections to the hearts of loved ones who have left and wait for us elsewhere, signs in the trees and flowers that we are never alone, and I am grateful.