One of the most difficult parts of losing both of my parents so early in my life is not having them around for constant advice, guidance, and affirmation.
I was used to going to my parents, day or night. I never felt bad for 2AM phone calls and I was sure in knowing that they never hated me after those. They were always there and interested in the trivial parts of my day, like what I ate for lunch or if I lost my favorite earring down the sink drain. I miss that.
Some of those trivial parts of my day would sometimes accompany serious conversations that I thank God every day that I had with my parents. There are many of course, but here are a two that stand out to me now:
My dad and I talked about my future wedding.
My dad was a retired Navy photographer, and he would shoot weddings on the side, and have me tag along as his trusty assistant. I just loved to watch the brides get ready and the reading of the vows. On our rides home, my dad and I would talk about weddings in general and what mine might be like someday. I remember asking him to be the photographer, and he replied, “No, because I want to walk you down the aisle and enjoy the day with you.” This conversation is so precious to me because it showed me that no matter how much my dad adored taking pictures, he loved me ten times more and would not miss the chance to walk me down the aisle. I believe he still will — metaphorically speaking.
The night before my mom went into surgery, February 15, 2012, I was able to visit with her in her hospital room.
In the months before my mom had developed a fascination with guardian angels. Coincidence? Definitely not. She had no idea she had a chance of dying, but loved the idea of angels watching over her whether she was healthy or ill.
She’d bought a book about angels and I asked her if she wanted me to read it to her that night in her room. She nodded with approval and listened with her eyes closed as I read to her. When I got to the part about the angel who heals and watches over the sick and weary, her eyes widened and started to sparkle with enthusiasm. She was so thrilled that she was not alone. I finished with that part of the book and was getting ready to leave when I asked if I could pray for her out loud. My mom agreed happily, and after I prayed, she looked at me with those same sparkling eyes and said it was the most beautiful prayer she ever heard and said that she would remember it forever.
I now know, since she is no longer on Earth, that there is a chance she is now with those angels and remembering this conversation brings me comfort.