My father taught me to sweat a hundred hours before spending a hundred dollars. He died six years ago. But he still shows up for every move I make involving money. He is also in my thoughts when I’m near an ocean, or when I hear an airplane flying overhead.
When I see yellow leaves on the ground, I’m reminded of my friend Andrea who walked with me in a forest of golden maples dropping leaves like tears, in the October before she died.
Rainbow cookies. The sight of them carries me back to my grandmother Omi Rosie.
And when there’s a moon, I stop to remember my daughter.
“I see the moon. The moon sees me. The moon sees the one I long to see,” I’d sung as a girl and later as a mother holding my young Marika. Our planet has one moon. I’ve been singing to it all my life. I can’t always see it but it is out there. Anyone can see the moon, just not all the time. Our ancestors watched that same moon. Our children’s children will look up to the same sky. And wherever Marika is, or is not, if she looks for light in the dark night, she will see the moon. So I keep singing to it. And remembering her.
We have the power to link our loved ones to anything. They are never gone as long as we hold them in our hearts and remember the gifts, miniscule or mighty, they gave us. Worried about forgetting loved ones, I assigned each a “bookmark” or two, special meaningful images like yellow leaves, airplanes, rainbow cookies, or the moon, to forever after be my signal to remember them. In this way, I have regular, but unplanned, appointments with my loved ones who died.
How do you remember the ones you love and thought you lost?