I awoke to the sound of rain drumming against the bedroom windows. Rolling onto my back, I opened my eyes. It’s too early to get up; try again later. I curled up on my side for a little while longer. But sleep was finished with me. My thoughts began to send messages of things I needed to remember, and I knew a list of things to do was in the making. By the time my memory was on overload, it was 4:00 a.m. I climbed out of bed and staggered to the bathroom, dimly lit by the night light. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, my reflection in the mirror went yuck at me and I gave a squinty-eyed grimace in return.
Carrying coffee and toast back to bed, I began the familiar ritual of reading the Bible in preparation of my day. The pre-dawn hours are so quiet and private and there is nothing to distract my thoughts. Except the incessant rain...
It had been raining heavily all through the night. Actually, all through the week, and I felt the flutter of apprehension. What kind of a day will it be? My daughter Debbie, and my granddaughter Mary, and I had planned to drive from Olympia to Salem that morning. We wanted to visit the City View Cemetery.
My son Jim died instantly from a brain aneurysm, caused by a fatal overdose of methamphetamine, over two months before...
I felt my countenance sag, but only momentarily. My current optimistic nature reassured me the sun would be shining by the time we arrived to see first-hand the newly laid headstone, James Eric Rossiter – Deeply Loved – Deeply Missed
Traveling down the freeway one hour after another, I couldn’t imagine why I had ever had such hope. I could barely see in front of me, the rain was pouring so heavily! Debbie was reading a story book to little Mary in the back seat.
We stopped at a rest area – the sky was brighter but – black storm clouds were piled high like mountains around us!
We visited the Walton Guest House, supported by the Memorial Hospital, which provided a haven during the dark hours when Jimmie was hovering near death. It was raining lightly. My little Miss Mary Mac and I had to wait under the shelter of the portico while Debbie jogged through the rain to bring the car back for us.
The windshield was blurry and began to fog, but we eventually found the street leading to our destination. “God, please give us just a few minutes of sunshine while we visit Jim’s grave,” I prayed, as we drove through the gates of the Pioneer Section of City View.
The mud was gooey where we stepped out of the car, and we wiped the sides of our shoes on the wet clumps of grass. We bobbed along under three umbrellas, looking this way and that for the marker, which was flat.
“Here it is, Mom. It’s beautiful,” Debbie said.
“Oh, Jim,” I thought, falling silent, looking down. Debbie turned away.
A small breeze blew as we set our open umbrellas on the ground. The rain had stopped!
I took pictures of the marker...and of Mary playing peek-a-boo with the umbrellas...of Mary placing the flowers by his name...of Debbie, prayerful beside her brother...and of the lovely trees and the brightness of the sunshine, and blue sky and fluffy white clouds...
Sunshine? Blue sky? Fluffy white clouds?
“Oh, my goodness!” Warmth flowed through me as I said, “Thank You, Father, for the sunshine!” I read aloud the story of the Prodigal Son, my voice breaking on the final words, “...thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”
I read the poem I had written about the Crystal Hummingbird, in which God had spoken to my heart, saying, “...he was yours, but now he is Mine.”
Looking out the car window, slowly driving away, I saw the brightness of the blossoming trees and the velvet green of the lawns, which were - perfectly framed - by glowering clouds of darkest gray.
As Debbie maneuvered the Honda into the late afternoon traffic heading for the northbound I-5, she switched on the headlights, pushed in a cassette of Scripture melodies and asked, “which knob turns on the windshield wipers?”
“and it shall come to pass that...before they call, I will answer...”
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