Growing up I was always quite close to my maternal Grandma, named Eva. As a child we looked identical in our toddler pictures, and Grandma Eva would always stroke my hair and call me her “Peachy Pie.” I knew that meant she loved me. Many summers we spent at their weekend cabin built by my Grandpa, near the deserts of California, and often while we were there monarch butterflies would flit about under the big oak tree near the stream. When one would dance around us, Grandma would whisper to me, “Always remember, there goes a free spirit.”
Fast track about 33 years later. I am no longer living amongst the palm trees of California, but am living in the concrete jungle of New York City, thousands of miles away from Grandma Eva. One drizzly afternoon while walking north on Lexington Avenue I suddenly felt a pain in my heart. I looked up at the street sign, which said 58th and Lexington Avenue, and also checked my watch, 4:00PM, because I thought I might be having a heart attack. It quickly passed, but I hurried home. A few hours later my Mom called from California. Her opening line was “Grandma Eva passed away today from a heart attack.” I was stunned and said, “What time?” My Mom replied “1:00PM.” Well, if you do the math, the 3 hour time difference means I was feeling a pain in my heart at the same time as Grandma’s passing. Coincidence?
Exactly 7 days later I was walking north on Lexington Avenue again, this time with a girlfriend. Suddenly I saw a monarch butterfly flit right in front of us…I said to my friend “Did you just see that?” and she exclaimed “Yes!” I looked up at the sign, and there it was, 58th and Lexington Avenue, the same spot where one week earlier I had felt the pain in my heart, and my Grandma’s passing. Coincidence? I think not. It is extremely rare to see a monarch butterfly in mid-town Manhatten…or in New York City anywhere, actually. In fact, I have never seen a butterfly in the city ever, before that, or after.
Was Grandma trying to tell me she had become that “Free Spirit” she always pointed out to me, as a child? Was she first reaching out to me in her pain, and then a week later letting me know her joy? I think so. Why is this important? Because in this crazy world that seems so upside down at times, I find comfort in knowing some things never change…the Love between a Grandma and her Grandaughter can transcend time and space and circumstance. The Love between all of us can do the same.
With those we love it is important to find the common denominators…those things that we will always remember as memories of one another…because I believe it is those little (or big) things that will be used as love notes later….when we need those whispering embraces the most.
Share the whispers,
© 2010 Jennifer Avalon