|Note: This little feature is a about three years old. I've dusted it off because my mother's birthday approaches.
After reading this I invite to take a look at some other inspirational works that go along with this. I hope you enjoy and of course, comment and critique as you see fit. Any suggestions are welcomed.
|ID: 1308254 (Rated: E)|
Moments of Gold
One infant teaches another and in the course of that moment, a grandfather learns as well.
by Jack Goldman
On the day my mother died, I had two grandchildren, Kaleb and Arianna. Born eleven days apart, they were ten months old when she passed. A few days later, they joined forces to change the beliefs of many in my family forever, even the most hardened.
Emily, Arianna's mother, returned from south Texas to live in Fort Worth on the very day of Mom's passing, Sadly, Mom missed seeing Arianna - the most beautiful little girl on earth - by only a few hours.
Kaleb and Arianna "met" for the first time at my mom's funeral. They had been around each other earlier, at about four months of age, during a visit, but both were so young they were not aware of it.
Kaleb loves music. I sang to him the first time I ever held him, when I played with him as he grew, and when I rocked him to sleep. In fact, music is still essential in getting him to bed or nap. He returns the song often - no words - just his voice; and he can actually harmonize with whatever is playing.
At Mom's funeral Emily held Arianna or "Nana", as we call her. They sat up front with us. Kaleb allowed no one to hold him without a fuss, except me. We worried both babies would cry and otherwise disturb those attending. They didn't; something I found unusual at the time, but with relief, chose not to question.
I gave Kaleb up, temporarily, to give the eulogy.
I focused on my mom's great love for her many grandchildren and how they brought joy to her for nearly thirty five years. Her door remained open to them for first, baby-sitting them, then, as they grew into young adults, a place to live during hard times; where a warm, clean bed, good food and direct advice could be had for only a smile and a hug.
Not once in my life, did I ever hear any of them use a harsh word regarding her.
Too difficult to do otherwise, I eulogized for only minutes during the services, one attended by family and friends, but otherwise a small ceremony. I sat down and once again, Kaleb leapt in my lap. "Amazing Grace" was sung as a follow up to my eulogy.
During the second verse, Nana sang along, much like Kaleb, as I described earlier. A few seconds later, Kaleb joined her in a sweet and stunning two-part harmony. From my spot at the end of the first row, I chanced a glance back at those assembled. Almost everyone locked eyes on the babies as they sang, some leaning their heads to the next person to whisper a comment. It lasted but a minute and a moment; long enough to make us think, with perhaps a chill, the babies might have known what they were doing. I can't explain why. Maybe it was because they glanced at each other often as they sang.
I imagined Mom standing beside us with her engaging smile. To my mind's eye, she watched happy babies, and listened with delight. Never have I felt such joy and to feel it within a grief so deep, was unforgettable. A new, profound emotion descended, one I can never explain, but one that remains with me still. The way to touch it, easily there, if I so need.
After holding it together for days, I could no longer.
My infant grandchildren sang along with "Amazing Grace", using no words, at least none that I could detect or understand, in as remarkable a conveyance of voice to song I have yet heard. The melody was their own of course, but also a strange, beautiful compliment to the pitch and key of the music.
I've returned to that moment often. It's there beside me when I think of Mom, almost as if she comes to share it again and again in pride, with the same exuberance she displayed when meeting a grandchild for the first time.
I've realized a few things as a result.
Believe what you will, but perhaps Nana and Kaleb sang in a language easily understood by those "across the river". In that treasured moment, they wished Mom godspeed, with an assurance - since they were brand new to this earth - they would protect her family with a fresh light of unconditional love for the times that follow.
On behalf of all our family, across the generations, the song of Nana and Kaleb, pure and priceless, danced through time and space right to the doorstep of Mom's new home as a final gift, delivered by voice of angels, in appreciation of the incredible love shown by an amazing woman.