Legend has it that French angel coins
were used to bring watchfulness from above.
I hope these angels always watch over you
and you will think of me when you touch them
and I can feel your touch.
~ From Boomer to SMO, Valentines Day, 2003
~ From Boomer to SMO, Valentines Day, 2003
We were apart, on sabbatical, just over a month (read: He Said) when a package arrived at my house for Valentine's Day. I stood in my kitchen where the light of the afternoon sun was brightest to open it. Inside the navy blue gift box wrapped with a ribbon the color of a lime popsicle was a small navy-blue velvet bag. Blue is Boomer's favorite color. Inside the bag were a dozen silver oval-shaped coins the size of a quarter with an embossed angel on each coin. The note above accompanied the box, bag and coins. I wept. Then I called him to say, "Thank you."
Boomer loved to surprise me. Sometimes with trinkets, sometimes notes. He loved to leave his mark - - of his love.
The afternoon of Tuesday, November 13, 2012, I returned to Lee Memorial hospital from home where I was sent by nurses for a break during a procedure being conducted on Boomer. Before heading out the back door, I spontaneously made a B-line for my jewelry case, looking feverishly for the navy box with the lime ribbon. I was on a mission. I returned to the I.C.U. floor to find our team of nurses all congregated at the center station. I approached, said hello and asked for the latest update on his condition. I pulled the box out of my handbag and set it on the counter. I began to tell the nurses the story of Boomer and SMO, and the time they were on sabbatical, while slowly untying the ribbon, unfolding the box, pulling out the velvet bag and setting it on the counter. I shared with the nurses the legend of French angel coins as I opened the bag and took out one coin at a time and placed them on the counter - - one coin for each nurse. "On behalf of Boomer and myself, " I said, "I'd like to you to have this coin, as a small token of our appreciation for all you have done for him and how you have helped watch over me." Not an eye was dry. We paused in collective silence then nurses rushed around the counter for a group hug.
Thursday morning, November 15, 2012, Boomer's two sons and their mother sat in my living room. It was the first and only time the four of us were together, and alone, along with my daughter who sat beside me on the sofa. I turned to Dara, described the box and asked her to fetch it for me. I told them our story, the legend of the French angel coins while opening the velvet bag turning it upside down and letting the coins fall into the palm of my right hand. "Well, look at that," I said, "Isn't that something? There are only three coins left." As I handed them each a coin I continued, "I know he will always be watching over you and rooting for you."
Today is two years.
Boomer's spirit presence is not as obvious to me as it was (read: Insane). It's fading. Faded. A sign of my grief-healing success (read: Fly), though milestone days, such as today, sometimes send me on search... where is he? I can't hear him. I don't see him. In a recent dream I was in the front yard working on the landscaping. At one point I looked up from a small hibiscus tree and saw Boomer, mustache Boomer, standing on the driveway. Behind him was a bright oval-shaped glow that framed him. He stood there, looking at me, with his gentle smile and holding two large potted plants. Without saying a word, he set the plants down, looked at me once more, then he was gone - vanished. Only the plants remained. That was the last time I've clearly experienced him.
I spent today writing four letters - - to women. Four amazing women. First, to my friend Arlene, who courageously sent me a text last Sunday to tell me her husband died, 5 weeks ago. Next, I wrote to my friend Lisa, whom I met Christmas Day, 2012, 5 weeks after Boomer died. She too was widowed at my age, 8 years earlier, and embodies resilience and penache. A kindred spirit, she was a mentor and role model for me throughout my early widow experience. I hope I can support Arlene that way. Then came Debbie and Sangree (read: Ascension), two friends who helped me create a new, wonderful memory to the forefront of a historical sad day in my life. In writing these letters, he reached me, abstractly, less obvious, and again in the voices of women (read: Voices). My letters each spoke of love and gratitude. How they, like Boomer, have left their mark on me - - on my heart and in my life.
People enter our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Their imprint on our hearts and impact on our life is sometimes everlasting. In my dream, Boomer appeared transcended. His oval frame is the oval coin.
Your hope Boomer is now my command which I gratefully proclaim, "Oui. Merci beaucoup."