This is a story of love between a grandmother and her granddaughter set to the tune of a secret, whispering wind.
Mom was an independent spirit, a loving mother, a dedicated nurse, and a natural learner of her world near and far. Several years after Dad died, she moved in with us for what doctors said would be her last three months on earth, as lung cancer would take her quickly.
A lucky misdiagnosis allowed us another three years with Mom as she rose to the challenge of remaining strong and independent as she could. Meg was a teenager at the time, living in our basement in her teen haven—a strong and independent girl herself. Our family became the quintessential sandwich generation, raising a child and nurturing a parent all at once.
Grandma Betty adored Meg, but sometimes showed it with firm words of self-improvement and the benefits of hard work. Mom at 81 and Meg at 16 sometimes teetered at the edge of the great divide between the ages.
One breezy North Carolina day, Mom was pouring tea in the kitchen. When she turned around, she looked through the sliding glass doors leading to the deck where Meg was standing with her arms outstretched, leaning into the wind, head back, blonde hair blowing, lost in a very long peaceful moment. When she came in, Mom, in a gentle voice, asked her what she was doing. Meg responded curtly that she was just listening to the wind and relaxing after school.
Grandma Betty smiled warmly and said, “Meg, when I was your age, I thought the trees created the wind and I loved to listen to it, thinking it was whispering secrets into my ears, telling me things I needed to know if I listened hard enough.
The distance between them vaporized instantly as the great divide closed like a quiet breeze. They went into Mom’s room, shared secrets of their own, and learned that those moments of connecting with the wind brought inspiration, calm, and unity with the outdoors and, now an unbreakable bond between the two of them.
It's as though the very same wind and breath that my mother took into herself and gave away to the world came back around to enter her granddaughter for the sole purpose of bringing them together in love and understanding. That one moment bonded their two hearts and spanned the ages; and now that Mom is gone from this earth, I believe she travels the wind to Meg whenever her arms are outstretched, whispering a secret meant only for her.