Be Still And Know That I Am

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Out of the hundred or so people who were in my Grandmother's backyard, I knew maybe ten of them. Fifteen if I were lucky. The twist on it all was that, they all knew me. They each approached me with such grace and honesty in their eyes, I felt as if I had known them all of my childhood. Hearing their kind words, and feeling the love through their hugs gave me the feeling of care and acceptance.
The day was sunny, not a cloud in the sky. The weather warm, with a hint of spring breeze cooling the backs of those around me. Butterflies and hummingbirds spread the aroma of the gorgeous, newly bloomed flowers growing in my grandmother's garden through the air. The music flowing around me set the tone of the gathering; my foot never stopped tapping. I spun around in my white dress, moving with the surrounding sound. Feeling light on my feet, it was almost as if I could take one step into the sky and soar.
Curiosity took over my mind when I saw Aunt Pam come out of the house, say something to my mother and then she followed her back in. Mom went down the hallway to the right and out the back door. Where was she going? Did I even want to know? There weren't many people inside, and anyway, the house was too dark and overwhelming to be in. As I turned to walk out, I heard a faint cry, and it began to get louder and louder. So I followed my ear, to see that mom and Uncle Robbie were taking Aunt Sweetie into the room I was staying in.
I thought to myself quickly, 'What could she be crying about? She only just got here.' Not wanting to dwell on it however, I went back outside to the cheerful elements of nature. Ending up pretty far back in the garden, there had been no point to my walk. Aunt Pam came to bring me back into the house shortly after my journey across the yard.
"Where are we going?" I asked even though I already knew the answer.
"Your Aunt Sweetie wants to see you," she responded, not looking back at me. The doors opened, and there were a group of women surrounding my Aunt. Some smiling, others crying, and others speaking with her. Her back was facing me, so she didn't know I was there. But as the door closed behind me, and everyone in the room looked up, she turned around slowly.
During that short turn, I could feel my heart racing uncontrollably, the beat banging through my ears. Taking a deep breath and swallowing hard, there she was. Looking at her face, all nervousness escaped my body. The pain in her eyes was just about unbearable, but I stood my ground. "Oh my God," were the first words to come out of her mouth. They were quiet, but strong. "Oh my God," she repeated, eyes widening. Her body was frozen, so I mimicked her, staying completely still, holding my breath and waiting. "Hold on. Let me look at you!" Voice now escalated, she looked me slowly up and down, as if I was something in which she had never come across before. "You're gorgeous! Look how much you've grown!" I was unaware of the large smile that shot across my face. "I can't believe it," she shook her head in awe. "Oh my God."
Her doctor had told her, "Natalie, you can't have close contact with anyone, because it could be a risk of infection to your kidney." You would have thought he had spoken in German, the way she opened her arms and took me into them. Hugging her, she felt thin, frail, and weak, but the love was as strong as love can be. I hadn't felt something that pure in a long time. It was almost as if I had lost it forever. But I found it, oh boy did I find it.
Face pressed up against mine, she kissed my head long and slow. She didn't have to say, because I knew right then and there, that things were going to be alright.
Earlier that week, my sweet grandmother Cookie, had passed away. At sixty five years old, I knew that it wasn't her turn to leave. She didn't deserve it, and it more than angered me to see her go. She left without saying 'goodbye' which hurt more than one thousand knives piercing my body. She flew away as I stayed behind, frightened, lonely, and without hope. But when I saw Aunt Sweetie that day at my grandmother's memorial service, I knew that it was my grandmother's way of telling me "never say goodbye, but only hello. You will keep going. You will live on. And always remember, 'Be Still, and Know That I Am'." And I know now that she is. She is right here, with me. She always will be. And for that, I am so very grateful.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Oma1 said...
Feb. 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm
This piece has a lot of tension and builds to a climax that holds the reader's attention and is riveting. The author plants us in the setting so that I felt that I was in her grandmother's backyard and then the house. Her use of language is visual (moving with the surrounding sound). She engages all the senses. It is moving and brings forth emotion.
 
msamsky716 said...
Feb. 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm
beautifully written!
 
lam26 said...
Feb. 21, 2010 at 1:21 pm
aww thats such a sweeet article! <3
i really loved it!!
great job baby v :)
 
kfin94 said...
Feb. 21, 2010 at 1:14 pm
awesome writing!! such great description!
 
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