I spy joy (and love) in Renee’s heart
On April 30, 2011, at 7:55 am, my sister Renee became an angel.
Well, I suppose she already was one, but on that day it became official. Renee had been living with cancer for nearly 8 years. What started out as breast cancer, became liver, lung, and bone cancer; and then ovarian and abdominal cancer.
Although she lived in Montana and I in Washington, my kids and I were blessed to see her less than a week before she passed. We said our tearful goodbyes and Renee told my kids she’d be watching over them–their very own angel. I believe her. And I believe she’s my angel, too.
A small group of family and friends went to spread Renee’s ashes the day before the service. We went to Glacier, one of her favorite places to visit. After each of us tossing some of the gritty ash that remained of her physical form into the lake, the larger portion was released at the edge of the water. As the ash slowly dissipated into the clear, cold water, I photographed it, thinking what a beautiful view she has.
Several of us picked up a few rocks–mementos of the day. I looked for pretty rocks in shades of red, yellow and green. I found a sparkley green one that looked a little like a heart. And then I found a ruddy red rock that looked exactly like a heart. Thrilled with my tangible reminders of this last bodily touch with my sister, I showed them to everyone there.
Yet this was just a trifle compared to what I was about to discover.
My purpose fulfilled, I began looking through the images I shot while the others lingered. When I saw the photo above I gasped, loud enough to draw attention. Where did this heart come from? Clearly shaped from Renee’s ashes, this heart formation was undeniable. And it was also unbelievable–it wasn’t there when I took the photo. I never saw it until I looked back through the images. How could I have missed seeing that when I took the shot?
Everyone looked at their own images. Nothing. Neither did they see Renee’s ashes ever looking like that as they stretched out into their resting place. We were all nearly speechless.
Unbelievable. And yet undeniable.
Renee sends her love. And I believe a greater message even than that. Her final resting place isn’t a lake in Glacier Park, Montana. It’s in love. LOVE.
Love is what’s on the other side. Lots of it.
After all, underlying everything, that’s all there is.
L. O. V. E.