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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I Saw My Grandmother at Starbucks this Morning .......The One That Passed Away

I knew today was a good day.  I felt it when I opened my eyes.  I felt it not from the sun or the lingering full moon or the flowers that are in full bloom.  I knew from inside.  I knew that my life was well aligned and all the uncertainty and the questions and the wondering about things was starting to ease into a sense of peace.  The struggles will remain, because life is riddled with those, but my sense of confidence and well-being had returned.

I took the girl to her last day of school and made my way to town, ready to take on my day.  I needed Starbucks time, both for the fuel and the time to plan some events of the day.  I chose a Starbucks I don't visit very often, ordered my fare and looked for a place to camp for awhile.  I chose a place at one of those long communal tables.  I sat down my bag and  looked up at my table partners, a mother and child.

Not just any child.  This child was angelic.  Hair spun like gold, eyes dancing and bright as the summer sun.  Her mother was leaning in, engaged completely with her child, a happy morning.  I could feel it.

I smiled at the sight of them.  Then I looked at the child's cup and written on it was the name Elsie.  I blinked and looked again.  We all know that Starbucks isn't famous for getting names right on our cup.  This was not a common name, Elsie.  The name of my grandmother.  My favorite person on the planet grandmother that I watched take her last breath and delivered her eulogy that more than 10,000 of you have read.  I shake it off and assume it must be Elsa from Frozen fame but still a nice coincidence. 

But I must know. 

I smile at this beautiful angel and I say, "Honey, what's your name?" And there in what now feels like slow motion she says, "Elsie" with a shy little smile to her Starbucks stranger.  My heart melts, I am covered in chills and I smile at her mother and say, "Oh my, that's my grandmother's name."  We chat that her beautiful angel is also named after her grandmother and what a wonderful coincidence with a not so common name on this summer morning.

I lean down and say to little Elsie, "that's a beautiful name, honey, you must have a big heart because everyone I've ever known named Elsie has an amazingly big heart." 

I return to the counter, retrieve my drink, still a little shaken and covered in chills.  As I pass by little Elsie I can't resist knowing more so I persist.  "Honey, what is your middle name?"  And in the tiny voice of a preschooler she says, "Rose". And now I'm unable to speak, I surely must not have heard her correctly so I ask one more time and she confirms.  Elsie Rose.    My exact grandmother's name. 

And my tears well and the mom's eyes get soft.  Thankfully she's not afraid of this stranger who has now completely inserted herself into their morning.  I tell the mom that my grandmother was a huge part of my life and I was with her at the end and delivered her eulogy that so many have read and how it always makes me feel like I have honored her well.  The mom is wonderful and kind and lets me have my amazing moment with her daughter.  And I'm grateful to be in public because I find a way to swallow the sobbing that has risen in my throat. 

So today is a really good day.  It's a day of knowing and assurance and love and protection.  My angels are all in place, with Grandma taking the lead.