God is all around us. And, I believe, so are our loved ones who live with Him in Heaven. The question is, do we recognize them, when they are speaking to us?
I found out on a Sunday that my grandmother passed away. She was a good friend of mine. We did not always have a close relationship, but God, in his goodness, brought us close in those last few years of my grandmother’s life. She brought to life a passion I had as a child that I had let go of for awhile–reading good books. It was through sharing books with her that I really learned who my grandmother was; and discovered that she and I had alot in common! I will forever thank God for allowing us to share a bond with one another. My grandmother truly was my good friend.
The Thursday before that Sunday, as I went into the Adoration chapel like I do every Thursday, I was overwhelmed with the scent of the gardenias that were growing right outside the chapel. I knew the gardenias grew there, but the powerful aroma reminded me that they were there, that Katie was there. Of course, I didn’t know at the time why that was so significant, but I did know that God and Katie were speaking to me. It gave me a very comforting feeling–one that stayed with me for some time. The feeling was so powerful, in fact, that when I heard the news on that Sunday, I immediately thought back to that powerful scent that reminded me that I was surrounded by love.
Fast forward to that Sunday. I woke up very early that morning–I just couldn’t sleep. After alittle while, I decided to look at my phone and check the time. And that’s when I saw the message that my grandmother has passed. After speaking with my parents and then saying a rosary, I decided to go for a run and pray. When I walked outside, the sun was just starting to come up through the clouds and it was a beautiful sunrise. And as I ran and cried and prayed, I passed by bushes and bushes of gardenias. The further I ran and the more gardenias I passed, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. They were everywhere! And as I passed them I could smell their sweet fragrance. It made me happy and sad all at once. But mostly, it made me aware that God was with me. That God was with her. And that Katie was with her too.
As I look back on these events, I see how intertwined they are. It’s those small moments, those little things that God gives to us. On my run this morning, Grandma popped in my head and I started talking to her. And shortly after, I watched two cardinals fly in front of me and I knew she was there. And then, a big green leaf floated from the top of a tree right in front of me. And I knew she was there.
We are always surrounded by love. The love of God and the love of those who live with Him are always around us. It may be in the breeze that blows across your face or the unusual song of a bird or the sunset that makes you stop and stare. We are never alone. We are never without a good friend.