When I was a young girl I didn’t have the best relationship with my grandmother. She struggled with an addiction to pain medication and it drastically changed her once friendly and lively personality. She was the woman who could sing like a bird, and who was stunningly beautiful. But sadly, that struggle changed everything. So much that I truly, honestly believed she hated me. She was quite mean, and unfairly cruel to me. It was always like that with us. Nothing like what my daughter shares with my mother. The two are one and the same, and my daughter adores her. “Grandma WeeYoo” she calls her. My mom made up a song once about rocking in a chair & that happened to be the melody. “Weeyoo, weeyoo, rocking in the chair”. So Emma decided that would be her name. It’s their song, you know? Well, for my grandmother and I, there was no cute song. There were no kisses, hugs, or rocking gently in a rocking chair. And I remember feeling so darn sad about that. I remember feeling that need, that yearning. And not experiencing any of it.
But what I didn’t understand as a young girl, was how Heavenly Father works. He doesn’t torture you your whole life and then never make it up to you. He doesn’t deal you a bad hand and then at the end of your life, say “Well, that’s it. Your life was painful & full of regrets. Too bad!”. No. No, no, no. He makes up for it. In one way or another He will make it up to you. Why am I expounding on all of this? This is why.
The other day Emma was sick. She had had a fever for two days and felt pretty crummy. I was so tired of her getting sick over and over and over again, week after week, so my attitude stunk. But I prayed really hard that this time, the sickness would pass quickly and she’d be watched over. You see, I was given a Priesthood blessing once, and in it I was told that angels were watching over our children. And that they were kept safe. It said many angels. So when I pray, I pray for that. For many angels to watch over them.
So, Emma was sick again. She was up every two hours that night, and I was sure by morning the fever would be raging and she would be sicker than I could imagine. I heard her stirring around 5:45 am. I got out of bed and walked toward her room, dreading what I’d find. But something stopped me. I listened near her door as she rambled on, not making out exactly what she was saying. She must have sensed me there, because without looking at me, she smiled and said something that I’ll never forget.
“I talked to grandma Wee-yoo’s mommy.”
Suddenly I felt my knees start to shake, and I forced myself to inhale. The first thing that came to mind was maybe she was mistaken, because my Grandmother was dead. We never talk about my grandmother, so how would she know to even mention her? So I said calmly, “What did you talk about? Where is she?” Emma ignored the question, and then turned and said, “I wasn’t afraid, mommy”.
Now, this is not the first time she has mentioned my Grandmother. Months ago, she came to me and said, “Mommy. I saw Grandma WeeYoo’s mommy. And there were lots of lights!”. I remember thinking I should write it down or call my mom, or do something. But another part of me thought it was nothing.
Suddenly, standing in Emma’s room, watching her nonchalantly tell me, once again, that she’d seen my grandmother, I KNEW the truth. I knew it was real. She was real.
And for the first time in my life, I understood. I understood what was happening. Here I was, begging & pleading with the Lord that He would send angels down to heal my little girl. That He would keep her safe. And I could actually see it in my mind. I could see little Emma there, feverish and tired. Aching and sick. And I could see this woman. This woman dressed in white, glowing and radiant. Sent from Heavenly Father to watch over my child. To be the answer to the prayer of a pleading parent. But He didn’t send just anyone. He sent her. And I could almost see her sitting there with Emma, talking, smiling. Singing. And oh, if I could’ve been there, really been there, to see such a sight. I think all of those sad thoughts & bad memories about this woman, would quickly vanish. And I’d see my grandmother just as my little girl eyes have always wanted to see her, as she deserves to be seen. As she truly was.
And my heart wouldn’t ache for her anymore.
So maybe she and I were dealt a bad hand. Maybe we were doomed from the start. Perhaps our relationship was meant for another time, another place. And I don't blame her anymore. I love her more than I ever have. And I’m absolutely sure of one thing. She loves me. She loves me. And she loves my little girl. And maybe this is her way of saying she’s sorry. Maybe this is her way of taking me in her arms and wiping away years of needless tears, and years of wondering if she ever loved me at all.
I know now that she did.
So next time Emma is sick and I’m pleading with the Lord to send His angels to help her, I’ll know exactly who He’ll send. And I’ll know Emma is watched over. I’ll know that while she sits beside my daughter’s bed, that she isn’t just watching over Emma. She’s watching over me, too.
And maybe next time when I'm sick, or alone or my heart is aching, I'll toss out the anger & pain that the little girl inside of me may feel for her. And instead, I'll see my grandmother dressed in white, smiling, sitting beside me at my bed.
And she'll softly sing to me until I fall asleep.
And then I'll realize….. maybe we have our own song after all.