Tonight I connected a lovely client with her mother who passed on a message that made me laugh but that also made a lot of sense. One of the things she showed me was a small pearl ring surrounded with tiny diamonds. I asked my client if she recognized the ring. "Yes," she said, "but I lost in a move, and I've always felt terrible about that." Her mother shook her head and waved it away. She showed me a local jewelry store in our town that often sells antique jewelry. I heard her clearly say in my head, "Tell her to buy another one that looks like it and give it to her oldest son. I want my grandchildren to have something to remember me by." I could see this son marrying and having a daughter. I think she wanted her grandson to give this to a future great granddaughter. She said again, "Tell her to get a new ring. Just give it to him and tell her it's from me."
I love this message I heard tonight because it reminds me of what I always hear in my readings from our loved ones in heaven: REMEMBER ME. Tell my stories, honor my life in some way -- no matter how small. This mother didn't care that the ring was lost. The ring wasn't the thing -- it's what the ring represented -- family, tradition and love.
My grandmother was not the baking pies in the oven type. She scared the living you-know-what out of me to be honest. She was tough and often mean and rarely had time for me. When we would visit her, she'd put me in the front parlor with a pack of playing cards and leave me there while the grown ups talked in the living room. When she died, I barely felt a thing. That was when I was twelve. Years later, when I was taking intuitive development classes, I woke up one night and saw my grandmother. I followed her to my living room. She was dressed terribly in an old, faded print dress. Her face looked wrinkly like I remembered it, her hair was still that steel gray color cut short. She reached out to me with open arms -- something she'd never done to anyone while on Earth -- and said, "I'm so sorry for the way I behaved on Earth. I didn't know. I didn't know. Pray for me?" I promised her I would. The next morning, I called my mom and asked her to call everyone in the family to pray for Grammy. I prayed and prayed. I said rosaries for her and lit many candles. About a week later, I woke up and saw that my grandmother was again in my bedroom. I followed her out to my living room and noticed that she was dressed in a navy blue Chanel suit. She looked young -- about 35 -- her dark blonde hair was swept back in a chignon, and she wore makeup -- again something she never did when she was here on Earth. She radiated love and said but two words to me. "Thank you" and then she was gone.
My grandmother had lived a tough life. She worked in a factory for over 30 years, married an alcoholic and single handedly raised four children -- two of which were twins (my mom and my aunt). When she was a young girl, her little sister ran across the street to meet my grandmother coming home from school and stood in horror as her little sister -- just four years old -- was killed by a speeding bus. If you add up all those things, I think I'd be a little bitter and mean too. I started to feel compassion and real love for my grandmother.
When I was at my mom's house visiting a little after Grammy said thank you to me, I saw my grandmother's jewelry box -- a very small box lined in velvet, trimmed in marquisette depicting a young girl sitting at a vanity table. Grammy had very little jewelry -- none that I can think of except her wedding ring, a pearl necklace and a cameo. I asked my mom if I could have the jewelry box and she said, "Yes, of course." I love to look at the box and think of my grandmother -- finally at peace and happy in heaven. God knows, she deserves it.
This year, my mother gave my oldest daughter Grammy's cameo. I know she'll cherish it because she'll be raised not with stories of my grandmother's bitterness but rather of her strength, of how she managed to endure so much tragedy and leave this earth with four healthy children and 14 grandchildren who will remember her as a woman of faith who endured.
That's all they want from us. For in remembering them with fondness, we're honoring them and in doing so, we're allowing them to continue to flourish and grow in heaven.