The Dance

Enjoying nature was one of many activities that John and I enjoyed sharing. We visited many botanical gardens, beaches and parks wherever we lived. On one of our first vacations together, we travelled to Fort Myers and stayed in a resort right on the beach. One of our days was spent on Sanibel Island, home of several wildlife refuges. We devoted an entire day at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

There is a four-mile scenic drive around Sanibel Island which is home to hundreds species of birds, reptiles, palms, seagrapes, myrtles and other native vegetation. John loved watching me enjoy my passion – photography. He drove along the dike so that I could snap away. Whenever we saw something that caught our attention, especially a flock of wading birds, we stopped to get a closer look.

As we drove slowly along the dike, I saw a lone Little Blue Heron off in the distance in the bay. He caught my eye, and I asked John to stop. We got out of the car and walked up to the edge of the water. The heron was the only bird in sight, but he put on what we later called a “happy dance” through the shallow water. We were thrilled to watch and I captured the show in several still, sequential photos.

The Little Blue Heron stood in the “knee-deep” bay, and my first photo was one where he appeared to be looking at himself in the water like it was a mirror. We imagined to ourselves that he wanted to make sure his feathers were all in place, and he looked handsome and presentable.

Gazing Into The Water

After a few seconds, all of a sudden he spread out his wings and stood on one leg. And then he started running through the water towards us. As he ran, he held his head high and held his wings out like angel wings.

Dancing Dancing

He glided across the shallow water flapping his wings up and then down and turned making a semi-circle wake in the water. Then, as suddenly as he had started his “dance”, he stopped. I caught him in this beautiful, graceful stance. His wings were held out as he stood on one leg, as if in a “Karate Kid” pose gazing into the water again.

Karate Kid Pose

He stood there staring into the water for several seconds, and we were sure he was pleased with what he saw. He stood up once more, raised his wings and continued sprinting and splashing back towards where he started.

Look At Me

All the while, he danced solo as if he was wooing a mate to join him in his tango, “look at me, look at me, I’m here waiting for you!” It was a lovely sight to behold; while we stood there, he never enticed a lady bird to join him.

We decided to return to the car and continue along the dike. Before John started the car, he grabbed my hand and looked into my eyes. He told me how much he loved me, and I said the same back to him.  As we drove away, I told John, “that heron’s soul mate is just sitting back waiting for us to leave.  They just want some privacy.”  And we smiled . . .

John and I lived Richard Bach’s quote everyday: “Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.” We made each other’s life come to life; we were blessed with a once-in-a-lifetime bond.  He didn’t have to dance to woo me; he had me at “hello”.

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“You Spoke To Me Through Mary”

Every day I talk to you. As hard as I try to listen, but I can’t hear you speaking to me. Today was different, because you spoke to me through Mary.

The first time I met Mary was when she, Brian and Zack and eight others came over to clean our yard on August 15.  Today, Mary, Brian and Zack came back to help paint a few rooms.

They stopped at Panera Bread before coming over, and Mary asked me if I wanted breakfast. I asked for a breakfast sandwich of some kind, not picky. They arrived around 9:30 a.m., and we ate in our kitchen. As I was eating my egg and bacon sandwich, she handed me another bag. She said, “we decided to get you something sweet, so we got you a cinnamon bun.” I choked back the tears and told her that was our favorite pastry when we used to go to Panera.  Brian said, “See, John told us to get the cinnamon roll for you.”

Mary and I took a little break mid-morning.  She mentioned that she tried to find my “beapositive” blog. I asked her how she knew; she remembered from Pastor Dan’s message last week. I also asked her to read our book that I’ve started.

As Brian was cleaning up the paint brushes, trays, etc., she and I sat in the kitchen and talked. As the morning passed, she must have sensed that she needed to share something with me. She had a dream a few weeks before she met me.  A dear friend of hers went to heaven sometime in July. This is how I know that you spoke to me this morning.

Mary says she has very vivid dreams. In this particular dream, her friend whispered in her ear, so close that Mary could feel her breath. She said for whatever reason, she smelled some kind of mint. I believe it was wintergreen, the flavor of the Altoids we have in our car that we’d eat to cover up coffee-breath. She told Mary, “you are not going to believe this place when you get here. It’s more beautiful than you can imagine.”  Then her friend beckoned her and said, “I want to show you this house. Follow me.”

At the house, the first thing she saw was a waterfall.  Where the water spilled into the stones were black pebble stones. She said when I turned on the waterfall on August 15, the first thing she saw were the black pebble stones.  I remember when  you wanted to add black stones where the water fall, and we bought them at a local nursery.  You placed them with your hands at the bottom of the waterfall.  She immediately called Brian over and said, “look at the waterfall and the black pebble stones. . . just like in my dream.”

Waterfall with Black Pebblestones

Waterfall with Black Pebblestones

The second thing she saw in the dream were little elephant statuettes standing around her. She said it took her breath away this morning while we ate breakfast. Over in the corner on our kitchen counter she saw three elephant statuettes just like in her dream.

Elephant Statuettes

Elephant Statuettes

The third thing that convinced me you were speaking to me was the phrase she used to describe our love story. She said the way I have weaved our memories and your poetry is like a “word dance”. At that point, I took her into our music room and showed her the pictures on the wall. The first one is a couple dancing in the rain on the beach that we bought together.  I am the lady in red dancing with my Prince Charming. The other picture was a Christmas present to you from me, “Dance Me To The End of Love”.  We used to dance in our living room.  Although we can’t physically dance together right now, our story is our “word dance”, a beautiful love story with your poetry and my stories about our memories.  I know you gave her the phrase “word dance” to share with me.

Dancing

Dancing

IMG_20150829_171433252

I thank God that Mary, Brian and Zack are in our lives. Mary said, “I am your connection to John right now. He is speaking through me so that you know how much he loves you.  He is waiting for you.”

My heart aches beyond words can describe every minute that I’m awake. I only have peace when I write about us, so I continue to write our beautiful life. I love you and miss you more every day. But today . . . you spoke to me through Mary.

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