Sunday, December 22, 2013

Rose Hills

Christmas can be a sentimental time.  As I look across the table at chairs that were once filled by love ones who are departed, I can't deny I feel moments of sadness.  It is a subtle ache that I hold close and push on through.

For years I have visited Rose Hills prior to Christmas.  I stop by the graves of family members, pause for thoughts and reflection, wipe of their headstones and leave flowers.  My body feels lighter and my heart aches a little less afterwards.

This morning we (my dad, brother and I) set out a little before six.  We arrived at Rose Hills while it was still quite chilly. The grass was wet and the sun was beginning to rise over the hills of the cemetery.  Our first stop was Robert's grave.  Visiting his grave stirs my core and while I know he is at peace, I miss him dearly.

After visiting my Uncle Robert's grave, I got a little teary.  My dad stretched out his arm over my shoulder for comfort.  And then it happened, we looked up to see one beautiful deer crossing the road.   My dad, brother and I stood still and a herd of deer followed behind the first.  We stepped into the car and drove a little closer for a better look.  These gentle beings stood unafraid with a majestic presence. We were in awe of their beauty and captivated by their grace.

What a gift it was to have these animals cross our paths.  It was as if they were protecting our loved ones.  I have no doubt they appeared to ease our hearts.  It was one of those moments that you just can't shrug off as a coincidence.  Serene. Peaceful. God's hand at work.  I will be forever grateful.


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