Friday, December 15, 2017

Blueberry Moments

My friend Kristi and I walked briskly
down our local trail, somewhat 
euphoric at the gift of 50 degrees
on this Minnesota December day.

{It would be 20 degrees colder and
snowing by that evening.}

December is full of contradictions 
like this -- both physically and

Light and shadows.
Joy and sadness.
Present moments and the
presents of cherished
memories from the past.

As our unseasonably warm
walk took us back to our parked
cars, we were talking recipes
and blueberries.

My friend's teenage son, Jake, 
 had loved these sweet gems.

I still buy the huge packs of
blueberries when I see them at
Costco, Kristi said wistfully.

I don't know why.  

Touching her sleeve gently, I replied,
You are enjoying them for both of you.

This blueberry moment reminded
me of things I encounter daily that
bring to mind someone dear who
has passed away.

Especially during the holidays.

A favorite carol.
A sparkly pin.
The scent of fir trees.
A special game.
A delicious cookie.
A cuddly blanket.
The first snowfall.
A cozy fire.

Moments that I now savor not
only for myself, but also for the
beloved one not physically
here anymore.

With the four-year anniversary
of Jake's death approaching,
I wanted to do something that
would bring Kristi comfort.

Remembering the blueberry
conversation, I searched online
for a blueberry charm.

Imagine my surprise when this
search revealed many sites
selling glass blueberry charms,
which are meant

to symbolize and honor a
mother's loss of a baby.

I had no idea.

In the end, I decided against the
charm, as I wanted my friend to 
focus on the joy her boy had
given her, and not on the loss.

Instead, I delivered hugs, a
framed poem and a big bag of
chocolate-covered blueberries.

Light and shadows melded as
we talked, the Kleenex box
between us, sprinkled with
blueberry moments of 
remembrance, joy and love.

Wishing you all of these gifts as we
embrace this paradoxical, bittersweet,
but oh so beautiful time of the year,
holding close both those who
we can touch with our hands and
those who remain in our hearts.

I carry you with me
into the world,
into the smell of rain
& the words that dance
between people.....
& for me, it will always
be this way,
walking in the light,
remembering being
alive together.

-Brian Andreas, Living Memory


Thank you to my bestie
from across the globe
for the lovely poem 

{all photos my own}


NanaDiana said...

What a touching post---your words and the words of others--all blended together to offer solace and peace and to remind us to seek JOY when sometimes it is just easier to sink into the pain.
God bless you. xo Diana

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

You are the sweetest friend...I love your tender and thoughtful spirit, Suzanne. xoxo

Lisa Ancona-Roach said...

As always, beautiful, Suzanne. And so wild that I would read this this morning...I dreamed of Kathleen last night. Miss her. Hugs to you, friend. <3

KAM said...

Thank you, thank you for this most special post.
Today, far from where I now live, is the memorial service for a treasured, dear woman who lived through WWII in Germany and spent much of her adult life presenting programs to children about those years. She had a long and beautiful life, being far away on this special remembrance day with letters written to family and other close friends, I was watching the snow fall, hoping to see a chickadee or sparrow as I heard their songs, and there, you had a wonderfully felted bird to greet me.
Thank you so very much for bringing some comfort to me today.

Kristi A said...

To my dear sweet friend - I am humbled & honored to be remembered in your post <3 Imagine the simple meaning of the blueberry, that is a marvel.... Thank you for your continued support, friendship, and love - Kristi

Jeanie said...

Few are so articulate as Brian Andreas and fewer still as sensitive and thoughtful as you are my friend. I never knew the story of the blueberry. A beautiful idea but what you did was more remembering the joy and the love -- a wise choice.

This is a hard time for so many, even when the losses are far past. There's something about the season that evokes such feeling, such memory. My article on surviving the holidays while grieving goes live tomorrow on but I think not one thing I mentioned could be so touching as what you shared here.

Desert Diva said...

A good friend is the world's sweetest gift.