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Today I am going to talk about my guardian angels. I have four of them. Four is the number of people who I have truly loved, yet I was forced to watch them fade from this life. I’ve spent a lot of years denying my connection with those who have passed on, but I am no longer afraid of this precious gift.
The one who has been with me the longest is my paternal grandfather. We buried him just one month before my 15’th birthday. He was a man who never threw an unkind word in my direction. He was warm, and round, and steady. He always had candy with him, and he had no qualms whatsoever about crushing me mercilessly at Monopoly. Now that I am older and understand the weight that must have been on his shoulders concerning certain issues in our family, my love grows for him even more. I know he was not a perfect man, and if he were standing here right now, he would tell you the very same thing. I know he watches over all of his family, but I feel him so strongly. There has to be some significance to that, I’m sure of it! When I am really down, and I feel the warmth of a hug, yet no one is in the room with me, I know that it is him. When I am having a hysterical panic attack, it’s his voice that is still and booming all at the same time telling me that it’s going to be ok.
My second, most precious guardian is my first child. I didn’t get to know him very well, and I still feel a gulf between us because of this. He was only 10 weeks old when I watched that tiny casket being lowered into the ground. He is always with me, but from a distance now. Since my daughter was born, I sense he watches her much more, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I have to be careful not to let my grief consume me when I think of him and feel his presence.
The third angel to join my troupe was my darling mother-in-law. She passed from this life and realm just a mere two months after I married her only child. Losing her still stings a lot these days. Like with my son, my grief lies in the fact that I didn’t get to know her well enough before she was gone. Just a few days before she passed, we were talking and she told me that if I was ever driving down the road or doing any other activity and I needed someone to talk to, she would always be there. She and I were so similar, and I long for her encouragement and advice these days. Maybe that’s the reason I sense her to be the most vocal of my guardians. She is strong willed and opinionated, and I love her for it. And yes, I talk to her the most when I am driving down the road in my car.
My fourth and final guardian is my maternal grandmother. She is a very recent addition. I was grown and expecting my second child when I attended her funeral. I saw her nearly every day for the first twenty years of my life, and I drew a lot of inspiration and strength from her in those years. There is a huge chunk of my life that did not have her in it, but I was able to reconnect with her and be there for the last few months of her life. I like to think that it meant the world to her. My daughter is her namesake, and it’s her presence with me each day that calms me the most. I wasn’t always the best grandkid to have around, but none of that matters anymore. She loves me unconditionally and will always be right by my side.
Even though my fear about hearing and sensing these guardians is gone, this is still a very heavy gift to have. Having loved ones who stick around and always want to be in your head is exhausting! But if things get too crazy, I have to tell them to back off. I imagine that the top of my head is open on a hinge. When I need a break from them, I have to imagine myself swinging the top of my head closed so that my thoughts can once again be just my own for a while.
I feel deep in my heart that they are all here for a purpose, I just don’t know what that is yet. They aren’t ghosts I see or actual voices I hear. It’s all in my head, and if I told most of the people who know me about them, they would probably ship me off to the nearest psych ward. But I have my guardians, and they will never let that happen.