Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Veil

As I get older, I realize how rare shared space is with the ones you love. I remember thinking to myself as a teenager, "God, I can't wait to get out of this house." Why was I in such a hurry to grow up, get out and move on? Hindsight is 20/20. I think it's impossible to appreciate the time you have under the same roof with your parents, near your family and friends, until it's gone. You can't truly appreciate it until those times are hard -- almost impossible to come by.

I'm getting married in 25 days - in Hawaii, with my family (and the girl of my dreams) by my side. We actually paid money to spend time together in the same house. Weird, right? People we love are flying there, just for us. I feel a flood of emotion just thinking about it. It's a big deal when people show up for you; overwhelming in the best way.

And as I'm getting caught up in wedding wonderland suddenly my grandma's song (Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Iz) comes on. It has no logical reason to play on my Otis Redding radio station, but there it is.  It / she has a way of doing that -- appearing in the most unlikely places as if to say "I'm not far away."
So I wonder - is the veil thin in moments like this? 
Moments where I'm celebrating a different type of veil (wedding veil)? 
Moments where I'm happy but wishing I could pick up the phone and call just to hear the sound of their voice one more time?
Do the people I love still surround me?   
Is it possible that the love they have for us reaches beyond the veil in ways that make us uncomfortable if we think about it too long -- like I'm getting freakishly cosmic?
I probably sound crazy for letting these thoughts escape my mind, but that's okay. The older I get, the less I care about what seems crazy to others; the more I want to be present.  I'm open to whatever the feeling is when it happens, and it happens, often in the most unexpected ways.  Like seeing my loved ones around me in different forms -- a song, a whisper, a stranger.  

The other day a woman got off at Amanda's bus stop carrying groceries, put down her bags and smiled at me. I felt my grandma so strongly that I had to circle the block, turn the car around (and risk seeming like a creeper) to ask if we could give her a ride. She gladly accepted the offer, doting on our small act of kindness by repeatedly calling us angels. She thanked us as she got out of the car and as we watched her walk safely to her apartment, the small fraction of time in her presence made me so happy that I almost burst into tears.

She was my grandma's spirit. And it doesn't matter if I'm the only one who felt that or actually believes it.

Death is so intriguing -- fascinating even. I've had more time to think about it than most. There once was a time in my life when I didn't think I would live to see my 20th birthday. I was diagnosed with chronic pneumonia at the age of 17, given a cystic fibrosis vest to wear at 18, team of doctors at 19 who finally found and removed the big T word (tumor), along with most of my right lung. My doctors said I shouldn't have lived through it, but I did. I'm 34 now and 2014 marks 17 years past what I thought would be my expiration date. By those terms, I've actually lived an entire second life and am staring down my third. Perhaps my experience has left me a bit more cosmic and open to angelic nudging, and I'm okay with that.
Hi, my name is Chris and I believe in angels and cosmic shit.
I'm extremely grateful for the life I have, my weird little family and the incredible amount of love that's surrounding my fiancé and I as we approach "I do." So whether I'm imagining these moments to be more than mere coincidence, or if they really are what I think they are, I'm thankful for a brush with the veil.

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