Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Flock of Dove and a White Dress

Jacquelyn Small said we are not human beings learning to be spiritual; we are spiritual beings learning to be human.

Well I, for one, know that I am learning every day how to be both spiritual and human. As a spiritual being living a human life I spend too much time focusing on the human aspects of life (as well I should...I think) & I find myself forgetting about my spiritual self. Keep in mind that I am not talking about religion, but the spirit inside me. That energy, or life force, that was created and will live forever.

Then just as I am coasting along in this human existence something happens to shake it all up, to challenge me. As I mentioned in the previous blog post, we brought Cheyenne home after she was born and woke that first morning at home to a loud unfamiliar & somewhat annoying sound. When I opened the blinds I saw a HUGE flock of dove sitting in perfect soldier-like formation along the top of the entire fence line around the back yard. They had never been there before & it was truly a sight to see. As the next few years rolled by they became a permanent part of the family. Our dove.

When Cheyenne was 13 months old we had her baptized into our faith. Do we believe that it is a necessity to enter into heaven? No. We did it because we wanted to make a public commitment to her that we would raise her with the Holy Spirit. We would teach her to love, to be kind, to forgive, & most of all to know that she will never be alone because she was created by God.

(My MIL with her mom, Cheyenne, & me)

I made her baptism dress from scraps of dupioni silk left over from my wedding dress that my mom had made me. While I was working on the dress I had a vision that rattled me to my very core. I instantly stopped working & called my twin. Through my tears I described the vision I had of Cheyenne laying in a casket & wearing that white dress I was making. My sister talked me down off that cliff so well that I forgot all about it & went on in my human life with great joy...exactly what I should have been doing.

But that all changed two years later. Cheyenne passed suddenly from congestive heart failure at 3.5 years old. We drove home from the hospital without her & I remember so clearly that my color vision had gone. I was only seeing in black & white. The next morning, when I woke, the house was so quiet. No sounds of Cheyenne playing, or food cooking, ...or dove. I ran to the back window & opened the blinds. They were gone. Just like my little girl, the beautiful dove were all gone.

The funeral home called to tell us we had to bring something to dress her in for the funeral. I had no idea what to take. It was at that moment that my sister jumped up & said "I do!" She ran upstairs to Cheyenne's closet & pulled out the white dress. It still fit Cheyenne since she had not grown a lot & I made it kinda big in the first place. So we took the beautiful silk dress to the funeral home & they dressed my first born for her burial.

As I sat in church several weeks later, thinking how the absence of the dove was a constant reminder of Cheyenne's absence (as if I needed reminding), the pastor made a sudden & random reference to the holy trinity & the role of the dove. He reminded me that the dove was the Holy Spirit on Earth sent down to witness us as we lived our human lives. It was at that moment that it all made sense to me. Those dove were there to witness her life. When she went home so did they. Their job was done. Her job was done.

...and mine must continue.

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