April 18 rolled around just as it did every year, and like every other year, I faced the anniversary of Jim’s death. He left this world sixteen years ago.
I called up my sister–in-law Ginger and asked if she wanted to go to the cemetery with me. This year I delayed my visit to the Missouri Veterans Cemetery by one day to accept a check from John Knox Village East for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
After the photo, I went by the Pigeon’s Nest Floral Shop to pick up a basket of flowers to leave in front of the columbarium. Ginger held the flowers in her lap during the short trip to the cemetery.
I always feel a closeness to Jim when I visit the cemetery. The pond makes me think of how he loved to fish. He was happiest with a pole or a guitar in his hands.
The day was windy and the half-mast flags were flapping in the breeze making a lonesome sound. The wind rustled through the trees and the weeping willow swayed and wept.
When I shut my eyes and listened with my heart, I could hear a secret chord. It told me that although we lose souls we love, we gain others. Though we go through dark times, or minor falls, we have the promise that we will be lifted up and embrace life again.
I look at minor falls as the everyday setbacks. How you deal with those setbacks will foreshadow how you deal with heartbreaking tragedy. If you have been able to set your everyday troubles aside and press forward, you develop life skills.
Being a caregiver was the most difficult and stressful part of my life. Each day was different, and what worked one day wouldn’t necessarily work the next. Interspersed through the sadness were moments of joy.
Each of us has a secret chord. A few notes of a special song can lift us up and mentally set us down inside a memory. The memory may bring comfort, happiness, or sorrow. In time the chords that once brought tears to our eyes, may bring a reflective smile, and eventually a real smile of joy as we remember the good times.
In the cemetery, the secret chords of a love song that Jim sang especially for me traversed through my mind and soul. That song brought peace, joy, and thanks to my heart.
I am thankful that Jim taught me how to love, how to persevere, and how to turn pain into strength. He taught me how to hear the secret chord.
Copyright © April 2021 by L.S. Fisher