Yesterday I was having “one of those moments” that come frequently when you are having “one of those days.” Someone said something to me in such a way that it made me feel approximately this big. Except. They didn’t make me feel anything. I did. And after feeling sorry for myself for about 10 minutes (and texting a friend and calling my mom) I decided I would go outside for a breath of fresh air. I walked to and around the park. I smushed my face into a bouquet of baby-soft blue hydrangeas and inhaled deeply. I sat in the moist, warm grass in a spot of sunshine. I watched as a little toddler-aged girl ran back and forth and back and forth through the grass, from the bench where her Nana sat watching her, all the way up to the hedges that rim the park from the sidewalk. I watched her trip and fall onto her hands and knees. I watched her rise shakily, her voice breaking at first until she realized that Nana had not seen her fall (or atleast was not reacting to her fall.)
“I’m OK, Nana!” she said waving both hands in Nana’s direction, “I’m ok!”
And WHAM! It hit me. Chills, starting at my temples, around to the back of my skull, down my jaw, to the back of my neck and shoulders, to the outsides of my arms, to the outer edges of my legs. Tingling in my toes.The threat of tears prickling and stinging behind my eyes. A whoosh of warmth bursting in my chest. A smile tickling its way onto my lips. “Nana,” I smiled. A teeny sparrow as big as my palm flew from behind me and landed right in front of me – inches from my folded legs. I could have touched it. I saw every fleck of brown in its feathers . It looked directly into my eyes and hopped even closer jerkily twitching its head side-to-side as if to ask, “Ok?”
“Yes, Nana. I’m ok,” I smiled.
A year before she passed, my Nana suffered a severe stroke that left her almost entirely paralyzed and unable to speak. She used her eyes to convey emotion, used her good hand to squeeze yours reassuringly, she nodded and sighed, and repeatedly sang this three syllable song to us daily:
"It’s Ok," she would say, tilting her head down and up in one strong and swift motion, in what I imagine was her way of saying, "end of story."