The year of 2020 just keeps on challenging us. As a follow-up to the blog that I posted last month, there have been other developments
First, we are thankful that our business has been wild, crazy busy! Our guests have been fantastic. People are just needing to get away from their “work at home” lives. We have had more families using the Flying room than ever before. We wonder if this stay-at-home time has even drawn families closer.
However, we have been called away several times in July. And always, our friends and family have come to the rescue with the B & B. As you recall in the last blog, following Whitney’s death, we had been so pleased to visit with my brother, Mike, in Floyd, VA. He, his wife, and wonder dog, Ax enabled us to play by the river and just escape for a day.
Then, we were so happy to visit with Jack’s 96-year old mother, Eloise, for her birthday July 16. A parade of about 35 church members drove by honking their horns and waving to her. She was so happy and pleased with this birthday surprise! But then the other two shoes fell.
On July 27, both Mike and Eloise died. Our hearts were breaking all over again. It was simply unbelievable. We were able to get away to honor my only brother, a true hero. As a career firefighter, Michael was honored with the ringing of the last bell in a small service at his home surrounded by friends and family, all masked and distanced.
On the heels of that service, we drove to Tennessee to honor and Jack’s mama, a truly adored woman. Eloise McCallen Phillips was honored in a small (masked) service in the funeral home followed by a graveside service with family and friends.
Do I question why? Do I wonder if these deaths were an indirect result of the pandemic? Yes, indeed I do. But I also believe in God and I believe that these wonderful family members knew God too. I think Whitney noticed Uncle Mike stepping into heaven and said, “Wait, what? How come you are here?” Then she ran into those great big, outstretched arms. And I believe Eloise is greeting each of her old friends with a smile, and a little “Hey!”
It is so sad to lose the ones you love, especially so close together. But you know, the living must keep on living! My granddaughter, Destiny is back in (virtual) school. Mike’s wife, Lisa is sorting through papers trying to make sense of the many forms and details. Jack and his brothers are beginning to sort through a lifetime of memories in their childhood home where Eloise lived independently until the very day she died, never having to go into assisted living and as smart as a whip!
Thank-you to our families for pulling together. Thank-you to our guests for forgiving if we overlook a detail or retreat to ourselves. We hope we have not missed too many beats along the way but please know that your presence in our home has been a blessing. One guest gifted me with some Kyanite. I had to look it up to see the healing properties. Here is what I found. Kyanite is an excellent stone for meditation and attunement. It will not retain negative vibrations or energy, therefore never requiring clearing. Kyanite provides balance of yin-yang energy and dispels blockages, moving energy gently through the physical body. I need that!!
Guests may have also noted a group of three candles lit from time to time. A graduate student from several year ago when I was a Professor at NC State sent me a set of candles all the way from Japan. The Japanese custom she described, is to light a candle in honor of your loved one’s memory.
And I do. From time to time, this glow brings me peace. The cards, prayers, and gifts of love keep flowing. Each time I receive a heartfelt gift, I feel God’s hand on my shoulder telling me that they are all ok. They were well-loved on Earth and they are well-loved in heaven.
As you are, we look forward to 2021!