True Grace….a Life Altering Moment


I have had several Life Altering Moments in the past five years.  I will share two with you.  The others are a bit too personal to share.

I believe everyone understands that I work out at the Health Club four or five times a week.  As with any health club or gym the Women’s Locker Room Experience is interesting.  At certain times of the day it is jammed with women getting dressed, undressed, showered, etc.  Yesterday I had my 3:30 appointment with Tyron and flew into the locker room at 3:15 from the office to change and get upstairs to warm-up.  The locker room was quiet and seated on the padded bench in front of the bank of lockers, where my locker resided was a very, very thin, bald woman, pulling down her swimsuit.  I hesitated as I didn’t want to be right on her when she was getting undressed.  She stood and pulled the suit down to her waist and I noticed that she had a double mastectomy.  I fiddled with my bag and my key until she realized I was there and she turned her back and pulled on her bra and then panties.  We smiled at each other as she walked to the mirror and I began changing clothes.  She was putting on make-up and I noticed her back-pack was the same one I have from LL Bean and I commented on it.  “I love that bag!  Did you get it at LL Bean?”  She turned and smiled and her face was so lovely….in fact she just was glowing.  She was completely bald and bone thin.  But there was something so beautiful in that.  There we stood, two women in our bras…talking about bags, and travel and then computers.  I pulled on my t-shirt and as I passed her and she said, “have a good workout and it was nice talking to you.”  I stopped and turned to her and simply said what was in my heart.  “I think you are beautiful.”  She took a moment then she threw her arms around my neck (she was almost as tall as I) and hugged me tightly and hard with a whispered “thank you!”   She was so thin in my arms.   Then she pulled back and smiled this amazing smile.

I don’t know her name but I will never, ever forget that moment or her face.  I told a friend and he said, “it was a moment of true grace”.  It most certainly was.  It altered me in a profound way.  I cannot explain it.

I hope I see her again because I want to know her name and know her.

The earlier occurance of a life altering moment happened at a funeral.  It was the funeral of a dear, dear family friend.  His wife and my parent’s were best of friends.  He passed away about five years ago and had the big Catholic funeral Mass.  The casket was placed in the aisle before the altar.  At one point his family was asked to talk about their father/grandfather.

Before I continue I must explain that my sister is very spiritual.  Not religious; but she has expanded her beliefs, and I have been known in the past to roll my eyes when she tells me something.  I was seated between her and my brother-in-law at the funeral Mass and while Mr. R’s oldest grandson was speaking, standing next to his grandfather’s casket, it happened.  My sister whispered to me, “Look Mr. R is right behind him.”  I looked at her like she had three heads, probably did an internal scoff, and then looked up.  Right over the boy’s shoulder was Mr. R’s face….but not in color, just misty, foggy, like a cloudy mask…but definitely there.  I saw it.  So did my sister.  I think I dropped all my snooty-ness and said, “Oh MY GOD!  It is!”  It hovered there for several seconds and then vanished and we looked at each other like “Holy Shit!”    Two things happened in that instance.  I never make fun of my sister’s beliefs anymore and I confirmed what I had always believed/hoped.   It opened my eyes and beliefs to possibilities.   Those we love are with us, they do stay with us and look over us.

Yes, yes, all you doubters go ahead…but I’m telling you it was real and it was witnessed by two people who had totally different thoughts and life experiences; two sisters.

It also made me wonder if when we were at my parent’s funerals if they were hovering closely and witnessed by someone.  What a lovely thought that while we were speaking about them and lost in our individual grief and confusion if they were there with us making us stronger.  It’s what I like to think…that those we love are everywhere around us.  It comforts me.

It also makes me think that our lives are filled with grace…that it is poured into us by a divine interaction and that we should be expected to pour grace into the lives of others.

I love this song because it is spiritual and moving:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught…
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me…
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be…
as long as life endures.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

I hope you find grace in your life when you need it or even when you don’t think you do.  It is a wonderful moment.  

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2 thoughts on “True Grace….a Life Altering Moment

  1. Reading the words of Amazing Grace and knowing it was written about slavery makes it mean all the more. For here on earth we are all slaves of some sort. My grandmother sang it all the time when she cooked and cleaned. It is dear to my heart.

  2. Honestly I love hearing it sung by a black choir….it brings me to tears. At my funeral I want it sung. Also, I’d like Robert Plant to sing Stairway to Heaven….but since he is 65, he might go before me.

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