Coincidences

7 05 2015

I once read that a coincidence was the Divine tapping you on the shoulder to softly say, “I’m here with you.” Since my mother’s death last month my life has been filled with these mini-miracles. My guilty pleasure is the reality show, Long Island Medium, so I know that I’m not the only one who believes this.

My family in in the late 80's.

My family in the 80’s.

  • My Dad died nearly 20 years ago. My Mom had his ashes placed in a crypt in a tranquil cemetery not far from his old business. Mom liked that he was placed high enough to get a glimpse of his old purple building. Mom was clear that she wanted her body donated to the LSU Med School, but we never discussed what to do when her ashes would eventually be sent to me. So I called the cemetery to inquire about the details of having her interred. I got a call the following day that there was amazingly, a place right next to my Dad’s. I felt a quiet peace settle over me, my Mom was taken care of, and now both my parents were still taking care of their only child.
My Mom, Jimmie Dee, on the cover of a trade magazine feautring the family business.

My Mom, Jimmie Dee, on the cover of a trade magazine featuring the family business.

  • I’m part of a historical Baton Rouge Facebook group. My family had a popular business, McLeod’s, during my growing up years. My dad did his own commercials and is still remembered by many. It’s not uncommon for my Dad or the business to get a mention. A week after my Mom passed away, a photo of her, not my dad, popped up in my FB feed. It was in her sassy red wig phase on the cover of an obscure 1969 trade magazine. Whoever posted it did not know that my mom had just died. People I did not know filled my day commenting sweet remembrances of her and the family business.
Walking to school with my “groovy” booksack.

First day of 4th grade. Walking to school with my “groovy” book sack.

  • At Mom’s memorial service, our minister read from the blog stories I’d written about her. He repeated my favorite Mother Teresa quote, “Do little things with great love” and then opened up the podium for anyone who had a story to share. An older woman made her way to the front of the sanctuary. My sweetie learned over and whispered, “who that?” and I replied, “ I have no idea.” The first words out of her mouth were, “I was Connie’s fourth grade teacher.” She said my mom had showed her such kindness the year I was her student. She was a young teacher and it was her first year at the school. All the parents wanted their child in the older, favorite teacher’s class, and she drew my name. My mom befriended her and invited her and her husband into our home. I have no memory of their unique friendship. But the small kindnesses’ my mom showed her—nearly five decades ago—stayed with that teacher for her entire life. Another small kindness done with great love.
i used my mom in several ads and commercials over the years.

I used my mom in several ads and commercials over the years.

  • I recently got an unexpected freelance job. My life has been hectic this year taking care of mom and this was the only paying work, outside of my day job, that I’ve taken on. It came from a Facebook comment from a Florida friend who had a South Carolina friend who was in need of a graphic designer. This friend of a friend needed a quick turnaround and I had the time because weather had suddenly cancelled my weekend plans. Before I called the prospective client, I looked up the small South Carolina town because it was one I had never heard of. According to Wikipedia, the largest employer in the town was named…McLeodmy name. When I told my perspective client, she was also surprised by the name connection. She remarked that the chair of her Board worked for McLeod. When I told her I could get her job done that weekend because I wasn’t going to French Quarter Fest, she really understood…because she’s originally from New Orleans. I knew this was work I was destined to get and I did.
Celebrating a birthday together

Celebrating a birthday together

But the most significant cosmic happening has to do with timing. My adult daughter and I are both only children. There has been a strong maternal bond between the three generations. We recognized at Christmas Mom’s mental health had hit a sudden, rapid decline. We cherished that holiday with the unspoken understanding that it may be our last together. Two months later my daughter moved back home. That was the same day Mom went into hospice care. Between us, we visited her most every day until the end of her life. And she responded to us and knew us up until the end.

Now in hindsight I realize that my baby girl will only be home for a few short months. She plans to move to Chicago next month to follow her dreams. We were meant to be close together during this transitional time in all our lives.

As hard as the last several months have been, I have felt supported and lifted up by love. My Mom will always remain a drama queen and I treasure the gifts she is sending me. I feel the connection from the generations that have come before me and I feel the Divine love that will flow into the generations that come after me.

Mothers and daughters, our maternal lineage

It’s no coincidence that I’m posting this for Mother’s Day. I honor my maternal lineage: I am Connie Lee, daughter of Jimmie Dee, daughter of Jimmie Corrinne, daughter of Minnie Mae; mother of Jade Lee-Mei.

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24 responses

7 05 2015
Carol Cassara (@ccassara)

Nope. No coincidences. Your mom is there with you. Yep.

7 05 2015
conniemcleod

Carol, I really look forward to the day when we finally meet IRL.

7 05 2015
Pia Savage

This is so beautiful. I particularly love the part about the 4th grade teacher.
I’m from Long Island. it’s one of my favorite places on earth and I have never watched The Long Island Medium. It might interfere with my Jersey Housewives!

7 05 2015
conniemcleod

Pia, her story really moved everyone who was in attendance. It was a true gift. (You really need to catch an episode of Long Island Medium!!)

7 05 2015
Lisa Garon Froman

Connie, this was so lovely it made me cry. I will be thinking of you on Mother’s Day.

7 05 2015
conniemcleod

Thanks Lisa. It surprisingly doesn’t make me cry. I feel very comforted by these coincidences. However, when I read the eulogy Jade wrote, which I have read countless times, I still cry every time. I plan on having a lovely Mother’s Day and I hope you do too.

7 05 2015
Cathy Chester

I hope I can see the typewriter as I type this. Tears are blocking my way because this was such a beautiful post. Lovely, Connie. Simply divine! But, of course. xoxo Happy Mom’s Day, my dear and sweet friend.

8 05 2015
conniemcleod

Cathy, I loved your recent post about your mother. We have both been blessed with warm, loving families. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

7 05 2015
Haralee

I love the name lineage. How sweet to know about the people your Mother touched!

8 05 2015
conniemcleod

Haralee, it has been such gift to hear those stories.

7 05 2015
JoyPageManuel

So beautiful, Connie. I don’t believe in coincidences and have always chosen to see them as divine whispers. I’m sure you feel all the love that surrounds you and what peace it brings! Happy Mother’s Day! xoxo

8 05 2015
conniemcleod

Joy, I love that description, divine whispers…and that’s what I believe too. have a wonderful Mother’s Day too.

8 05 2015
Rena McDaniel

I love those pictures. I do believe in things like this and there is no doubt that your mom has a hand in it. I am terribly sorry about your loss though. I dread the day when I have to say goodbye to my mother.

12 05 2015
conniemcleod

Rena, thanks for commenting. I miss her and am sad that she is gone, but I’m so relieved that she’s not suffering anymore that mostly feel relief. I really believe that she is contacting me to let me know that she is at peace and is back to her sassy self.

8 05 2015
Lana

This is so beautiful, and such a lovely tribute to your mother. I’m very sorry for your loss.

12 05 2015
conniemcleod

Thanks Lana.

11 05 2015
Walker Thornton

Absolutely lovely. The divine is present in your life–something to cherish, as you no doubt already know!

12 05 2015
conniemcleod

Thanks Walker. I feel both my parents presence these day. It is lovely.

16 05 2015
Bethany @ Online Therapy and Coaching

Those we love can never truly be gone. What a beautiful story.

17 05 2015
conniemcleod

Thanks Bethany

18 05 2015
Spashionista (Alicia)

What a lovely post, Connie. Thank you for sharing your love for your Mom with us.

Alicia
spashionista.com

15 06 2015
roweeee

Connie, your post really touched my heart and I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. In some ways you can be grateful that you were so close but then that also makes the loss more intense. God Bless xx Rowena

15 06 2015
conniemcleod

Thanks, I do miss her, but I feel her presence and her help guiding me.

16 06 2015
roweeee

I’ve had that sense a bit with my grandparents. Means alot.

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