These are Nana's flowers, they come back every year.
This was my one day off. I wanted to be kind to me, with some much needed 'me time', and go to the beach. But my work had a meeting, at eight a.m. Mom lives nearby, and I had the family portrait photographs to give to everyone anyway. I stopped by. Our visit consisted of me bringing her two bean and cheese burritos and an enchirito from Taco Bell for lunch 'for her craving of Mexican food', and her bringing out the fruit. In our family, fruit is love. And wasting fruit is a sin. There is not other way around it.
My grandfather, who I call, Nanu, apprenticed to take care of the orchards back in Sicily. He is where I get the psychic gift from. He is part Irish. Mom has it, so do I, my oldest boy, and my niece. The garden is what I have known since before I could walk. He is long passed now, but mom had fresh figs for me she had been saving. I enjoyed them very much. I picked oranges from her tree with the fruit picker. In the California sunshine, even though it was a 100F day, we felt love and at home in the back yard.
After visiting with mom, I drove twenty minutes away to visit with Nana Angelina. She has Alzheimer's, and recently has chosen not to eat. My Uncle, who is her caregiver, forces her to drink juice. But when I saw her, I was shocked by how much weight she as lost. She used to be a good eater. Anorexia is one of the last stages of the disease.
I wasn't sure if she would recognize me. Sometimes she does, and sometimes she thinks I am a classmate of hers from San Biagio Platani, the village she grew up in outside of Agrigento, back in the Old Country.
As I came up to the front door, through the security screen I could see her, in her red dress, sitting in a wheelchair, owlish glasses in place. She recognized me at once, calling me by name, and exclaiming, 'Is that you, my beautiful granddaughter?!' We hugged and kissed to say hello, and I had to choke back the tears of gratitude for this blessing of her calling me by name.
I sat next to her and held her hand. She had a Parkinsonian tremor of both her hands and her feet that was new. My Uncle and I helped her try to go to the bathroom three separate times, standing her up from the wheelchair, exchanging the chair for the port-a-potty, pulling the dress up and the diaper down, and waiting. She did not urinate all afternoon. It is a strange thing, a responsibility, to help with the diaper of someone who had once taken care of your own.
But we talked. She wanted me to get to the store to buy flour and yeast to make bread. This made sense to me, because her mother had once owned a bakery in the village. I told her it was too hot to bake, and that we would bake tomorrow.
Again, she was concerned. I remembered that dough had to rise, and she was concerned about it taking too long. So I reassured her that everything was okay. She turned to me, with a conspiratorial smile and said, 'Don't make two loaves today. Make three. Make an extra one for you.'
Later, she asked, 'Is this Saturday or Sunday?', which is a huge indicator of alertness and orientation for someone in her condition. (Alert and Oriented times three is a medical term for knowing the date, your name, your location) I was impressed. 'It is Saturday, Nana. It is Saturday.' 'Okay' she said, and settled down.
Then she started to tell me about the lady in the pretty dress, how she saw 'pictures in front of her eyes' and 'there were lots of people there'. As Reiki Doc, I knew what it was. She is halfway here, and halfway on The Other Side. She was seeing angels. My father dreamed of his own parents two weeks before his death. My intuition and gut instinct to go to Nana had been right.
Uncle told me she had fallen out of her chair the night before. She wanders out of bed, and does not like to lay down. He found her on the floor, next to the chair, asleep. Because of a hand injury, he couldn't lift her back up. He put a pillow under her head, and placed a blanket on her. He got her up in the morning. He thinks at this rate she won't last a month.
I said a very special goodbye to her today. With lots of hugs and kisses. I took a movie, and photos. I promised to come back. I kissed her three times, and asked her if she knows I love her so much am just crazy about her? She smiled. And then she asked me to go to the store to buy bread. Three loaves, not two, with an extra one just for me.
On the way to the car, I broke down. My Uncle calmed me. I asked him if he knows how much I loved him, and how he is the only one that knows me, really knows me, on this Earth?. The only one that comes close is my oldest boy. He said 'yes. Be safe on the road.' and wanted me to go on my way.
I put my Jackie Onassis sunglasses on, and bawling, put the car in drive, honked the horn, and drove away.
On the freeway, almost at the hospital, I heard my Nanu's voice, saying, 'My Queen, my queen, my queen'. That was my nickname he had always called me. I know he is looking forward to being with her in a short time. And I know he is looking after me too.
When I got home, I called mom to let her know I was safe. She couldn't believe it, the conversation that I had with Nana Angelina! She hadn't spoken a single word in a week, and not recognized ANYBODY.
You know what else? Mom felt the presence of Nanu when I had come to her house. We both hadn't felt him in about eight years.
Being a Medium does not take the pain of saying 'goodbye' away. It gives hope that there is some contact that continues. I hurt, just like anybody else. I said goodbye to my beloved angel, my Nana Angelina today. And I gave Reiki the entire time I was touching her. The Transition Symbol too.
Reiki helps in so many ways...