When we start out the door he instantly grabs my hand. There are days I am not sure who is holding on tighter. I hold on until the last possible moment and then I am forced to let his hand go so he can race down the street to catch the bus. As he runs I whisper to the heavens, “Please protect him- whatever this day may bring- please protect him.” It’s the same prayer I whispered for both of them when she was sitting beside him.
She yelled, “Mama- come hold my hands” as she shuffled across the icy ground. They were learning how to maneuver the frozen pond in their new skates. She shuffled and slid all the while holding on as tight as she could. She shuffled until she became so tired she just let go of what she thought she should do. She let go and we stood back amazed as she spread her arms out and took flight- not fearing the impending fall. There she was gliding across the pond with the grace and poise of a beautiful bird. She focused on finding her wings. In that single moment she taught us the beauty that unfolds when you just let go.
When we start to just glide, sadness takes the liberty of reminding us that it is not ready to leave. In those moments we grab for the truth that the beauty around us is unmistakably Catherine. We hold tight and look for what she would have seen in each day: The bright light streaming through the window, the auburn hawk on its perch, or the simple smile that showed her they were kind. When I see those simple things I realize that the prayer I whisper to the heavens each morning is not just for the brave little one running for the bus. It is a prayer for all of us- a prayer that is always answered.