Message in a Cloud

“Mama?” she said thoughtfully, “do you think Daddy writes in the clouds?”

I watched her finger twirling in the air, spiraling in intricate lines with swirls and swoops.

“I mean,” she continued, “do you think he can use a special ink and write down everything that he wants to tell us on the cloud and then we can look up and see it in the sky?”

Her fingers danced, swaying among the dust motes drifting in the air. I tried to follow the pattern, decipher the stream of message she coded in the nothingness.

Silence and we stared up, wondering.

She noticed my furrowed brow.

“Mama?” she prompted. I hadn’t answered her question yet.

“I don’t know, Beary. I wish he could,” I managed. Oh, how I wish he could. I wish he could send me a message, telling me he’s fine, telling me we’ll be fine.

A final flourish, a twist of her wrist, fingers flicking out a last loop and dash, and her arm fell to her side.

“Well, I think he can. I guess we’ll just have to watch for it.”

She decided quickly, content to settle in her mind that Daddy could, in fact, write a message on a cloud for her.

And it’s no stretch to imagine – from her deliciously wonderful point of view – that we can look to the clouds and see it written in dashes and daubs of angel ink, what he always told us, what he wants to tell us still:

I love my girls.

In her whimsy, she brings me hope – and it’s strong enough to push back the grief that crowds in and blocks my view of the clouds, blocks my view of God’s plan for this unexpected life. And even if I never see a message in the clouds, I can look at them stretched across the magnificence of heaven and know that joy is possible and love never dies.

I pause, then nod my head, hope taking hold. “I think maybe he could, Little Bear. Maybe Daddy can send us cloud messages.”

Delight sparkled in her eyes, and her fingers lifted again, stirring the air and tracing the clouds.

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