Tag Archives: clouds

Still Throwing Clouds

From a post in July 2013:

Little bits of fluff – dandelion puffs, maybe? – float through our yard. My girl jumps from her swing, chases the bits with outstretched hand, slowly guiding them to land delicate on her dirt-scratched fingers.

“Look, Mama! Clouds! Daddy’s throwing bits of clouds down to me!”

And she is surprised and delighted by the joy of a new game with Daddy. And I want to believe her whimsy. I want to believe that Kevin has found a way to play with her, to continue to share our little moments of life, to somehow fill the deep void of aching sadness.

I want to believe that little puffs of joy float through the air, impossible to miss if you watch and wait.

From this evening:

We were on our way to my girl’s award ceremony, where she’d be presented with the badges she worked so hard to earn, and take part in a bridging ceremony, as she moved to another level of the troop. A night of accomplishments, of celebration…of family. I felt the familiar twinge at what — rather, who — was missing from this evening for my girl.

Her Daddy.

And then, as I drove down the highway, on this beautifully cool late spring evening, we cruised through a cloud of puffy things floating about in the rays cast by the setting sun. Little bits of fluff, swirling, circling the truck, dancing along our path.

She giggled, “Daddy’s throwing LOTS of cloud down to me, Mama!” And I smiled and we laughed and she hoped Daddy wasn’t getting in trouble with God for tearing up the clouds so he could play a game with her. She still believes in the bits of clouds, knows that her Daddy will always find a way to be with her.

And finally I remembered.

He’s not missing. He’s still right here with us.

Throwing bits of cloud. Throwing us joy.


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.