My daughter Katrina was born on May 24, 1974. She died on December 30, 1997.
Of all the anniversaries I face without her physical presence, her birthday is the hardest one. That is when Lilac blooms. And Golden Chain tree showers us with its perfume and golden light. Lily of the Valley peeks from beneath its leaves, sending glorious scents skyward, making the recipient of her perfume remember the past...
Treen, as she was usually called, wandered through the garden with me as a child, playing quietly by my side. I would tell her what the plants needed, whether it be water, pruning or feeding...and years later, she would point to a particular plant, and tell me exactly what it required. She would have been a great gardener. She had the patience and the passion for nurturing, be they plants, animals or human.
Her gardens on her plane of existence must be fabulous! Treen loved plants that were scented...and now, when she visits, I smell flowers as she passes by. Because Treen does visit. Sometimes, I can feel her energy signature and smell her familiar scent long after she has left my area. During the month of May, Katrina visits often...in dreams, thoughts and the ordinary parts of every day.
In May, our family gathers to celebrate birthdays and Mother's Day. Without fail, every year since Treen's death, she has appeared to me around Mother's Day, still showing me her love in my dreams and meditations. During the family gatherings, there is an empty place that no one can fill...it is Katrina's space. She walks beside me during the month of May.
Once more, we wander through the garden...not the same one where she grew up, granted, but... she's watched this one grow, along with me. And I talk to her as if she was physically there. To me, she is. We discuss the plants, noting once again what each plant requires; we discuss ourselves and our separate paths. It is a joyful time because, as before, she is so much here.
She tells me I'm short-tempered these days. Crabby, is her word. You forgot to put the roses on the kitchen table, she says. I tell her she's drifting at the moment...and it's time to get to where she wants to be. I understand her now, much better than when she was alive. We are only separated by a veil as thin as the petal of a rose, after all.
We discuss the family, just as if she was a physical part of it, still. There are members of the family that have joined her, and she tells me as much as she is able about them. We catch up on family affairs. I feel the weight of her, leaning on me, as we speak...the reassurance she still needs that it was alright to go...and I carry her for a bit, relishing the feel of her.
I tell Treen how proud I am of her daughter, Brianna. I tell her how much Bree reminds me of her, and how much a part of Heidi and Darren she is, too. I tell her that Heidi and Darren make sure that Bree remembers her. I tell her Heidi and Darren are the best parents, just as she was. And she tells me she knows.
On Katrina's birthday, I find the ocean, or a lake or river, and I let the tears flow along with the water. As time goes by, the tears grow less, and the laughter takes over. Strong laughter, strong, powerful laughter...from both of us. It is always such a release. It is always a rebirth.
Sometimes, in the earlier years, the water was turbulent, churned up by wind and rain. Much anger was sent to the waves, much shouting...such grief. The water has stilled now, the weather is more peaceful these days on her birthday. We have found a way to walk our seemingly separate paths now, although still connected. We have found acceptance.
Treen and I have found peace.