Then I studied art history and my vision of the world changed. I discovered the power of light in the alignment of Newgrange with ancestors and Ramses’ temple with gods, in the incomparable Gothic cathedrals and their rainbow promise, in the dramatic Baroque and Caravaggio, in Vincent’s sunflowers and starry skies, in Picasso’s lone bulb.
Meanwhile, Krisanna arrived and my physical world changed :-). Early on I grasped the importance of light when she needed me during the night. Shortly thereafter, I revisited the magic of light to chase away monsters and embolden my Boo. More importantly, I understood the power of one teeninsy girlie girl to light up the world around her.
However, Krisanna’s diagnosis turned it all upside down … yet, despite the darkness that threatened to envelope us, we were mesmerized by her light that strengthened us to embrace hope. Hope is tricky. It’s always a choice. It means acknowledging the reality while believing in the odds. Krisanna understood the reality, but she chose to live in hope. In her final six months, when she knew the threat was greatest, she recognized hope in bright sunshine and her unshakable faith in Mr. God. By embracing those sources of light she rose above the many challenges that could have plunged her – and us – into the darkness. Instead, she showed us how to seize each day in the way we now refer to as living in yellow.
Recently another friend and I kneaded the idea of Krisanna’s light. Our conversations brought me to this meandering on this week of the the 105th 4th since Krisanna went to heaven.
When it became obvious Krisanna would spend her last days at St. Jude, the chaplain (her good friend, Lisa) brought in a tea light candle for her bedside (battery-operated, of course). I don't remember exactly what she said to Krisanna (who was asleep at the time ... in that slipping in and out of coma/last few days kind of sleep), but I remember the immediate comfort I felt when she said Krisanna’s name as she turned on the light and placed it on the bedside table. Days later, when Krisanna had taken her last breath, I asked if I could keep the candle - a precious transition relic. I lit that candle in the hotel room that night, in the car on the drive home, in our home as soon as we entered, in the new house when we moved in, each holiday, and so many other times when I wanted to feel her presence. One day it wouldn't turn on. Reluctantly, I replaced the batteries knowing it wouldn't be the same light if it had a different power source. Well, it sure wouldn't! The light wouldn't come on! I even tried brand new, straight-from-the-store batteries to no avail. I was so sad. Yet, I couldn't bring myself to discard or dispose of the candle. Instead it has perched on my dresser, basically untouched, in the same place for at least 7 years.
One morning this week I was running late for work largely due to time spent exploring ideas for Yellow Day this fall. Kicking myself for focusing too much on a future event, I reached for my curling iron, and I saw the light from the candle burning. At first I truly doubted my eyes! I ran to get my phone to snap a photo hoping it would still be on when I got back to the room. You can see it in the photo attached - just look past all the mess to the small golden yellow glow behind the necklaces.
I drove home from work that afternoon with joyful anticipation checked by protective reality: would the light still be shining? I headed straight to the bedroom and discovered the candle was no longer burning. So, I gently picked it up to take a close up snap of the holder (since it was expecting a stretch of anyone's imagination to really see the light in the photos I'd taken with my "really old" phone). As I placed it on the counter, the light flickered briefly! - so briefly I thought I imagined it. I discovered a fragile connection somewhere within the candle because if I jostle it just so, it will come on, but when I relieve the just-so pressure, it breaks the connection. Clearly, I shut the drawers of the dresser "just so" that morning making the light come on.
Now, many people will think I’m crazy. That’s okay. Here’s what I know in my heart: Krisanna’s light still shines for those who knew her, and it is my Momu job to keep her light of kindness and love and faith shining for others to see.
And here’s what I know for numbers peeps: 105 (the number of 4ths of the month since 11.4.2009) divided by 15 (the years K lived) = 7 – aka, the number of years that candle has sat on my dresser without flickering! That's a pretty powerful, "Hi Momu!"
Here’s to you, Girlie Girl, on this 4th with love and hugs and thanks for your continued bright yellow light!