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“I saw a small cloud with the spectrum of the rainbow across it. It was peculiar and beautiful. I found her, a sign of her.”

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By Julie Summerford Pearson

I recently incorporated road biking into my exercise routine. What a kick it has been to learn the technical specifics of the bike and to maneuver inclines and descents. Part of the fun is riding with others. One weekend morning, I decided to ride alone to a picturesque and challenging canyon up the road. On the way up, I took a quick detour to ride past the home where my grandparents had lived for many years. It was and is well kept and modest. When I saw it, I thought of my Nana, my maternal grandmother, a simple woman with two forces in her life: family and faith. Her name was Merry.

Once I got to the base of the canyon road, I watered up and started the climb. I had music playing from my phone, which was stuck in my sports bra. I started the steady work of getting to the top by way of roller coaster hills. There was a beautiful view in every direction. I stopped at the top of the road for more water and to fully take in the views. I pulled my phone out to snap a picture and saw I had a message from a close girlfriend. It read: “You are ever present in our thoughts today and always. We love you.” It was the anniversary of my daughter’s tragic death. I stood there and let it sink in that it has been thirteen years since we said goodbye to her. She was two-and-a-half years old. Her name was Merry.

Before getting back on the bike, I looked around at the greening mountains against blue sky and white clouds. I was looking for her. Then, I saw a small cloud with the spectrum of the rainbow across it. It was peculiar and beautiful. I found her, a sign of her. I tried to take a picture of it with my phone, but the colors didn’t come through. I realized that the colors were more vivid through my sunglasses, so I took a picture through one of the lenses, but the colors still did not show. I gave up trying to capture it. I began my ride down. The steep ride down is always fast; at times, my speed hit close to thirty-five miles per hour. I kept looking back at the cloud, but each time I did, I was not in proper control of the bike. I said to myself, “If you keep looking back, you will wreck. Look forward.”

 

Resilience Building resilience Family Finding joy Finding meaning Life skills Post-traumatic growth Supporting others Women
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