beauty clouds life love

i see her in the clouds


The morning after my grandma died last October, the sun turned the clouds the most brilliant orange I’ve ever seen. There was also lavender and grayish blues and golden yellows. I’d never seen a sunrise like it. It was like God and my grandma were telling me everything was going to be OK – that even though I’d lost one of the best people I’ll ever know, there was more beauty to come, and someone was watching over me.

I wouldn’t have seen that sunrise had I not asked the pilot who flies our station’s helicopter if I could have a ride that day. It was during the week of Albuquerque’s annual Balloon Fiesta and our station was taking aerial video of the launches every day that week. I wouldn’t be flying to Utah for the funeral for a couple more days and decided I couldn’t miss this opportunity.

I had to get up crazy early, when the night was still in charge, and drive to the airport in the dark. The pilot would take three of us up that morning and as we waited for him to get everything ready, we walked outside the garage where the helicopter was parked and began to see amazing views of the sun rising behind the mountains. I felt so thankful to be there, to have this incredible moment the day after I fell apart making pumpkin pie in an effort to keep it together.

We got to ride in the helicopter for a couple hours and the views were incredible – hundreds of balloons in 1,000 colors rising and falling near the Rio Grande, green trees covering the ground to the west, the Sandia mountains in shades of purple to the east. I kept thinking through it all that this ride was for my grandma – I only wished she could see it.


About a month ago, my husband and I drove to the airport in the early hours of the morning so he could fly out east for a work conference. The sky was similar to that day in October and I kept looking behind us as Travis steered us to the freeway. Once we were on I-25, I had a good view to my left and some of the same thankful feelings I had in October returned.

I see my grandma in the clouds now. Sometimes I miss her so much it hurts. There have been days lately where I long to call her and catch up – to hear her say, “Well, hello sweetheart, how are you?” I wish I could hear her wit, get her to tell me all the family secrets and just talk about the day.

But sometimes, I see her in the clouds – in sunrises and sunsets. In the oranges and pinks and yellows. And I know she’s there. Somewhere.



One reply on “i see her in the clouds”

My mom, your grandma, is one of the best of anyone I’ll ever know. She lived so simply, she was very direct, she had a very dry wit that all who came to know her enjoyed and appreciated. She loved her family more than anything else in the world. I know she’s continuing to love us and to cheer us on, just as she would cheer for her favorite sport teams, somewhere beyond the veil. One of my witnesses to that last statement are the beautiful orange clouds which I have also seen in sunrises and sunsets. I can look up at times and view a breathtaking orange sky and feel that she is there, lovingly watching from above. Orange – a favorite of hers. I miss you, mom, more and more each day. I’m wishing I could call you right now and check up on you. I’m wishing I could drive to the Charleston to see you, to visit with you, to assist you, to eat a McDonald’s Happy Meal alongside you. I’m wishing I could take the vanilla ice cream out from inside your cone, put it in a cup, mix it with some McDonald’s orange soda and turn it into an orange creamsicle shake for you. You always enjoyed sipping that orange concoction with your straw. I’m wishing I could give you that hug and kiss that you so appreciated as I would leave you for another week. Thanks for not leaving me forever. I know that I will see you again and be with you again in the eternities. I will see you for now in the beautiful orange clouds and will continue to joyfully reflect upon all the things I Iearned from you and did with you.

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